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Helmets Do Not Always Protect Against Head Trauma

 Posted on November 20, 2023 in Bicycle Accidents

IL injury lawyerHelmets are known to save lives. Considered reliable protection, helmets have been proven to reduce deaths by 73% among helmeted riders when compared to riders not wearing a helmet. 

Although reliable protection, helmets are not foolproof. There is no sure way to entirely prevent head trauma, including a concussion. If you have suffered head trauma while wearing a helmet, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Speak with a Lake County injury attorney about a possible case.

The Benefits of Wearing a Helmet

When you hit a hard surface, the foam part of a helmet absorbs the forces that would impact the brain, while the hard shell disperses the force of impact over a large area. 

A helmet with an inner foam layer reduces the peak impact exerted on the brain. The thicker the foam, the better. Thicker foam means that your head will take longer to stop, meaning that the motion of hitting your head will be less abrupt. 

Not all helmets are the same, and some helmets that are intended for lesser-impact situations may not contain foam inside. For example, a construction hat may protect you against lesser impacts, like if an object fell on your head. A construction hat serves a purpose and is not meant to provide protection if you fall off your bike and hit your head.

Do Helmets Protect Against Concussions?

The tissues of the brain are delicate and cannot handle forceful impact. In a fall, the head may move back and forth, known as a translational movement. In a translational movement, the brain crashes against the skull. If the brain rebounds, it may crash into the skull again, causing further damage. 

Depending on how you fall, the head may rotate, and the brain may twist upon itself, known as a rotational movement. In a rotational movement, the brain’s axons (nerve fibers) may rub against each other and tear. 

Studies suggest that while helmets protect against severe head trauma, they are less effective at preventing concussions. If you suffer a concussion, your head may not make contact with an outside object. Rather, a brain injury may result from a blow to the body that causes your head to move rapidly back and forth. In this case, no amount of head protection can safeguard you.

Ways to Protect Yourself and Your Child 

Even though a “concussion-proof” helmet does not exist, there are ways you can protect yourself and your child against head trauma:

  • Make sure you and your child are wearing a helmet that is the right size
  • Make sure the helmet is snug but not too tight
  • Take care of the helmet and check periodically for damage
  • Check the helmet label to make sure that it is certified by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
  • Look for the date of manufacture—this will be helpful information in the event the helmet is ever recalled

Even when taking these precautions, injuries can still happen. If you or a loved one do sustain head trauma, our Waukegan bike accident attorneys are here to help. 

Dedication You Can Depend On: Contact a Waukegan, IL, Bike Accident Attorney Today

Even with the best head protection, cyclists can suffer head trauma in a crash. If you or a family member have experienced head trauma in a bicycle accident, you need a Lake County, IL, bike accident attorney to represent you. Contact Salvi & Maher, LLP today online or by calling 847-662-3303 to schedule your free consultation. 

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