Summer is here, and the warm weather means more people are out on their motorcycles, ATVs and bicycles. These recreational vehicles and toys can be a more enjoyable way to get from one place to another, but they also offer less natural protection for the rider. With no seat belt to keep you stationary, all it takes is one wrong move to send you flying off your ATV or bicycle. In that moment you’ll want to be wearing a helmet.
Unfortunately, Minnesota does not have the strongest laws when it comes to helmet regulations. It’s on the rider to make the conscious decision to wear a helmet. ATV and motorcycle drivers over the age of 18 are not required by law to wear a helmet, even though they are the single best way to prevent traumatic brain injuries.
Helmets Save Lives
While going helmet-less on the highway or trails may seem liberating, it’s not worth the risk. Just look at some of these statistics about helmet use.
- For bicyclists, helmets are nearly 90 percent effective in preventing TBIs.
- Universal helmet use by child bicyclists would eliminate more than 40,000 head injuries each year.
- Helmets are 37 percent effective in preventing death and 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries in motorcycle riders.
- In ATV drivers, helmets reduce the risk of death by 42 percent and the risk of a nonfatal brain injury by 64 percent.
- Helmets reduce the risk of head injuries by skateboarders or in-line skaters by 85 percent.
Helmets need to be worn by all children when riding bikes, skateboards or other wheeled toys, and parents should set a good example by wearing their helmet when on a bicycle, motorcycle or ATV. We’re happy to provide care for anyone who suffers a head injury, but we’d prefer that you never need to visit our office. Traumatic brain injuries are some of the most preventable injuries, and helmet use is one of the most crucial factors in preventing head injuries.
So this summer, make helmets a part of the whole family plan when taking in the warm Minnesota weather. As we’ve talked about on the blog in the past, traumatic brain injuries can have lifelong consequences, so prevention is much preferred to decades of treatment and lifestyle adjustments. Although TBIs aren’t 100 percent preventable, helmets can significantly reduce your risk of needing care for a head injury, so be smart this season. Use your head and have a wonderful summer season here in Minnesota.