Bike-sharing leading to increased brain injury cases

Wednesday June 25, 2014

As bike share programs continues to spread from city to city, some are calling into question one potentially harmful element of the two-wheeled trend – the lack of helmets. While a city-wide bike share program has yet to debut in New Haven, the relatively recent addition of Zagster bike share to the campus of Yale University makes recent studies on such programs and associated injuries resonate.

A new trend of bike-sharing has become a cause for concern for many in the scientific community. In most cases, the renter of the bike is required to bring his or her own helmet. There appears to be an increase in the number of bicycle related head injuries and brain injuries in cities which implemented bike-sharing. While most agree that bike riding has many positive health and environmental benefits, not providing the helmets along with the bikes during renting may be a cause to the increase in head injuries. It must however be noted that no direct ties had yet been found between the brain injuries and bike sharing.

Brain injury is defined as any injury caused by a jolt or blow to one’s head that may be of a penetrating nature that thereafter hinders normal functioning of the brain. Brain injuries, also known as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), have become a cause of concern in the United States for many accident patients. Brain injuries often lead to permanent disabilities or, in some cases, death.

There are many avenues for the victims of brain injuries as well as their families. In most cases, medical expenses are substantial. The victim may even need long term or permanent care for the injuries. In some cases, the victim may be entitled to compensation; seeking legal advice may prove beneficial in such situations.

Source: PeoriaPublicRadio.org, “Head Injury Risk Rose in Cities after Bike-Sharing Rolled Out”, June 18, 2014

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