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Helmets reduce the risk of serious head injuries in bicycle accidents
Wearing a helmet for cyclists is generally recommended, but an obligation is rejected by many. Even though bike helmets can save lives. They reduce the risk of serious head injuries, as a study has now shown.
A bicycle helmet can save lives
Scientific studies can prove time and time again: A bicycle helmet can make the difference between life and death. For example, researchers at the University of New South Wales in Australia recently reported that bicycle helmets can prevent up to 70 percent of fatal head injuries. And a recent study by American scientists now shows that a bicycle helmet reduces the risk of severe head trauma (SHT) by half if the driver suffers a head injury.
"Similar to a seat belt"
This is the result of an evaluation published in the "American Journal of Surgery", as the professional association of pediatricians (BVKJ) reports on its website "kinderaerzte-im-netz.de". The risk of dying as a result of a bicycle accident or breaking facial bones is also lower for helmet wearers compared to cyclists without a helmet.
In a Fox News report, Dr. Jerri Rose: "It is similar to a seat belt." The child emergency doctor from Cleveland, Ohio, who was not involved in the study, said: "Wearing a belt cannot prevent you from being involved in a car accident, but it reduces the risk of getting injured and dying in a car accident. "
Lower risk of severe brain trauma
To get their results, the researchers used the American College of Surgeons database to analyze medical records from 6,267 people who had had hemorrhages after a bicycle accident in 2012. According to the information, a quarter of the patients had worn a bicycle helmet at the time of the accident. Around half of the patients had severe traumatic brain injuries, three percent died.
The study found that people who wore helmets were 52 percent less likely to suffer severe brain trauma and 44 percent less likely to die from the effects of the accident than cyclists without a helmet.
In addition, cyclists with helmets were 31 percent less likely to have facial fractures, with the upper part of the face, especially around the eyes, being the most protected. However, the helmets offered less protection against fractures in the lower part of the face, such as for the nose and chin. The authors also reported that cyclists with helmets had to undergo brain surgery less often after an accident.
Experts against the introduction of mandatory helmets
According to American statistics, cyclists were the least likely to wear helmets between the ages of 10 and 20, while those between 60 and 70 were the most likely to wear a helmet when cycling. About 75 percent of the patients enrolled in this study wore none. "Young people in particular find it not so cool," the authors suspected.
In Germany only about every seventh cyclist wears a helmet. Studies that show the dangers of “topless” driving repeatedly lead to discussions about a legal helmet requirement for cyclists. Although there are many supporters, the General German Bicycle Club (ADFC), among others, has been fighting against such a rule for a long time. A main reason for this is that bicycle use would decrease overall. However, it is generally recommended to wear a helmet. (ad)