Many people would agree that bicycling is not only an increasing trend but a lifestyle.
However, with more bicycles on the road, cyclists face an increased risk of bicycle accidents. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), there were 289,076 injuries in bicycle accidents in 2018 alone. And injuries to the head and brain are some of the most common injuries bicyclists face.
Bicycling involves a high risk of concussions
It is common to hear a lot about concussions nowadays, as awareness increases. Concussions are a mild brain injury that can be debilitating in both the short-term and the long-term.
If bicyclists are involved in a collision, they must be aware of the symptoms of a concussion and obtain treatment as soon as possible. Common signs of a concussion include:
- Difficulty balancing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Constant headaches
- Blurry or blotchy vision
- Memory issues or loss
These symptoms can be different for everyone. Even if individuals feel fine after an accident, they must be careful and look out for these symptoms so they can mitigate the risk these injuries pose.
Can helmets prevent concussions?
No matter the type of collision, there is a high possibility that cyclists will flip over the front of the handlebars. In these situations, their head is the most at risk for injury.
Many bicyclists might think that if they wear a helmet, they can reduce the risk of a concussion. Unfortunately, several studies are inconclusive on this topic. Some say they can help reduce head and brain injuries by 63% to 88%, while others say helmets cannot do much to prevent the brain from bumping the skull internally.
But for minors, wearing a helmet is the law
Regardless of what the studies find about the effectiveness of helmets, Georgians must comply with the law.
In Georgia, bicyclists under 16 must wear a helmet while riding. While individuals over 16 can choose whether to wear a helmet or not, doing so can still provide an extra layer of protection in the event of a crash.