Friday I was driving on Cambridge St., right near Inman Sq., and I suddenly watch a guy come off his bike... sort of do a face plant and bounce off the street. Apparently, he had run in to the rear end of a van that was pulling into a parking space. (I am not sure of the actual cause or who might be at fault in this accident, not the point of this post.) So the cyclist, who may have dislocated his shoulder, now wears a load of cuts and a fair case of road rash. But, he was wearing a helmet! The fact he whacked his head hard on the street, became a moot point. Another save for helmets!
I have mentioned before that I spent many years as a firefighter/EMT. I responded to all types of emergencies that included many trauma victims resultant from so many different mechanisms of injury. Which gives me an experience base to draw on; I can say that those people that suffered head injuries had the worst outcomes. I mean not just short term (as in died) but the long term outcomes. They survived horrendous injuries to legs, arms, faces, etc. which all in due time healed. However those with head/brain injury, not so much. In fact, how can I put this gently, their lives were forever changed. Having received a few concussions over the years, I cannot imagine what it would be like to live in that fog and have that headache 24/7/365 for the rest of one’s life.
There is plenty of info out there that explains what happens to your head/brain when it is slapped (like a home run crack at Fenway) into the pavement, car, fill in the blank at let’s say 10-12 mph and from about 5 or so feet up. It is clearly not good.
Will a helmet protect you from evil spirits, accidents and all other possibilities? Of course not, so drop that line of reasoning. It is there to protect your head/brain in the event of an impact. It is like wearing seat belts in a vehicle. Most people are killed in what are otherwise survivable auto crashes because they were not wearing a seat belt, period. Check out the stats, in nearly all fatal cycle accidents the riders were not wearing helmets. Hmmmmm, kinda makes ya think!
So let me put this in terms that may indeed be crass, a bit obnoxious, over the top, etc, etc. and that might even offend some...But then again, this IS Bike Me.
What do you call a cyclist who does not wear a helmet? A possible organ donor… enough said?