Michael Wangermann is a Partner at Brain Injury Group member firm Ashtons Legal where he heads the Injury Services Group. Drawing on over 20 years’ experience helping clients get their lives back on track after traumatic injury, Michael provides his view on cycle helmets.
As we look at ways to reduce our waistline after a winter of comfort eating, some of us will be dusting off our bicycles, pumping up the tyres and squeezing, inadvisably, into some tight-fitting but trendy sportswear best left for people half our age. A crucial bit of kit for every cyclist is their cycle helmet.
More of us want to do our bit for the environment. The network of cycle lanes is growing and the popularity of cycle groups is increasing. With warmer weather and the Easter holidays approaching – and hopefully some additional relaxation of lockdown rules in the coming weeks – the possibility of meeting up with equally unfit friends in equally unflattering attire might be what we all need and be looking forward to.
Cycle helmets and cycle accidents
However, we need to remember that the majority of cycle accidents happen between May and September. Moreover, cyclists, like pedestrians, have little or no protection when struck by a motorised vehicle. Even if struck at slower speeds, cyclists are likely to sustain serious fractures. Unfortunately, all too often if someone is knocked off their bike their head will come into contact with the road surface or the vehicle that collided with them. National statistics show what around three-quarters of cyclists who are killed on the road had major head injuries. Most people, who have cycle accidents, however, are injured, and not killed.
Preventing a brain injury is better than treatment
Recognising the signs of brain injury, and then getting the right treatment is secondary to preventing such injuries in the first place by keeping cycle lanes and normal traffic lanes separate. It is clear that particularly at low speeds, head and brain injury can be reduced or avoided by wearing a cycle helmet. The vast majority of cyclists take their own safety very seriously by wearing a suitable helmet, suitably reflective clothing and lights/reflectors on the bike itself. Unfortunately, there are risk-takers who think “I’m only popping down to the shops, what could possibly happen in that time” and do not don a helmet, wear dark clothing even at night and do not attach or switch on lights when riding in darkness.
Not wearing a cycle helmet could affect any brain injury compensation claim
All brain injury claims will depend on their own merits but arguments on whether a failure to wear a cycle helmet contributed to the severity of injuries are increasing. So let’s all do what we can to enjoy exercise safely and make sure our helmets remain in good condition and fit us properly.
Making a brain injury compensation claim through Brain Injury Group
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About Michael Wangermann
Michael Wangermann is a Partner and leads the Injury Services Group at Brain Injury Group member firm Ashtons Legal. His focus is on helping clients get their lives back on track after traumatic injury. Ashtons Legal are based in East Anglia and look after clients nationwide.
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