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The variety of biking accidents amongst adults within the U.S. rose by about 6,500 annually between 1997 and 2013, and the medical prices related to these accidents elevated 137 %, in accordance to a new research revealed within the journal Injury Prevention.
The rise in accidents is due partially to the growing reputation of biking within the U.S., the analysis concludes. The research was carried out by scientists on the University of California at San Francisco, the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in Maryland, and Curtin University in Australia.
The authors additionally recommend that the rising prices related to these biking accidents could possibly be due to the climbing fee of extreme accidents, together with people who happen from collisions with automobiles, in addition to a rise in accidents amongst older riders, who may want extra time and care to recuperate.
Head Injuries Are the Biggest Problem
The majority of great accidents from biking have one factor in widespread, says Fred Rivara, M.D., M.P.H., a professor of pediatrics on the University of Washington. “Two thirds of hospitalizations and three quarters of deaths from bicycle injuries are due to head injuries,” he says. “The best approach to forestall that from occurring is to put on a helmet.”
Indeed, in depth analysis has demonstrated that a helmet is the best way riders can shield themselves towards head accidents—particularly these which might be potentially fatal. (See our recommendation under on choosing a helmet.)
Choosing a Bike Helmet
Consumer Reports’ newest bicycle helmet ratings embrace 16 really helpful grownup helmets, together with the Scott Arx Plus, $125, the Bell Muni, $65, and the Bell Draft, $40. Our top-rated helmet for teenagers is the Bontrager Solstice Youth, $40.
If you typically journey with out a helmet since you discover sporting one uncomfortable, Peter Anzalone, Consumer Reports’ senior check challenge chief for bike helmets, has three ideas:
1. Get a comfortable match. “A helmet that fits shouldn’t be uncomfortable,” Anzalone says. Try on a few within the retailer, and ensure to regulate the straps rigorously. The helmet shouldn’t transfer a lot whenever you pull it ahead, again, or aspect to aspect. (Learn how to get the right bike helmet fit.)
2. Choose a helmet with good air flow. Wearing a helmet that lets some air in could make a massive distinction in your consolation, particularly on a scorching summer time day. Our six top-rated helmets all have a minimum of Very Good air flow.
three. Check the load. There just isn’t large variability in helmet weight, Anzalone says, however for individuals racking up a lot of miles, selecting a lighter helmet could make a distinction. Our prime decide, the Scott Arx Plus, weighs simply 270 grams, or about 9.5 ounces; the 6D ATB-1T weighs 500 grams. The specs on the mannequin web page for every helmet embrace its weight in grams (28.three grams per ounce).
Whichever helmet you choose, decide one you want to put on so that you simply put on it on a regular basis, not simply a few of the time.
“The bottom line is that you can’t foresee the future,” Anzalone says. “You wear a helmet for something you hope will never happen—but if it does, you’ll be happy you had it on.”
A helmet might be the distinction between strolling away “with your crumpled bicycle,” Miller says, and struggling an damage with lifelong penalties.
“We don’t really know how to reverse the damage done to the brain after a head injury,” says Rivara, who has seen that injury firsthand within the trauma middle. “The only truly effective way to treat it is to prevent it from happening in the first place.”
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