“It’s uncomfortable; it’s hot; I look silly in one; I’m not going to fall, so I don’t need one; It will mess up my hair!”
You may have heard these reasons for not wearing a helmet while riding a bike, scooter or motorcycle, roller skating, or rock climbing. In reality, there are no good excuses for not wearing protective gear when you are involved in potentially risky activities.
Trauma to the brain can result even with a small impact. This can cause permanent injury to the brain, resulting in physical, behavioral, and cognitive damage, and even death.
Utah Law requires anyone under the age of 17 to wear a helmet while riding on a motorcycle or a low-power cycle such as mopeds, scooters, and various other 2-wheeled cycles. Studies have shown that wearing a helmet can reduce your risk of a serious brain injury and death because during a fall or collision, most of the impact energy is absorbed by the helmet, rather than your head and brain.
One of our own CPD colleagues, Dr. Mark Innocenti, knows first hand the value of wearing a helmet. Here is his story in his own words, taken from a letter to the editor he sent to the Logan Herald Journal:
While riding in Green Canyon on the evening of June 22, I was in a bike accident that required a helicopter evacuation. I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who were involved in assisting me post-crash…. I also want to highlight the importance of wearing a bicycle helmet. I am an experienced bicycle rider and have ridden Green Canyon more times than I can easily count. This crash happened quickly and unexpectedly; just a small mistake. My helmet was shattered. The major ribs of the helmet all were broken and the outside severely beaten. I never lost consciousness. My prognosis is good; a few months in a back/neck brace and return to normal activities. Without the helmet I would have had a traumatic brain injury. Be smart; wear a helmet!
We are so thankful that Mark was wearing a helmet. We echo his words: Be smart! Wear a helmet! Have a safe summer!