The month of May marked the beginning of national bicycle safety month. Thanks to a greater focus on helmet usage and other factors, there has been a significant reduction in the number of American children suffering serious head injuries in bicycle accidents. However, adults continue to be at risk of suffering head injuries in these accidents, with injury rates in this section of the population barely budging.
According to a new study by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, there was a significant drop of close to 50% in bicycle-related head injuries in children between 2009 and 2018. The researchers credit a number of factors for this significant drop in injuries in this section of the population. The most important factor has been the increased usage of bicycle helmets. Awareness campaigns that have pushed for the use of helmets in children have led to a greater awareness of the risk of bicycle-related head injuries in this section of the population. These injuries can be especially dangerous in little ones. Several cities, including those in Georgia, have also significantly invested in the construction of bicycle lanes that have ensured that children and adults are not exposed to motorists and the risks of accidents involving cars.
However, those same safety interventions do not have seem to have had any effect on the number of head injuries in adults. During the same period of time, the rate of traumatic brain injury involving bicycle accidents among adults dropped by less than 5.5%. This in spite of the fact that there was an increase in bicycle accident-related fatalities among adults during the study. In fact, in 2018, the number of bicycle accident fatalities involving adults in the United States was the highest in over two decades. According to the researchers, the drop in bicycle head injuries involving children has been as much as 9 times greater than those involving adults.