This morning thousands of bicyclists were on the roads for RAGBRAI, and if you watched the riders roll through Sioux City, IA, you notice most of the people were wearing bike helmets. “It’s the safest way to ride whether you’re on a trip across the state or a trip across town,” according to Dr. Michael Nguyen who bikes into work anytime he can. It’s only a two miles trip for him to CNOS Health, but he always makes sure it’s a ride he does with his helmet on.
Dr. Nguyen says, “It reduces your risk of severe head injury and/or face injury by 85%.” The benefits of biking with a helmet are obvious. Experts say most bicycling accidents result in a face or head injury. A helmet protects what’s most important. See CNOS Video.
Dr. Nguyen says, “What the helmet does is very similar to a vehicle. It has a ‘crumple zone’-type technology, so any sort of strong hit might be deflected, [or it] might also damage the foam itself, but that’s what absorbs the energy of the kinetic trauma.”
What’s concerning to Dr. Nguyen, who often treats people with concussions and other injuries, is that many kids aren’t wearing helmets. He says close to half of all adolescents don’t make it a habit, which is why seeing adults on RAGBRAI doing it right sets a good example.
Dr. Nguyen says, “It’s important for us to be that role model and say, ‘hey, wearing a helmet, it’s not geeky, it’s not something you can just put off, it’s something that can definitely protect you.”
It’s a lesson RAGBRAI riders already know and one you can put into practice however long or short your trip.
Dr. Nguyen says it’s important that your helmet fits right so it will protect you. It should sit covering your forehead and not be able to move around too much. And you should always wear a chin strap that should fit snugly.
Click here for more information from RAGBRAI about safe cycling.