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Can You Still Suffer a Brain Injury While Wearing a Bike Helmet?

Posted on April 19, 2022
Riding a bike in Texas can come with significant injury risks. As a biker, you are vulnerable to serious and life-threatening injuries in a traffic accident. This includes traumatic brain injuries from striking your head or skull on the pavement. Although Texas does not have a universal bicycle helmet requirement, wearing one could save your life. Unfortunately, it is not failsafe; it is still possible to suffer a brain injury with a helmet on.

Bicycle Helmet Statistics

Studies have repeatedly found bicycle helmets to drastically reduce the risk of head and brain injuries in bike accidents. The National Safety Council reports that more than 50 percent of bicyclists who are killed in accidents each year are not wearing helmets. Helmets cut the risk of suffering a head injury in half. The odds are even higher of preventing a severe or fatal brain injury. Even if your state or county doesn’t require you to wear a bicycle helmet while riding, doing so is important for safety reasons.

How Do Most Bicycle Accident Brain Injuries Happen?

Bicycle accidents are a leading cause of head injuries, skull fractures and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). TBIs are injuries to any part of the brain due to a source of external trauma, such as a blow or bump to the head. They include concussions, contusions, hemorrhages and swelling. Even a minor bump to the head could result in a serious brain injury. TBIs are especially common in bicycle accidents due to the high risk of the biker’s head striking the ground or the hood of a motor vehicle in a traffic accident. While helmets are indisputably important for preventing brain injuries, they are not a perfect solution. Some researchers have found that helmets create a false sense of security, for example, which can lead to bicyclists taking greater risks. In addition, the shape of a bicycle helmet does not fully protect against brain injuries when the head is hit at an angle. Finally, helmets do not reduce the rotational forces in a bicycle accident that can cause brain injuries, such as a diffuse-axonal injury from the brain rapidly shifting inside the skull.

Bike Helmet Safety Tips

You can reduce your risk of suffering a brain injury in a bicycle accident by wearing a helmet at all times. The helmet you choose and how you wear it can impact its ability to protect your head, face and skull. Use these tips to decrease your risk of head and brain injuries as a bicyclist in Texas:
  • Look for the sticker of approval. The bicycle helmet you buy should have a safety approval sticker from the Department of Transportation or the Snell Memorial Foundation to ensure that it meets federal safety regulations.
  • Get the right fit. Purchase a helmet that fits snugly on your head. It should sit low on your forehead, with the straps forming a V-shape slightly in front of your ears. Always secure your helmet to your head so it doesn’t fly off in an accident.
  • Don’t wear an old or used helmet. Bicycle helmets should not be re-worn after they’ve been in an accident or impact, as this can compromise the elements in the helmet that protect the wearer’s head. For this reason, you should not purchase a used helmet, as you don’t know its history.
You should always wear a helmet while bicycling in Texas to reduce your risk of head and brain injuries. If you still suffer a brain injury even with a helmet on, you have rights in Texas. You may be eligible for financial compensation from the at-fault driver’s car insurance company. With assistance from a bicycle accident attorney, you can recover compensation for your necessary medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Discuss your bicycle accident case with a lawyer in Dallas for more information.