As the warmer weather falls upon us, many will take to their bikes for fun rides with the family or going to work or wherever. I wanted to remind everyone about the importance of helmets. Two years ago (and a couple days) I was riding my bike home from work when I was hit by a car. I was not doing anything wrong. Had a light on, wearing a bright colored shirt, around 6pm, plenty of light. I had two lanes (Michigan Ave by Brookland) all to myself going north. A driver going south on Michigan decided to take a quick left to bypass an accident on 13th St. by going up 13th Place. Unfortunately, I was entering the intersection at the time and he hit me. I did a nice flip in the air (must have looked impressive) and ended up turned around sliding on the street. After checking for all my teeth and exchanging "niceties" with the driver, I waited for the ambulance - broken ankle, scraped/bruised knees and a numbness on my calf that continues today. What was not hurt was my head (for better or worse depending on who you ask!). My helmet had a crack down the middle from the forehead for about 3 inches. This would have been my skull.
I ask/remind everyone that helmets must, must be worn at all times. Even if you are just going around the block. We live in a congested area with a lot of cars and, as proven by my own accident, you don't need to be doing anything wrong to be in an accident. A pot hole, blown tire, animal running out in front of your or user error can all lead to you flying off your bike. Parent - you are the role model whether you like it or not. You need to wear a helmet as well. It is also YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to make sure your kids have a helmet that fits and that you get on their case to wear one. Kids - If I see you not wearing a helmet and I know you, I will call your parents and rat you out. I would hope that others would do the same for my kids or kids they know. There is no excuse.
Young cyclists are more likely than adult cyclists to die of head injuries, most of which are caused by motor vehicle collisions. Among children and youth age 0 to 19 in 2000:
- Head injuries accounted for 62.6 percent of bicycle fatalities.
From 1994 to 2006, in 95% of Bicycle Deaths reported NO HELMET WAS WORN.
Thanks for reading and feel free to pass along. Also, I hope that you will share this email with your kids.