EV Bikes

Helmet wearing is decreasing, leading to an increase in head injuries

Some links may be affiliate links. We may be paid if you purchase something or take an action after clicking one of these options.

Please wear a helmet: Injury rates are increasing while helmet wearing is decreasingPlease wear a helmet: Injury rates are increasing while helmet wearing is decreasing

The rise of e-bikes is a net good. They get us outside, reduce our consumption of fossil fuels which reduces the production of greenhouse gases, reduce congestion on our roads and help us move so we live longer, healthier lives. What’s not to like?

Unfortunately, as the use of e-bikes has increased, the use of e-bikes has unfortunately not kept pace with the introduction of helmets. It makes sense that there would be more injuries when more people ride e-bikes, even if the injury rate per 100,000 people stays the same. That stinks, but what’s worse is that helmet use hasn’t kept pace with increasing e-bike use. As a result, we are seeing an increase in the number of head injuries.

A new study published by JAMA Surgery examined helmet use from 2017 to 2022 and found that helmet use fell 6 percent over that five-year period. However, that’s not the worst part of the study. It found that the number of e-bike riders going to hospital with head trauma increased 49-fold. That’s not 49 percent; there are 49 times, resulting in around 8,000 visits in 2022 alone.

The bad news doesn’t end there. The study found that 44 percent of injured riders were wearing helmets.

The severity of the injuries increased

Researchers examined 1,038 cases of head injuries suffered by e-bike riders and calculated that 46,000 adults and children visited emergency rooms between 2017 and 2022. Not only was there a 49-fold increase in hospital visits, but there was also a 43-fold increase in hospital admissions. That means the number of people who went to the emergency room and were then admitted to the hospital instead of being discharged home that day increased 43-fold.

Here’s the part that should give us pause: Researchers found that helmetless e-bike riders were twice as likely to suffer head injuries as riders who wore helmets. They also say the head injuries suffered by e-bike riders tend to be more serious than those suffered by riders of traditional bikes.

Double whammy

Because of the combination of two factors, the injuries suffered by e-bike riders are often more serious than the injuries suffered by traditional cyclists. People with e-bikes travel faster than cyclists. Some studies have estimated that, on average, people ride e-bikes twice as fast as regular bikes. Double speed means half the reaction time if something happens, for example if a car swerves. Shorter response times mean fewer accidents avoided. Additionally, in a fall or accident, higher speed results in more force, leading to more serious injuries.

3 tips for wearing a helmet

Wearing a helmet goes a long way in preventing head injuries in the event of a fall. But simply wearing a helmet is not enough. A driver has to make some adjustments so that it can do its job.

If the helmet has one, first attach the occipital retention device to the back of the helmet. The setting is often done using a small wheel; it doesn’t have to be tight; just tight enough that you feel it pressing against your hair (or scalp).

Second, make sure the helmet straps go around your ears and not over them. You can adjust the length of the straps from the helmet to the strap guide that brings the front and back straps together so they sit under your ear.

Third, adjust the chin strap so that it fits comfortably under the chin. There should be enough space for you to comfortably talk or slide a finger between the strap and the bottom of your jaw.

Of course, wearing a helmet is only part of making every ride as safe as possible. Adapting our speed to the conditions can be even more important than the helmet. We love speed and enjoy testing Class 3 e-bikes, but we brake when conditions require it. As roads become narrower and the distance to pedestrians, other drivers and cars decreases, our speed also decreases.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button