Helmets and Head Injuries Crash…

Helmets and Head Injuries Crash…

Helmets and Head Injuries Crash...

Crash Stories

Summary: Many stories of crashes with helmets. Most
often the helmet worked, but occasionally it did not.

Each story below was sent to us by a different person. We have converted names to pronouns and formatted each one in a single paragraph, but have made no other changes. We have comments on what the stories mean below. Please email us your own crash story.

  • Added on April 13, 2016

    During a cycling trip to Mallorca I had a pretty major accident on day one which, had I not been wearing a helmet, would have resulted in me no longer being here. I was descending at approx. 40 mph when I approached a tightening right hand bend on the MA-10 heading down into Pollensa. As I hit the brakes I lost control of the rear and was immediately aware of the fact I would not make the corner. I tried in vain to get around but ran out of road, went into the road side ditch and was catapulted off the bike, head first into a rock. I would estimate I was still travelling in excess of 25mph at the point of impact. There was a lot of pain in the neck and back, I was bleeding heavily and struggling to breathe, but was fully aware of everything and did not lose consciousness. The helmet was cracked in several places but took the full impact against an uneven rock surface. After x-ray’s and CT scans I was given the all clear as far as brain damage and fractures was concerned. Indeed I escaped with nothing more than stitches to cuts on my knee and head (no doubt from the force the helmet was pushed onto my head), concussion and whiplash. I was discharged from hospital 48 hours after the accident and was able to spend the rest of the break recuperating by the pool with some pretty angry family! I was back on the bike within a week. I wouldn’t even ride to the corner shop now without a crash helmet on and will be telling anyone who listens that it should be a legal requirement. ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET!

  • Added on April 11, 2016

    I survived a bicycle accident that occurred in a bike race. I was going 30 miles per hour when my front wheel was taken out from under me due to another rider. I flipped over my handlebars, hit the back of my head and landed on my back. I suffered a concussion and was knocked unconscious. My helmet was completely cracked all the way through in two spots on the back of the helmet. Additionally, the adjuster strap that tightens the helmet to my head had snapped off. I was taken to the ER via ambulance and had a full array of tests-ultrasound, 3 x-rays and a CT scan. I spent two days in ER. All tests came back negative, the most notable being the CT scan since my head took the full force of the accident. If my helmet didn’t save my life then at the very least it saved my quality of life.

  • Added on March 24, 2016

    I recreantly hit unmarked road works at 15mph the result was fractured scull,eye socket, patella (top pallet )and the loss of two front teeth, on top of concussion and loosing my memory of the entire day. the thing is I was wearing an urge Realjet enduro helmet, I now own a full face down hill but it will be a few weeks until I can wear it.

  • Added on March 21, 2016

    I learned all this today while researching a replacement for a Scattante helmet that I had a very bad crash in last July. This value "low end" by many cyclists’ standards helmet did it’s job perfectly it protected me from a severe head/brain injury. I was accelerating past 17mph in full sprint up a hill when suddenly my chain got caught in my rear cassette. I was thrown off the pedals and the bike before I could even think. I did an endo and landed on my head, then left shoulder, then left hip and knee. Broke my collar bone, got a very bad road rash on my hip and leg but I believe my head took most of the impact. The interior foam on the helmet (this is an eps inmold construction) cracked in 2 places. I am extremely thankful I was wearing this helmet. I did not sustain a serious head injury. My bell was rung, sure, and my doctor said I very likely sustained a concussion. I had a slight headache for about a week, but thankfully no long-term symptoms. I did not ride for a good 3 months. Normally I do about 3-4k miles a year.

  • Added on February 26, 2016

    I was riding to work in May 2015. Something I did every day for years. However, I lost one day. See, as I come down the hill at 14 mph, out dashes a rabbit. Into my front wheel. Rabbit gets thrown back into curb. I go over front of my bike. My helmet soon was no more. I hit something in the road helmet first. The plastic shell shattered and the inner foam squished and crumbled. I actually had a very messy gash right above my hairline where the plastic and road grit cut me from where the helmet disintegrated on impact. I was more than a little dazed, as I took my helmet off and was trying to figure out how I got hurt while wearing it. A neurosurgeon was the second car to come up on my wreck. Seeing my apparent lack of helmet and fairly nicely covered in blood head, he thought I was soon to be a patient. Nope. Just a very mild concussion, lots of stitches and several months of treating road rash on my wrists. My head healed before I could comfortably shift and brake again. The rabbit wasn’t wearing a helmet and did not survive. Dumb bunny.

  • Added on September 7, 2015

    Crash report: I survived a 50 mph car hitting my bicycle from behind. I was wearing a full-face motorcycle helmet, as I did every bike ride for 40 years. (Brand: Shoei). Bike pushed me up, I spun around to come down head first on the roof, then bounced back with my leg going through the back window of the Mercedes. My brain was well-protected (tho Im in a NIH TBI study because no one knows much about TBI). Perhaps you could recommend that safety-conscious cyclists wear these helmets.

    My wife and I were riding on a concrete Greenway in Alpharetta Georgia when she was caught off the trail on the edge and ended up falling back onto the concrete which clipped my rear tire and subsequently ended up in me falling down and breaking my collarbone. The attached photographs of the helmet I was wearing say it all. I can remember the sound of the back of my helmet hitting the concrete while my collar bone broke into 3 pieces. There is no doubt in my mind that this helmet at the very least save me from what could have been very severe head trauma and at most permanent disability or death.

  • Added on March 8, 2015

    Writing from the hospital — going stir crazy. I ride to work as soon as it warms up — I’m an admitted weather wuss. It was gorgeous, 55 and clear. My bike was obnoxiously visible day glo lime with very bright head and tail lights. My pants were black, but my jacket was bright yellow with reflective tape. My helmet — Giro Aspect — had after market LED on the back. I may ride home after dark, but I am as visible as I can manage. I was outside lane on the curb, heading south. From a north bound lane, a car turned smack into me. I hit ground hard, head right to the curb. My bike is toast. I have a nicely wretched shoulder, lots of road rash, broken cheekbone, minor concussion and a very well broken leg and destroyed knee. Definitely nasty injuries, but I’ll heal. My Aspect however. She got the worst of it. The shell is cracked into three chunks with a fist sized chunk just gone. The guts are little more than crumbs. Had I not been wearing a helmet, the cracks would have been my skull and crumbs would be brain. Wearing a helmet was never debated growing up. We rode on open wheels, we wore a helmet. I’ve worn a helmet for 25+ years. I am a reasonably safe, experienced, careful rider. I have heard all the excuses on why I don’t need a helmet. But I don’t wear a helmet because of what I do or don’t do. I wear one because I don’t trust other motorists as far as I can throw them.

  • Added on February 23, 2015

    During a morning session at a velodrome I was towing a group of 4 riders around the 3rd turn and saw another rider cross my path a bit too late. The other rider rode up onto the track and I T-boned his bike. We both were thrown from our bikes and landed on concrete. I slid across the infield on my head and face and was knocked out for a bit. Both of us were taken by ambulance to the local ER. He had a fractured skull because he was warming down on the infield track without a helmet. I just had a slight concussion and loss of skin on my lower lip. If I hadnt been wearing a helmet I would have had far worse injuries like my counterpart. The other rider apologized later he said he blacked out because he didnt eat breakfast that day.

  • Added on September 18, 2014

    Heading to the fourth day of a safety training seminar running on time but just barely. I made a left hand turn in a busy intersection with traffic and unfortunately the intersection is crossed diagonally by a railroad track. I took the outside turn lane going about 15 mph and when I hit the rail road tracks my bicycle slid out from underneath me so quickly I didnt have time to brake or put a hand down. The bright side of the accident is that I dont remember anything about it. One minute I was 45 degrees to the ground and the next minute I was two miles down the road trying to remember where it was I was heading. I pulled over and assessed my road rash and condition. Another minute of thinking and I was able to recognize where I was. Another thirty seconds and I remembered where I was heading. After a full day at work my left shoulder was really starting to hurt so I went home and went to urgent care to get the shoulder x-rayed. No broken bones and for obvious reasons the doctor was more concerned about the concussion but confirmed that I was okay. It wasnt until I got back from the doctor that I thoroughly examined the helmet. It was broken through in four locations. Ive never begrudged wearing a helmet but now I am a baptized and confirmed disciple!

  • Added on September 16, 2014

    A helmet saved my life, I was riding dirtbikes for the first time on a track and was going faster than I should hitting the jumps and feeling the adrenaline, I was told that after a few laps I hit the biggest jump going to fast and I landed sideways and my head first. I only have pictures of me smiling in the ER. Still have memory loss. Wear your helmet.

  • Added on September 4, 2014

    Hi I am a crit racer and average at least 20 mph or more per ride. Returning from a solid ride tonight I lost control taking a corner went into a slide and hit the back of my head on a higher than normal curb. Other than being embarrassed as several cars stopped I nada few scrapes and a helmet that looked like a cracked egg but my squash is ok. I didn’t take my wife’s advice and skipped a trip to the dr.

  • Added on August 17, 2014

    Always wear and inspect helmets after a mishap! I suffered the misfortune of a bicycle crash recently, and I will spare you the details. my helmet clearly saved me from a more serious injury. Two friends of mine, who are engineers both told me to buy a new helmet. The helmet, other than a scratch appeared intact. Upon closer inspection, yes put your glasses on; the polystyrene was broken. I took their advice. bought a new helmet and destroyed the damaged one. Always; even for those short rides, wear a helmets.

  • Added on August 8, 2014

    I am not a fast rider as my knees are completely knackered. That morning was absolute stunner so I shunned the bike gear but wore summer outfit to work. evening turned out to be drizzlier. travelling at normal speed on the bike path I approached a junction and saw a car turning in. thought I would brake and next thing I knew was I was thrown into the road hitting head first and bike cartwheeled and landed straight on the back of my head. the impact was so hard and my wrist bore some of it and broke badly. but apart from mild concussion and disorientation for 5 minutes there was no serious head injuries. I cant bike for at least six months but certainly on the lookout for my next crash helmet. they do work. ALWAYS WEAR HELMETS!

  • Added on July 29, 2014

    I was out on my road bike last weekend training I had been riding for about forty km the weather was starting to turn for the worse and I decided to cut my ride short and just do one last hill. So I turned left instead of right. I came up to an intersection that I regularly turn at there was a car I could hear coming up about a hundred meters behind me. so I gunned it to clear the intersection before they got there. Normally this intersection is very grippy and a fast turn is possible my gps says I was doing forty one km h. Unfortunately this particular day someone had spilled diesel fuel on the road. The instant I began to make my turn the bike just went from under me it happened so quick I had already smashed my head into the road surface before it registered that I was crashing .I sustained many injuries mostly heavy bruising grazing and sprains Fortunately the lady who had been coming up behind had a car with ABS I could hear the ABS system clattering controlling the wheels locking up on the slippery surface as she stopped ,it was close ,the bike which was still clipped to my right foot had the front wheel under the engine of her car we both got a hell of a fright. While I was definitely stunned for a couple of minutes afterwards I sustained no head injuries beyond a concussion. The right hand side of the helmet was destroyed. the outer shell was deformed but intact, the foam padding inside was totally smashed and crumbling immediately under the shell but mostly intact next to my skull. The helmets impact with the road was so severe it left skid marks in the asphalt. At the very best I would have had serious cuts and grinding injuries to my head but I suspect that would be a minor issue with the brain injury I would have likely sustained. I liken bike helmets to seat belts. that one time you need it and you’re not wearing it. you may not get the chance to regret it. And you never know when you’re going to need one.

  • Added on July 29, 2014

    We were camping and spent the day on the beach. I left at approximately 22:15 with a rope coil in left hand. I approached a small wooden bridge travelling approximately 15km/hr (estimated) over a shallow ditch where I had to turn 90degrees to the left. The bridge has no guardrail and is approximately 1meter (40") high at the deepest point of the ditch. As I turned the rope got fouled in my left foot. I tried to get it cleared and must have veered left and the front wheel went off the edge of the bridge at the very middle point. All I remember about the exact moment was thinking "oh no, not again". I think what happened next was in an attempt to regain the bike I tried to hop it back up, but the right pedal caught on the edge of the bridge and rotated me 180degrees and sent me head first into the other side of the ditch. All I recall was the terrible noise associated with impact as I came to a dead stop. I don’t know if I was knocked out or not. The pain to my neck was real bad. I think the helmet slipped off partially. I did a self assessment and got myself in a secure position and held firm on my head and helmet. Someone came along and called for help and I eventually took an ambulance ride to emerge and was released the same night several hours later. The helmet is cracked in about 7 places, but the little sun visor never even came off, which indicates an impact mostly to the top of the helmet. My head is all bruised where the ribs of the internal supports of the helmet line up with my head. I have a lot of pain around C7 and T1 and all through my shoulders, ribs and even lungs, but nothing broken. The only abrasion was a slight mark on my nose which bled a lot but was very minor. I didn’t even get my hands off the bars. There was a chain oil mark all the way down my right arm in the pattern of the chain where I must have fended off the bike. The bike does not even have a mark on it. Thanks for reading and please wear your helmet for YOU.

    The commute crash. Back on May 13th of 2014. I chose to commute to work largely because of a torque converter failure on my car and because the weather had finally started to act like spring. That day I awoke to a foggy fine mist but certainly nothing bad enough to keep one from riding a bike a little over six miles to work. I had packed a backpack with a rolled up pair of blue jeans, dry shirt and street shoes to change into upon my arrival to work. I’m blessed to live in Wisconsin, a great cycling state. We have the Old Plank Trail in Sheboygan county and a portion of that trail was to be part of my commute route this day. I left home at about 7:15 and rode down a few neighboring streets before turning onto the Old Plank Trail heading west out of Plymouth, WI. The first section of trail I was on that day started with about a quarter mile decent down towards the Sheboygan River. There is a bridge at the bottom of this decent and I slowed as I went up and over the bridge and then took a right turn to follow the trail under highway 23. About 50 yards after crossing the bridge I was beginning to accelerate and was a bit out of the saddle. One of my tires hit something sending a jar to the handlebar that was enough for my right hand to slip of the bar. I remember sitting up just a bit as my right hand left the handlebar, quickly looking down and noting that with only my left hand on the bars I had begun to veer to the right. I got my right hand back on the bars just as I left the trail and began descending the 18” sized rocks of the river bank towards the river. I don’t remember exactly what I did but I must have hit the brakes hard just feet before going into the river, probably more front brake than rear. I went over the bars forward very hard and landed on these large rocks head down. Upon landing I was still clipped into my pedals and the one thing I remember is that I could wiggle my fingers and turn my legs to click out of my clipless pedals. I new immediately that I had not been paralyzed but I was in a huge amount of pain. I felt a tingling in my neck and a sharp pain on my upper left shoulder. After clicking out of my pedals I managed to remove the back pack and just sat there in pain for a few minutes trying to rationalize what had just taken place. I felt stupid, ashamed and disgusted from such a freak accident and wondered why me? I promise you that you never expect that something like this will ever happen to you but I assure you that it’s a risk we take in daily life every day that we awake and head out our doors into the world. It was just that a freak accident. If it happened almost anywhere else on the trail or route to work that morning I may have gotten a bit of road rash or even landed more softly in a grass ditch. Because of the location and surroundings at that moment. riding along a large stone lined river bank I suffered an injury that quite frankly was the worst in my 54 years on earth. After a few minutes of sitting on the stone lined river bank I rose and attempted to lift my leg and walk up the bank but could not. The pain I experienced in my neck from just trying to look up the river bank was nasty. I turned around and sat back down and pushed down on the rocks and lifted my body and used my legs to push myself up the stone lined river bank one rock at a time. It took a few minutes but I was soon seated on the asphalt trail that I had left 5-10 minutes earlier. only to be disgusted with myself as I looked down near the river where my back pack laid with my most important possession that morning, a cell phone. I was forced to work my way back down the stones and then flung my back pack back up onto the trail and again lifted my body and pushed with my legs as I backed up the river bank one stone at a time to again reach the trail, At that point I reached into the back pack and called a co-worker, who was a quick six minute drive away and then I also called my wife. When my co-worker Dale arrived he did a quick assessment. He stated to me. “that because of the pain you are in and the unknown extent of your injuries I think it’s best to call an ambulance”. It didn’t take but three-four minutes for the ambulance to arrive. The paramedics attempted to fit a rigid collar on my neck but the pain was just excruciating as they tried to force the collar under my chin. They loaded me onto a backboard and headed for Sheboygan Memorial. This comment is addressed to the “City Fathers” in Sheboygan. I can assure you that you need to waste no dollars on a street superintendent because with the pains I felt as the ambulance struck every nasty frost line and pot hole I can tell you exactly where to focus your street repair manpower and dollars. The people and staff at Sheboygan Memorial were excellent in their treatment of my injuries which were later diagnosed as a C2 vertebrae fracture and separated left shoulder. I need to stop at this point and tell you that I went into surgery about 6pm that night and was fitted with a halo with four titanium screws threaded into my skull to stabilize my neck in the correct healing position I was lucky and know without a doubt that I wouldn’t be typing this if I hadn’t been wearing a helmet given to me 19 years earlier as a gift from a bicycle industry vendor. There is no doubt, after looking at what remained of the helmet, that the helmet absorbed much of the energy of a 200lb male going over the bars with downward force as he decelerated from a 16mph ride speed. The helmet broke in a number of locations and had inward crush dents from the impact and forces involved in the accident. I want to personally thank:
    My wife Bonnie who has carried the extra load and been by my side through this entire ordeal and healing process and been my strength:
    Dale Vinson, one of the best co-workers anyone could ask for the Plymouth Ambulance crew who even stopped in my room to check on me
    Dr. Pond and his staff at Aurora Medical. A wonderfully skilled man and great communicator
    My church family and friends for all your prayers and messages of positive support.
    In closing I would just like to state that bicycle helmets were created for accidents just like the one that occurred to me. If you feel even the slightest need to swing a leg over a bicycle. Please start by buckling on a helmet. A freak accident like mine can happen to anyone, especially a small child. I have no doubts after talking with my doctor that without a helmet on my head back on 5/13/2014 I would have been paralyzed maybe even died. If you are a parent I beg you please. do not let your children ride without a helmet. They should be hanging on their handlebar during the riding season so that they must be touched before getting on a bike. Set an example for your kids and those around you and always wear your helmet.

  • Added on June 30, 2014

    I was riding my bike on a trail through a forest preserve. I used to only wear a helmet if I was riding fast or on busy roads. I usually ride on the sidewalk and avoid roads, actually. I remember being at a fork where you could go on one of two trails. That’s the last thing I remember. I guess I called my wife 13 times in a row at home and left 13 messages that I was in a forest preserve and I didn’t know why. I then called her cell phone five times and then she finally answered. I don’t remember the couple that found me and called 911 for me, or the ambulance, the paramedics, or anything else. At the hospital I kept asking my wife which bike I was on. I kept referring to my "white" bike, which I gave away two years earlier. She said I asked her about 75 times to help me recreate what happened. Needless to say, I got a bad concussion. There was gravel embedded in the back of my helmet. The next week I went back to the trail (this time, not alone) and tried to retrace my ride. The first mile looked familiar, but nothing after that. The doctor said that I will never remember what happened that day, and if I wasn’t wearing a helmet, I would have had brain surgery or be dead. I never ride that fast, but it doesn’t take much. Even on a soft trail. I always wear my helmet now, and I am glad I was wearing that day in June three years ago.

  • Added on August 29, 2013 — (For those with Facebook accounts)

    Please could you have a look at my Facebook page cause my story is there as well as pictures of my helmet and injures and to this day I believe that if I wasn’t wearing my helmet I would most certainly of been killed Regards Ryan

  • Added on August 14, 2013

    This link takes you to Jim Kruper’s crash story. He uses physics to calculate the g’s to his head with and without a helmet and concludes that without his helmet he would have died.

    On Monday May 6 I was riding with my son and had completed 12 miles averaging 15.5 MPH when a pit bull darted out from between parked cars and I squarely T-boned the dog. I flew over the handlebars and first hit my head and then proceeded to land on my bottom. I fractured my pelvis and appear to have a concussion and some soreness in my jaw but I am alive. My helmet is cracked through the foam in multiple places. The EMT at the crash site stated that if I had not had a helmet on they would have probably been life lining me to the local trauma center instead I went to the hospital on my own. Wear a helmet.

  • Added on April 12, 2013

    4 weeks ago had a pretty nasty crash at 40km per hr. during a criterium race when I had a slight wheel overlap and no where to go. Broken Collarbone, Broken shoulderblade, 3 cracked ribs, small lung puncture, very heavy bruising on right hip. Also hit my head and face on the bitumen pavement. 4 days in Hospital, 2 days on morphine. Specialized S-Works helmet crack at bottom of helmet either side of ear. Face injuries minor and cleared in three days. protected by helmet. Stayed alert and told those in attendance including ambulance, symptoms, family contact details etc. Helmet was a very good investment. My brother died falling off a bike at 10km per hr when helmets weren’t necessary or compulsory. Pretty conclusive I’d say.

  • Added on March 18, 2013

    Its was a simple mountain bike ride on a trail in Houston. The weather was perfect for a ride. About a quarter of the way through there was a ten foot hill with several roots on the downslope. I had a choice between hitting a tree or a large root in the ground. My braking action threw my body forward so i couldn’t lift the front tire and so i hit the root, flipped forward off of the bike and my head landed onto a concrete block sticking up from the ground. The impact was so several the helmet was cracked in several places. That the lord and giro helmets for my life because not only was i able to finish the ride, but other then a small amount of neck soreness and scratches i have absolutely no injuries! Thanks giro and people please always wear your helmets! You never know when it will save your life!

  • Added on February 12, 2013

    My daughter’s helmet may have saved her life. This blog posting is about the performance of a child’s helmet with cheap taped-on-shell construction that did its job.

  • Added on August 31, 2012

    On August 26, cycling with friends downhill on Mulholland Drive, in Los Angeles, I flipped over my front handlebars. My cyclometer shows I was traveling at about 23 mph when I did my flip. I landed on my back, and the back of my head hit the pavement, too. The foam on top and on the back side of the helmet is crushed. Obviously I don’t know what would have happened if I didn’t have my helmet on my head. I’m glad, though, that I was wearing it, because my head suffered no injury.

  • Added on August 5 and 7, 2012

    I had a minor accident today but am convinced my helmet kept me out of the hospital. I was riding along Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans at only about 10 mph when I saw a man fishing, who hooked something just as I was approaching. This was along a restricted road with no cars or traffic whatsoever, so my attention shifted from the road to watching this man to see what he was about to reel to shore. In an instant I flipped over the handlebars after running into a 6" high buckle in the concrete, something not uncommon here. I rolled over the bike and consciously twisted to land on my left side, hit the ground and rolled onto my back in a somewhat controlled maneuver, and was about to roll back up onto my feet when SMACK I hit the back of my head on the concrete. When I got to my feet I removed my helmet to see it was flattened on the rear left corner and had a 3 inch split from the base toward the crest. Obviously I hit very hard and am certain without the helmet I would have had an ambulance ride to the hospital, and if lucky would be too punchy to write this tonight and possibly much worse. Instead its 800mg of ibuprofen with some banged up joints but not even a headache. Thank you Specialized.

    I have been replaying the incident the last couple days, and I was very lucky since I do not always wear a helmet. It was quite a surprise to hit my head. I was more or less "finished" with the wreck and rolling onto my feet, knowing I was not seriously hurt when the back of my head smacked into the pavement. In that instant I thought about 10 things — how could I have hit my head from this position and in this very minor wreck/that was very loud — why does it not hurt at all/wow I am wearing my helmet/holy crap I would be bleeding and unconscious if I were not. It was an enlightening experience. You expect the helmet to come into play in some nasty accident involving high speed or a car, but this was about as simple and low speed an accident as you could have. You all have a nicely designed and informative site and glad to find it after this incident.

  • Added on April 15, 2012

    Riding my favorite ascent, Mount Evans. On the descent. I realized I wouldn’t successfully negotiate the turn, I attempted to fall on the incline. Unfortunately, I was now riding through cross winds, which took me in the opposite direction, straight over a cliff. I plunged 30 feet to the granite boulders below. When I was next aware, I found myself flat on my back on the boulders. I was airlifted to the nearest trauma center.

    I had 9 spinal fractures, all in my neck and thoracic spine, including the top two vertebrae in my cervical spine. My rib cage and right scapula were shattered. Both lungs were punctured, and I had severe lacerations to my left kidney and spleen. My internal bleeding was massive. My head, however, had a single gash, and in a location that wasn’t protected by my Giro Atmos helmet. The helmet itself had more than a dozen cracks and multiple crush zones. While a fall like that far exceeds CPSC standards of testing, there is little doubt that the helmet saved my life. I spent 10 days in ICU, and nearly a month in hospital. My injuries were consistent with a fall from that height. However; the mild traumatic brain injury I suffered was minimal.

    I’ve since had to have spinal surgery to remove bone fragments and damaged disks from my neck, fusing 4 levels. I’m on the mend, though. I can walk, my faculties are intact, and I even seem to be regaining coordination in my left hand. I remain in severe pain, but I’m alive. I’ll likely even ride again! Life is good.

  • Added on December 31, 2011

    I had a crash on my bicycle a couple of days ago. I am in my early 40’s and cycle to work and home three days a week; a round trip of 28 km. I was a semi-professional rugby league player until I was 35 years old and still train regularly. I therefore have a body that has taken much physical abuse over the years, and am quick fit and strong. I was cycling on a cycle path, going downhill and banking to the right at about 50 km/h. I drifted a little wide of the riding line, came into contact with some leaf litter and other debris on the cycle path, and the bike went from underneath me very quickly. My most vivid memory of the crash was the force with which my head hit the path and the cushioning effect the helmet provided; it was like falling on a pillow. I suffered the usual associated scapes to my lower leg, upper leg, hip, arm and shoulder as well as some significant trauma to my right shoulder due to the force of it coming into contact with the ground. However, if it were not for my helmet I have no doubt I would have been in the back of an ambulance with a significant head injury. From a person who, on occasion has not worn a helmet, I am happy to sing their virtues from the roof top. I have to buy a new helmet as that one has been destroyed by the crash, but I wont be riding until I have bought another.

  • Added on December 30, 2011

    I was on a typical ride around a lake near my home, when next thing I knew I was in the ER, watching as my wife walked up to me and said "Ewww." Witnesses said my front tire blew out and I was instantly propelled over the handlebars and landed on my face / head, and left arm. I obviously had a concussion, as the next few hours are a blank (but witnesses say I was conscious for most of the time), and I ended up with an orbital fracture on the left eye as well as a fracture of some cheek bones. I am now the proud owner of several titanium plates keeping everything together, and had 23 stitches to the head and mouth. These wounds are minor, though, in comparison to what probably would have happened had I not been wearing my helmet. It truly did save my life, and bloody as it is I’m mounting it like a trophy to remind me how lucky I was.

  • Added on December 27, 2011

    I live on Maui and the roads in the upcountry are full of switchbacks and fast downhills. The day of my crash I remember clearly putting on my helmet, a 2007 Giro Atmos. I don’t remember what happened after that. I was found in the road by a first responder paramedic with a flat front `tire and my helmet in place, crushed in at the Left temple. I was semi conscious and responded to questions, but do not remember clearly the half hour before the crash or the first 4 hours after the crash. From the physical evidence I was headed down hill at a high rate of speed and did not make a hairpin curve. It is apparent that my front wheel tire had flatted and I was riding on the rim. I went over the bars, impacted my left temple, brake handles, left hand, left shoulder, left hip and both knees. Evidenced by the abrasions I apparently slid for sometime on my face, hands, elbows and knees. My helmets foam is permanently compressed at the left temple to approximately half the original thickness with some cracks where the helmet fractured. It is important to note that my helmet also has punctures from the chain ring that apparently I impacted at some point after the pavement. My CT scan of my head was negative. I have yet to regain a memory of the ride up to the accident or immediately after the accident. I am shopping for a new helmet. Thankful to be alive and conscious.

  • Added on December 27, 2011

    Today I was traversing a small grass field to avoid some ducks and when I get to the edge/transition to pavement there’s a fairly big hole I avoid. but because I’m on grass, can’t really get any traction/torque and I endo over the bar and as I’m flying heels over head I’m thinking "this is bad I think it’s a header". and BOOM it was. SMACKED my head on the hard pavement with a good deal of force. Lucky for a helmet. I’ve been a lifelong cyclist from riding to school as a kid to doing my first century in high school and serious road racing in college. Back in the day, even in college, never wore a helmet as they were crude and heavy and not very cool. Never really wore a helmet until 3 years ago as I got back into riding. Any way, a helmet is a very good thing. Best $50 bucks I’ve spent. I’d be in the hospital right now if I wasn’t wearing a helmet. I don’t think I’d be dead but you can never tell.

  • Added on October 31, 2011

    I decided to do a long bike ride, about 30 miles, instead of a run one day. After turning around and headed back, I heard a car coming up behind me. I was on a slight downhill going maybe 25 mph when I had a strong feeling to turn and look at the car behind me. The car was partway in the bike lane and not moving over. I then tried to move over as far as I could the the edge of the pavement. Unfortunately, there was a pretty steep drop-off from the pavement onto the gravel. My front tire slipped off the pavement and twisted sideways causing my whole bike to slide out from under me. I flew over the left side of my bike and put my arms out to protect my face. My helmet hit my left arm and then the pavement and then broke off. My left arm twisted and my left quad hit the edge of the pavement (which left me with a huge, deep bruise). The car did not stop, but another car did and asked if I was ok. I got back up and rode the rest of the way home. Thankfully, I only came out with two scratched, a very soar arm and shoulder and a big bruise. I am so glad I had my helmet on, or it would have been much worse. I am a college athlete with a big race coming up, and if I hadnt of had my helmet on, I would probably not be racing.

  • Added on September 3, 2011

    I used your site to help select the helmet that saved my life. After a serious crash, I ended up with a grade 4 AC joint dislocation, bruises, and lots of road rash. But no head or neck trauma. The helmet I wore was crushed at the impact point and had large cracks in the styrofoam. The polycarbonate cover showed extensive scuffing along the side and back from the slide I took on the asphalt after the initial impact. Though I had almost no head pain (it felt like I’d received a moderate open hand slap to the side of my head) the ER doctor took one look at my helmet and ordered a CT. No head or brain trauma. So thanks for the help. I was traveling at 23 miles per hour on a level bike trail at the time of the accident. Another cyclist moved in my path without warning.

  • Added on July 16, 2011

    I am an avid bike rider and ride four or five days a week, usually 10-15 miles. Last evening I went out for my usual after dark ride. My bike has a head lamp and tail lamp for safety. I always wear a helmet. I was traveling on a paved street, down a slight hill, at about 15-20 MPH. I saw something in the street to my left. As I looked over at it I suddenly struck a large post that was purposely placed across the traffic lane. I flew into and over the handlebars and the first thing that struck the pavement was my head! My helmet was destroyed. There is a large chuck missing out of the right front and is is split in half almost it’s complete length down the middle. The helmet is a Schwinn SW100T made in March of 2006 which, according to the sticker inside, meets the CPSC standard. I was taken by ambulance to a Level One trauma center in Minnesota where I live. Due to the catastrophic damage to the helmet they feared a serious head injury. I received a mild concussion and numerous abrasions and bruising. One of the abrasions/bruises is across the right side of my forehead which is right underneath where the helmet hit the pavement. I can only imagine what that would have looked like had it not been for the helmet. I am very thankful is was not worse and I could have very well received a serious brain injury or even died had it not been for the helmet. As for my bike, I had bought it new in late May of this year and it already had 362 miles on it. From what the police say I think it is totaled. Scratch one Trek 7100!

  • Added on July 10, 2011

    Last week I had my first ride on a new triathlon bike. I was going around 18 mph in the aero position with a cross wind present. There was a drop of 4 to 6 inches on the side of the road and the wind was pushing me in that direction. I steered to the left away from the side of the road too quickly and started losing my balance and over-compensated to the right and crashed in the middle of the road on my right side. I hit the side of my head on the pavement and broke my helmet in 3 places. Without the helmet I would have been severely injured. As it was I just have a massive bruise on my right thigh and soreness all over.

  • Added on April 23, 2011

    I was cycling along a country lane, about 25mph, when my attention was distracted by the scenery for a moment. My front wheel dropped off the edge of the bitumen into a 3" rut and then bit back up onto the bitumen. I went straight over the bars, came down hard on the buttocks and then my head slammed into the bitumen. It took a few minutes to get off the road as I was badly winded, but when I got home I took the helmet off and the imprint of the bitumen was deep into the casing and the helmet was cracked badly in 3 places. Without the helmet, that would have been my head.

  • Added on November 8, 2010

    I was riding home from work on an asphalt trail through the woods about 4:30 PM. I had ridden this trial dozens of times. It was sprinkling and the trail had a lot of fallen leaves on it. I wasn’t going fast (10-15 MPH?) but I had my head down a little to shelter from the rain. I hit something (a stick?) which kicked my front tire about two feet to the left. First I tried to steer into the new direction but I was headed for an earth cliff so I tried to turn back to the right. The next thing I remember is another bicyclist saying something to me. I think I must have been unconscious for a minute(?) because I don’t know where he came from. I don’t know what he said to me or what I said. I got up, picked up my bike and rode the rest of the way home. I was so stunned I didn’t realize how badly I had been hurt until I looked in the mirror. I went to the hospital. I had a concussion, broken cheek bone, two stitches in my eyebrow, and road rash down my left side. One doctor told me the crash helmet had saved my life. I bought a new helmet yesterday and fitted it very carefully. It’s stupid but I never worried about crashing only about being hit by cars. I thought I was safe on the trail. Wear your helmet & ride carefully.

  • Added on September 23, 2010

    My two ‘helmet saved my skull’ stories. and I’m NOT accident-prone, honest! (NB. A reminder that in the UK, we drive on the left..)
    In 2005, on a dry day, I was cycling downhill on a main road, with my 12-year old daughter riding behind me. In preparation for making a left turn into a side road, I glanced over my shoulder to a) check for traffic, and b) that my daughter was still close and aware of my intentions (as we had discussed earlier). From what I remember, just as I turned to look, I must have gone over a pot-hole, or a small dip in the road. In an instant, my front wheel twisted to the right, and I sailed away over the handle-bars, and the bike tried to follow. The next thing I vaguely remember is being spoken to, tasting the blood running down my left cheek, where my spectacle lens had pierced my skin, just millimeters under my eye, and being asked if I was ok. Why I mumbled ‘Yeah, fine’ when I plainly wasn’t ,I don’t know, as I was bruised, bleeding — and very confused. It seems I’d lain motionless on the floor, probably unconscious, for a couple of minutes. My daughter coped admirably with the situation — at first she’d screamed (naturally. ) at seeing her father doing a graceless somersault and land heavily — on his head. As I didn’t move immediately, she thought I was dead. She got off her bike, and waved at the cars coming down the hill to go around me, while dragging my bike off the road, and then calling my wife on her mobile to ask for help — fortunately her mum was only a minutes drive away. She showed great calm for a 12-year old. Just at this point, a lady who had been walking by stopped to help, and got me off the floor, then sat on the kerb with me, proffering tissues to wipe the dirt and blood off. I noticed my bike gloves were shredded — but my palms had only superficial scratches. Someone took the helmet off and I noted in passing the many scratches on it — at that point, the fact that the left side was squashed flat for half it’s length hadn’t registered. Now my head felt like it had been sledge-hammered, and my face cheese-grated. How nothing had broken, I can’t explain (not that I’m complaining). I didn’t get the kind persons name, so I thanked her later through or local newspaper. My wife arrived at some point, loaded the bike in the car, and took me home. It was days later that I saw the helmet again, after an enforced 3-day stay in hospital to check for any after effects of concussion (I had some memory loss). I even had a lumbar puncture to check for blood in the spinal fluid, as my amnesia had concerned the doctors. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. I was aghast when I saw the helmet and the violence inflicted upon it. The front left half was flattened, and the friction had left it’s mark too. I knew I had come down hard (I had witnesses, and of course I had the spectacular bruising and whiplash to show for it), but if I had impacted the tarmac without the helmet, well, it made me feel nauseas just thinking about it. I could be dead, or worse. But there we are, it did it’s job, a 20 sacrificial item, and I had no qualms about spending money on another one.

    In 2010, out with a friend for a rapid, lung-stretching ride up and down our country lanes, in the late September afternoon sunshine. We were on the return leg, only a few miles from home, free-wheeling at 25mph down a wide lane, which curved very gently to the left. My friend was in front by about 100m, and remembered, a little late in the day, that a T-junction came up rather quickly just around the bend — I saw it too, just as he shouted ‘BRAKE!’ and he came to a slewed halt. So I slammed on the anchors, probably a little too hard, and the wheels stopped turning very quickly, but the bike and I didn’t. funny thing, momentum. The tyres skidded for what seemed like hours, then the bike wobbled violently, the back slid decisively down to the left, and the handlebars were whipped away from me. I knew at this point it was going to be a painful meeting of man, machine and mother earth. I came down on my back, feet forward, with the bike on my legs (those SPD’s really DO release when you need them too!). The back of my helmet and right elbow impacted first, swiftly followed by my lower back — SLAM! By God, that was hard. I probably bounced a little too. MY first thoughts on impact were: Will I walk again? Is my favourite shirt ok? Is the bike bent? (yes, yes — except for small friction burn, and no) I amazed myself by doing an inventory before daring to get up:
    — Can arms and legs gently move? Check.
    — Head and teeth intact? Check.
    — Can I move my neck? Check
    — I’ve still got my glasses on. — A bonus!
    Ok, now try getting on to your feet — and pick up that piece of foam. the 4-inch chunk that had broken off the lower right rear edge of the helmet. As these things seem to happen in slow-motion, I distinctly remember the feeling of my head compressing the helmet and then it pushing back, as it took the brunt of the impact. At the same time, I used my elbow as a brake and shock absorber (not a good one either. ), just before all the air was knocked out of me, as my lower half slammed down on its left flank. I was grateful there wasn’t too much grit and gravel at that point on the road — otherwise I could have lost a fair bit of skin too. Result — really only a swollen right elbow with a nasty scrape, a sore lower back, and stiff neck muscles. Nothing broken, other than the helmet. I walked/hobbled back up the lane to check out how much rubber I had laid, and the skid mark was about 10m long. If I’d had the presence of mind (or more falling-off experiences) I might have pumped the brakes, and rescued the situation, but it happens so quickly, and then it’s over. The bike escaped serious damage too — a scuffed bar end, and the front brake caliper out of alignment. Phew!Half an hour in a cold bath as soon as I got home cooled all those damaged areas, and helped minimise stiffness over the following days. Oh — and lots of ibuprofen. Once again, wearing a helmet has saved me from stoving my skull in — and having two layers on my upper half helped minimise gravel rash. Can you imagine what the outcome might have been if that much force had been applied to an unprotected head? Yep, this humble 15 Lidl helmet was FANTASTIC! (I’ve never had a duff product from them yet) Neither of my helmets were at all expensive — They could have been a few grams lighter, certainly not enough vents (I do run hot) and no snazzy graphics, but hey, I can’t see it when it’s on my head. The point is, they are all made to a certain standard, and that’s enough for me. However, there is a rather nice Giro on eBay. but I hope this next one doesn’t have to prove it’s worth for a long time. if ever!

  • Added on September 14, 2010

    I wanted to share my crash experience and the fact that my helmet likely saved my life. On Sunday, September 12. 2010 my wife and I were on our routine 20 mile weekend training ride, a continuous three mile loop through our neighborhood. We always get a drink from our water bottles at the same point on the loop. On the third lap (I am told) I took a drink and was putting my water bottle back when I ran over a recessed manhole cover (about 1" lower than grade) and then a center line road reflector about a foot away. This upset me enough to wobble for a split second and go down hard on my left side. I was going about 15 MPH when this occurred. I have road rash on my elbow, hip and knee, chipped a bone in my shoulder and sprained the CV ligament. My wife saw me fall and unclipped to see if I was OK. She asked me if I was OK and I said "yes" and then if I hit my head and I responded "no" and I proceeded to take my shoes off and walk home, leaving my bike in the street. At that point she noticed my helmet (a Giro Indicator) was damaged on the left side (photos attached) with some compression on the outside shell, a complete vertical crack and partial horizontal crack in the foam. Several minutes later I started to act incoherently, my pupils constricted, and my wife drove me to the hospital. I was diagnosed with a level II concussion with post trauma amnesia and have no memory of the accident or the next six hours afterward. I apparently bounced my head on the asphalt pretty hard. I am I Safety Engineer by trade, and preach and conduct training focused on wearing proper personal protective equipment. In this case I am convinced that my injury would have been much worse if I was not wearing a helmet, and it likely saved my life.

  • Added on September 5, 2010

    While riding to work in early October, 2007, I was headed downhill at about 20 mph. As I approached an intersection with a two-way stop (not in my direction), a car approached from the right. Whether the car saw me or not, I don’t know, but it pulled out into the intersection just in time for me to hit my brakes and go hurtling over the handlebars. I smacked my head again the side of the car, and the edge of my helmet came to rest just in front of the car’s rear tire. Rather than stop, the car drove off—with the edge of my helmet still underneath it. I was about ten inches from death. As it was, my helmet was neatly broken along its side, and I lay dazed in the middle of the road. I shouted for help, and a man from one of the nearby houses called 911. It didn’t feel like I had any head, neck, or spine injuries, so I dragged myself out of the middle of the road while the Good Samaritan wheeled my bicycle to his house. Five minutes later the police and paramedics showed up. They took down my information, got my vague impressions of the car that hit me (it drove over my helmet, for Goodness’ sakes), then took me to the hospital. Broken arm, some minor road rash—all in all, it could have been SO much worse. The police never found the driver, but at least the police report was accurate. To add to my troubles, it turns out that my health insurance, supposed to have kicked in, didn’t start for another month. $5 grand in the hole, especially for a newly-graduated AmeriCorps VISTA, is no joke. Surprisingly, however, my bicycle was fine—no dents in the frame, no cracks, wheels still true! I can never thank enough the police, paramedics, and doctors who helped me. As for the Good Samaritan, to hold onto a guy’s bicycle for a week while he recuperates from a broken arm is one of the nicest things anyone’s ever done for me.

  • Added on August 22, 2010

    My nine year old dropped his bike on Friday. Despite wearing a helmet, which my wife and I have been adamant about, he still smacked his head on the ground and ended up with about five sutures. He is OK, and he suffered no concussion or serious injuries. Some road rash on his forearm was the source of most of his pain. I was truly stunned that he suffered a head injury despite wearing a helmet. A face first nose plant would be one thing, but the impact was up high on his head at the temple. I do periodically re-adjust both of my kids’ helmet straps, but today in surfing the Internet I found your information about "strap creep".

  • Added on August 20, 2010
    My wife and I had just completed the "go fast" part of our bike ride and were meandering slowly through the neighborhood. As we approached a crosswalk the gentleman standing there motioned me to go through. He distracted me from paying attention to where I was going until my front tire collided with my wife’s rear tire. I went down like a ton of bricks, landing first on my knee, then my elbow and then my head which slammed into and bouced off of the pavement. Fortunately I was wearing my helmet. Otherwise I would have hit on my right temple, possibly causing a very serious head injury or death, particularly give that I am taking blood thinner for clots in the same leg that I landed on. My knee was badly injured, bleeding profusely and requiring 11 stitches to close. The ER at VA Hospital Center was great, including doing an MRI on my head to ensure that I wasn’t bleeding internally. I was fixed up in time to go to a wedding that same evening. The helmet, I believe saved my life. If I can help to further get the word out about the importance of helmets please let me know.
  • Added on June 9, 2010
    Had a minor crash in Brooklyn NY — after riding 30 miles all over Brooklyn, on my way to an appointment, a block from home; no idea what happened but I have 2 broken spokes on the front wheel so think something got caught and threw me. Anyway, hit the pavement and lost some skin, 7 stitches to my eyebrow but the helmet — a literally out of the box 4 hours earlier Giro — has a crack above where I got stitched so I’m sure it saved me from further injury. I always, always wear a helmet just for this reason, and encourage everyone else to do the same. I was able to get up, fetch the bike, walk home and clean up and take a cab to the ER. Beats lying in the street with a major head wound waiting for the EMT’s.
  • Added on April 25, 2010
    On the afternoon of the Saturday before Easter, 2010, my wife went out to run some errands in her car and I went out for a ride on the local bike path. When she returned home she found me standing at the corner where the street we live on intersects with the busier street that runs past our neighborhood "looking for skid marks" as I reported to her at the time. I was also able to tell her that I had crashed my bike and that a motorist had stopped to help me up and to get my bike home which is located no more than 100 meters from the crash site. She asked me what happened and all I could tell her was that "maybe I had taken the turn onto our street too fast". As I type this I have no memory of any of that, all I can remember is waking up in the hospital ER and being told that I was there because I had crashed my bike. I remember the things I did the morning of the crash and every thing that happened since waking up and asking that question but I have total amnesia from lunch on Saturday until I woke in the hospital. My amnesia is the result of a concussion and my other injuries include four broken ribs and a small puncture to one lung that fortunately did not cause a collapsed lung. When I was transferred out of intensive care (for observation because of the concussion) to a normal hospital room my new roomate was also a bicyclist who had crashed, breaking six ribs and his clavicle! Both of us were wearing helmets, his saved him from a concussion and memory loss; he knows he crashed when he hit a pothole. Who knows what mine saved me from? Almost certainly a fractured skull and quite possibly life as a vegetable or death. My Uvex Touring model helmet has no scuff marks, just a fist sized piece of foam broken away from the bottom lip on the left side right near the back and some cracking of the foam that is visible from the inside of the helmet. My new Fuji bicycle had only 150 miles on it at the time of the crash and it is nearly intact. There is only a bend in one spot of the rear rim which also has a scuff mark on the side at the same location. The clothes I was wearing at the time have grass stains on them on the left side so I must have gone over the curb and fallen in the grassy area between it and the sidewalk. The damage to the rim undoubtedly occurred when I hit the curb and it seems likely that my head hit the curb too. I may indeed have tried to take that turn too fast, it would not be entirely out of character for me. Or maybe an automobile was involved somehow, possibly the one driven by the person who stopped to help me. I will never know so I can only adopt more cautious behavior on all fronts when I resume cycling to try to prevent a repeat of this accident. I can say one thing with certainty though. Wearing a helmet does not encourage me to take risks I would not otherwise take. Whatever happened that day I am certain I would have behaved no differently had I not been wearing a helmet, only the outcome would have been different. What a great website you have here! Thanks so much for your efforts to promote helmet use and improve helmet performance. I can only hope that my story will help convince some doubter that a helmet is a necessary cycling accessory.
  • Added on March 22, 2010

    Last Wednesday while riding with a lifelong friend, our lives changed possibly forever. We were on our usual ride and something went terribly wrong. When I realized Jim was not with me I turned around to find him down. No car, we were on a bike trail, no reason but he was down. He was been in sicu with severe brain trauma, he has and will continue to be in a coma for a couple of weeks then hopefully when they bring him out we will see if there is any permanent brain injuries, of course we are hoping for the best he is in great physical condition and if anyone will have a complete recovery Jim will. Yes he had his helmet on, yes he was an experienced rider, it was an expensive helmet, however it did not do its job it did not protect the lower left rear of his head. When looking at the aerodynamics today they are cool. however cool is not good enough. Thank you for your efforts and do you have any recommendations?

  • Added on March 5, 2010
    On August 23, 2009 riding my bike, front tire blew a flat giving me a bad fall with a broken collar bone. Looking for a replacement of a Bell (Image) helmet that broke and saved a second fall
  • Added on February 9, 2010
    Just thought I would give you a little feedback from the rainy Seattle area. Last night riding down a steep paved trail on my commute home, I ran off the side of the trail on a wide sweeping turn (apparently going faster than I thought); I went axx over teakettle, leaving a yard sale of bike bags, rocks, and bicycle as I came to rest in the path on my back. The trail was darker than the inside of a cow on a moonless night. I lay in the trail collecting my thoughts wondering what I had broken this time. I was hoping nobody else would come barreling down the trail as I rested there; no one did until after I got up and started putting everything back together so I escaped getting run over by another cyclist. I felt no pain despite wondering what I had broken this time. However, there was some blood from my face since I had done sort of a face plant before rolling. It appears the visor folded down over my glasses and face and took the brunt of what otherwise would probably have been facial road rash. The visor on my Bell helmet was pretty beat up but can be saved, again, with some good epoxy. I am beginning to think about a full face helmet. BTW: visors are very helpful with all the rain we get here, at least for folks wearing glasses. My background: a bicycle commuter since the early 70’s with very few dramatic crashes. This was a relative new route that I had never ridden in such darkness before — hence the surprise. All my downhill skiing of late, combined with the lack of visual clues in such darkness may have changed my perception of speed.
  • Added on October 30, 2009
    I came around a curve in the road going fast down a moderate decline. I was down on the drops. The last thing I remember was my back tire sliding out from under the bike. My riding partners said that I flipped in the air and landed on my head and face. My bike was thrown about fifty feet away up a hill. I was unconscious for about three minutes. My girls called 911. As they were waiting for help to arrive, two local doctors happened to be riding by and they took over. I was rushed via ambulance to the University of Utah Hospital where I was greeted by a trauma team. My injuries include fractures of most of the bones in the left side of my face, four broken ribs, fractured left shoulder, and fractures in three thoracic vertebrae. The same day of the accident, I underwent shoulder surgery to set the fracture and reattach the deltoid muscle that was completely torn from the bone. The following day I endured a six-hour facial reconstruction surgery. I spent a total of four days in the ICU at the University of Utah hospital and two days in a regular room. I have a plate holding my nose together that will be removed during another surgery in about two months. I have to wear a neck/body brace that holds my head completely still for the next four weeks. I now have a spine doctor, a face doctor and a shoulder doctor. They all expect me to make a complete recovery. My Giro helmet is cracked down to the plastic near the front left side of the helmet, but even with all of these injuries, I did not sustain a head injury. A big thank you to Giro from me, my husband, my son, my mom and dad and my friends. I am living proof that helmets work!
  • Added on July 24, 2009
    My favorite helmet, a several year old Giro Atmos, gave up it’s life for me 2 weeks ago. I was descending a nice empty winding road on a sunny Sunday around noon, having worked the day before I forgot about the heavy downpours. I was heading down the hill into the last turn I saw, in the shade a gravel wash across the final right turn that I partially hidden in the shade of a tree. Before entering the nex- to- the last turn, my computer read 40 mph. Yep — stupid — but it was sunny, warm and I was feeing great. An unthinking touch to the brakes before the gravel on the sharp right turn sealed my fate. Laid it down, slid through the, thankfully, empty on-coming lane, flipped near the side of the road from my right side to my left — slamming the back of my head into the road. Like others have written, I actually remember thinking I was glad I had a helmet, followed with a question — why am I still sliding. As luck would have it, the ditch along the road was filled with last year’s leaves and smaller sticks which stopped me — lost a lot of skin — but didn’t break anything! In my helmet, all the support straps in the helmet broke loose and the back and top (?) of the helmet has plum-sized gravel almost pushed all the way through the shell of the helmet — the helmet didn’t even crack. Two weeks later — most of the bandages are off and I’m in the market for another helmet and new clothing. The fact that I didn’t break anything was luck, the fact that I’m alive I credit to my helmet.
  • Added on July 16, 2009
    I’ve just been released from a three-day hospital stay after a bicycle crash this past Saturday on the Sammamish River Trail in Kirkland, Washington. While most of the rest of my body was dinged and bruised, my 68 year old head was fine! Looking at the crack on the inside of by year-old Bell helmet, I’m thrilled it was the liner and not my head. Therefore, I just wanted to write to say that this is one future purchase that I will be pleased to make — a replacement for my old Bell helmet. I will be an advocate for the product, and am grateful that it’s kept me safe.
  • Added on June 22, 2009
    Specialized S-Works helmet saved my life this weeked. Hit a curb straight on I didn’t even see doing over 20 on my road bike, went head first onto the concrete. Helmet shattered into several pieces, the Head Trauma Doc said that probably saved my life. concussion, cervical strain (thank goodness, EMT’s thought I broke my neck), and a tore up face. otherwise okay. need any pictures of the helmet let me know.
  • Added on June 14, 2009
    This is just a quick e-mail following an article I read while in hospital in the June edition of Cycling Plus magazine. Ive been cycling and mountain biking for several years and would not dream of getting on my bike without a helmet as far as Im concerned its part of my bike. I truly believe the only reason Im here and able to write this e-mail is because I was wearing a cycling helmet. On 23 May I was knocked off my bike by a car turning right in front of me although he claims he didnt see me, I dont remember a thing about the accident ( which Im sure is a good thing) Ive been told that I bounced over the bonnet of the car smashed the windscreen then landed on the road, thankfully I have no broken bones although very bruised and battered knees and a trapped nerve, all of which can hopefully be sorted out in time. I was taken to A&E and suffered a stroke due to the impact to my head which I know would have been much worse had I not been wearing a helmet. Reading the article in hospital and then seeing the number of cyclists since they let me escape on 3 June not wearing a helmet is driving me nuts and I really struggle to understand the reason why. I will be getting back on a new bike in due course but I can assure everyone my first purchase will be a new helmet.
  • Added on June 8, 2009
    Today was my first crash. It happened so fast I had no time to react! I was leaning left at 15mph to take a left hand turn while crossing over the center of a 2 lane road. The road was crowned in the center due to ice heaving during winter and my front tire fell into the rut that seperated the 2 halves. This was about 3 inches wide by 2 inches deep by 5 or 6 feet in length.

    My front tire basically turned right and stopped and propelled me off to the left. I hit my left shoulder hard, road rash and then a popping noise as my collarbone snapped into 3 pieces. At almost the exact instant the back of my helmeted head slammed into the pavement violently. twice. before I came to a stop at the curb.

    I actually had enough time to think to myself ‘ I sure am glad I am wearing my helmet’! I did’nt black out or anything and my riding buddies called 911 and waited with me.

    My Limar is cracked all the way through just above and behind my left ear. I honestly feel that if I didnt have a helmet, I would be dead. I mean I hit hard! I’m sure I would have cracked my skull and shaved off my left ear! Since I broke my left clavicle, I am typing this one handed. Tomorrow I see the Orthopedic surgeon to see if I need surgery. ER doc thinks 4-6 weeks of immobilization is all I need. And of course a new helmet!

    looks like my health insurance and disability insurance is finally going to pay off. Glad I won’t be using that life insurance just yet.

    I have always worn a helmet. I always thought I would never need it. i’ve been wrong efore.

  • Added on April 16, 2009
    While on a training ride on my road bike for an upcoming century ride I had the bad luck to hit a rock, on edge, about the size of my fist. The next thing I knew I was going down on my right side with my arm outstretched in a reflexive action. I don’t recall hitting the ground/pavement but the next thing I recall was laying on the ground moaning.

    After a few minutes(?) I managed to get myself up and begin to access the damage. I was skinned up and very sore. As this was a training ride I stood there and actually considered continuing. I guess my instincts kicked in and I decided to abandon. I turned my bike around and began the ride back to my car. The next thing I recall is standing and talking to a Sheriff’s deputy. He had stopped me, I guess, and checked to see if I was OK. I managed to convince him I was. I then rode off toward my car. I only went a few yards before my vision went dark like an old 1950s TV set turning off.

    The next thing I recall is being at my car and putting my shoes on. I then drove to my friends house where I was expected. I don’t recall driving to their house!

    When I finally went to the doctor I was told I had a concussion. I already knew that but its always good to have it confirmed. I had headaches for three months afterword. Through research I learned I was lucky. Some people have headaches for years. I still have pain in my right hand where I went down.

    After looking at the helmet I know it saved my life without a doubt. The injury ended my riding season for that year. I have told as many people as I could about this event in hopes it would encourage them to wear a helmet when cycling, skating or whatever. It really can save your life!

  • Added on February 26, 2009
    This story is told in a YouTube video made by a woman who survived her crash, but has led a hard life struggling to overcome her injuries.
  • Added on January 10, 2009
    I read the testimonial stories on the web page, "Visor Problems Shattered Bicycle Helmet Visor? Cut by a Visor Edge" and thought I would share my experience. several years ago I was getting back into cycling and bought a new bike and helmet, a Giro Mojave. I was practicing for my very first bike race and did a header over the handlebar after braking too much. While I was traveling over the asphalt i had tucked my chin to my chest and the visor on the helmet scraped across the rough surface. When I finally stopped my forward movement my friend came running and checked me out. I had bloody elbows and knees but my face was unmarked because the visor took the brunt of the trauma. No marks on the face, no broken teeth, no road rash. I still have the helmet but no longer wear it, it is a reminder of what could have happened. I have since purchased a newer Giro Xen, with a visor, and have been fortunate to not have been injured on the several accidents I have had since then.
  • Added on September 17, 2008
    You can also read this story with photos on the mom’s blog .

    My 8-year-old son crashed on his bike last week. Unable to break while going down a hill, he went through an intersection (thankfully, no cars were coming) and hit the curb on the other side. His bike flew to the right; he went to the left, sliding across the sidewalk into a hedge. Although he was fairly scraped up on his face and arms, we are fortunate that he was not seriously hurt. We didnt realize how fortunate, however, until we examined his helmet. The helmet, which is now cracked in five places, was compressed 3/8" where his head hit the sidewalk. While the picture (left) does not appear very dramatic, and, as bike crashes go, this was a mild one, the helmet clearly saved him from what could have been a fairly bad head injury.

  • Added on September 15, 2008

    On 6.6.2007 1600 I lost control of my bike due to a sudden loss of pressure in the front tire on a downhill slope and jumped over the steering bar crashing into the pavement edge face-first. The speed was not too fast (approx

    Everything below here was added before we began dating the stories. We began this page in 1997.

  • My daughter was hit by a car on her bike. She wound up with bumps, bruises, aches and pains! ONLY. Thank God she was wearing her helmet. Could have been a LOT worse — the helmet is a goner as well as the bike!
  • I have always worn a helmet. I have never been involved in a accident while cycling and considered myself a safe rider. On February 2 while returning home (I live in the foothills of Ca) after descending a hill I made a left turn onto the road we lived on. Unknown to myself I had punctured my front tire. As I was turning my front tire rolled off of the rim and I went down. I was not going that fast, probably 15 to 20MPH. I sustained 5 fractured ribs and a concussion. The ER Doctor wanted to see my helmet and my wife brought it in. He examined it in my presence. It had damage on both side, the rear and the top. If I had not been wearing my helmet I would be a vegetable or perhaps dead. I still am experiencing side effects from the concussion, which my doctor said, will diminish with time. I guess my point is, that no matter how good a rider a person consider himself to be accidents can happen. As you know, your best insurance is wearing a helmet. When I can ride again I am going to replace my helmet with the best that money can buy. I figure that my life is worth it
  • I checked your site to get an idea for what i should look for in a new helmet. I wasn’t impressed with wearing helmets while riding until my daughter had a dog run under her front wheel while riding. She broke her arm and destroyed her helmet. Judging from the damage to the helmet, she would surely have suffered serious head injuries if I had not purchased a helmet for her.
  • Last week I was peddling home from work at approx. 30mph when I hit a 2×4 that was in the rode (not a good thing to hit on a road bike at any speed). I suddenly found myself about 2 ft in the air and then performed a landing similar to the Concord. My helmet hit first in the area of the temple followed by me sliding around 20 feet. I was able to get up and found that my helmet had busted into three pieces but stayed together due to the outer shell. I was bloody, bruised with a good case of road rash on the back, shoulders, elbows and buttocks. I did about $300 damage when you include rim, computer, helmet, the shredded jersey and shorts. I think I good off cheap since without the helmet the best I could have hoped for was a trip to the ER if not the morgue.
  • My 5 year old son was recently involved in a bicycle accident—broke his arm in 2 places and praise God, was wearing his helmet. The helmet was destroyed—cracked on the side and some styrofoam torn off the front. Anyway, as a tribute to him, us and all parents who insist on helmets, I’d like to post his picture somewhere as a "positive statistic". We could even link a known site to our own or if there isn’t such a thing, we could make a page ourselves. (June, 2000)
  • I am a triathlete that while during the bicycle portion of the race was struck by a car. I had over 20 facial fractures, and various broken extremity bones, but due to the fact that I was wearing a helmet (saved my life) I am able to write you this thank you. It has been about 3 months agao sense the accident, and came across your web page. I just wanted to share my story to help promote helmet wearing.
  • I want to be the poster girl for helmet wearing. I’ve had three accidents in 6 years and was glad that I was wearing a helmet each time.

    At the end of the first accident, my head was wedged, face down, under a parked auto. The top of my head only stopped skidding when I hit the tire of said parked auto. Quite literally the top of my helmet was flush with the tire and the back of my helmet was held by the bottom of the car’s metal fender. The second time, as I slid across the pavement, I thought, "What a neat sound. Is it an airplane? I’d never hear an airplane like that in center city Philadelphia. What is it?" And I realized it was the sound of my helmet scraping the asphalt instead of my scalp and face being peeled off. The third accident was Thursday evening. I was riding south on a one-way street. As I crossed a one-way street that ran west, another cyclist mounted his bike, rode east off the sidewalk and directly into my path. My attempt to avoid hitting him, lined me up to plow into pedestrians, so I let him take me out. I flew over the handle bars, I believe 10 to 15 feet, and landed on the right side of my head and my right shoulder and continued skidding. Apparently I had two seizures before I made it to the ER, and yet, my helmet protected me so well that the doctors sent me home that night after ascertaining that my CT scan and EKG were normal. I was diagnosed only with shoulder trauma and minor (nearly nonexistent) head trauma. My treatment? Rest, decreased activity, tylenol.

    Every doctor and medical staff member, some of them cyclists, picked up my helmet and looked at it, commenting on the fact that I’d hit hard enough to break a piece out of my helmet. Everyone of them, unable to hide their concern over what might have happened to my head told me that it was good that I’d been wearing it. And I agreed.

    As an adult cyclist, I’ve always worn a helmet but after my three accidents, especially the most recent, I have to encourage other people to wear helmets.

  • My son is living, breathing, walking and talking PROOF that properly fitted, and worn, helmets, save lives, brains, and families as well. My son had a concussion in 1997 and again in 1999, while riding his bike slowly, on the sidewalk/curb. (He’s 12 now.) The last time his helmet cracked APART on the side that took the impact, as well as cracked upward and outward. While he did have visual and motor disturbances afterwards, with altered consciousness for several hours, and vomiting for 9 hours straight, while being observed in the hospital, it was a small price to pay for having his brain intact! The doctors felt he would have crushed his skull in if it weren’t for that Bell helmet.
  • I was broadsided on my bicycle by a Yamaha scooter going 30 mph. 2 days ago in Milan,Italy. I landed on my head and broke my Euro-Bell helmet almost in 2! It had cushioned me SO effectively that I hadn’t even realized I had hit my head.
  • She and I were taking a short ride this morning (Thursday). About two-thirds the way through, she was in the lead on a downhill. Suddenly, two or three dogs ran onto the road directly in front of her. She hit the breaks and went flying over the handle bars. She came down on her face. I landed on her legs. She had her eyes open, but did not respond.I ran to the nearby house and pounded on their door. They called for an ambulance. There were two paramedics either living or visiting at the house. They provided immediate (minimal) treatment (they did not want any clothing removed due to the cold). She started to respond before the ambulance arrived. The ambulance, a fire truck, the fire chief, and a county police officer arrived. Her injuries were trauma to the mouth and two shattered wrists. They expect nearly full recovery for her left wrist. The shattered bones were still aligned. That was not the case for her right wrist. One of the best othorpedic surgeons in the eastern US was on duty. He told us that the joints in the right wrist were also damaged. He put the parts back together the best he could and added some small metal plates. She will be wearing metal exterior rods until the bones have a chance to mend. The immediate period for recovery will be at least six weeks. There may be additional surgery, at least for removal of the metal rods. She will also need oral surgery. The condition of her helmet is a good indication of how she fell and why helmets are a must! The plastic cover that was lamenated onto the helmet came completely loose. There is damage to this plastic on the front right side.The main body of the helmet is cracked and dented on the right front side. Her face has abrasions on the right side. The right side of her goggles were cracked. The frame holding the correction lense of the goggles was also cracked on the right side, but not the left.
  • A few months ago, while out on my regular Saturday morning ride. I came upon a set of railroad tracks. The next thing that I remember I was being wheeled int a hospital. According to the people that I was riding with, my bike went completely out from under me, and I landed full force on the rail with my helmet. I did sufffer a mild concussion and the helmet (now retired) has a piece the size of a grapefruit broken out of it, but I am alive. I really think that without a helmet I would have died. I have ridden for nearly 25 years and thousands upon thousands of miles and this was my first serious crash.
  • I write this to publicly give thanks to God for His protection, and also to encourage area cyclists to wear their helmets when riding. During my daily ride this afternoon, I misjudged a turn, hit a curb and went flying over the handlebars at about 15 miles per hour. After what seemed to be a 2 hour flight, I hit the street and my head bounced off the pavement with frightful force. I am grateful to tell you that I am bruised, sore, shaken — and also able to write these words to you. Had I not been wearing a helmet, this would not have been the case. Cyclists, trust God to protect you, wear your helmets and be far more careful than I was this afternoon.
  • I was involved in a serious roller blade accident on Sunday, May 31, 1998 at approximately 9:30A.M. on a downhill bike / skate path just outside Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis IN. While traveling downhill at a fairly high rate of speed, I lost control and crashed into the pathway landing head and left shoulder first. I had put on full protective equipment prior to the crash. The GIRO Air Blast helmet sustained at least a 3 inch by 3 inch deep set of scratches and an approximately 1 inch dent that appears to have penetrated it and Rollerblade Wrist Guards, Elbow Pads, and Knee Pads that were severely scratched. I incurred the following injuries: Dislocated left shoulder, Broken bone in the left shoulder, Abrasion on the left shoulder, Severe abrasions just below the left elbow, Abrasions to the left buttock, Few scratches on the left leg, and Bruises up and down the left side of the body. However, I did not receive any head injuries and / or scratches my head that I am aware at this time. Helmets and safety equipment definitely work, everyone should use them. However, I give all honor and praise to God for ultimately allowing me to survive the crash.
  • On October 23rd, 2000, I was riding alone down hill on a recently resurfaced road near Skippack, Pa, Northwest of Philadelphia. The resurfacing also was meant to even the road out a little as some edges of the asphalt had an eight or nine inch drop off the edge of the road. Rounding an outside curve I looked back for a second and slipped down that edge of the road and found myself at a high speed between the edge I just slipped down on my left and various large rocks on my right. I was riding on a two or three inch wide remnant of the original road surface with a sign just to the right just ahead. I ducked the sign and the next thing I remembered was waking up in a helicopter. Apparently, someone saw the bike in the road and stopped, called the state police and ambulance, who in turn called the Med-Evac Helicopter which took me to the Temple Hospital Trauma Center in Philadelphia. It seems I hit a hole just beyond the sign I ducked and flipped over hitting my right front of my head and face on the highway. My lower lip was torn down to below my chin on the right to a point that the doctors said they could touch it to my left ear. My jawbone was exposed and they thought it was broken. After two spinal MRI’s, several X-rays, an Ultrasound of my neck, a CAT Scan, and all the other evaluations, it turned out that the torn lip and a slightly chipped tooth were the extent of my injuries. I walked out of the hospital the next day (with a lot of stitches). My Bell EVO Helmet however, didn’t make it. It was badly twisted in front and split nearly in half longways. The Trauma Docs said I was extremely lucky to have no indications of any head injury at all, never even got a headache the day of the accident! I think without the helmet it would have been a very sad story for my wife and kids.
  • About 2 years ago I came upon a crash that apparently had happened minutes before. According to the two women who happened upon the scene — a man (in his 30s-40s) was lying unconscious across the bike path, his bike on its side at his feet. He was a regular ‘biker’ on the path — we knew him by sight. He was still unconscious when I arrived but slowly came to. His whole left side was scraped, from ankle to face — his bike helmet was split. He had no recollection at the time about what happened and was disoriented.(The ambulance came soon after so we never found out). No doubt the biker’s helmet saved him from more serious injuries.
  • A few days ago I was riding my mountain bike, when I fell head first into a stream. I sustained a mild concussion and a fractured back. If I wasn’t wearing my helmet at the time, I know I would either not be here to write this email, or I would be typing it with a pencil in my mouth. A helmet saved not only saved my life, but my quality of life.
  • I just want to say thank you for your attempts to make people aware of the benafits of bike helmets. I already know what they have done for me. Please let me explain. you see I recived a concussion two years ago due to an bicycle accedent. I was rideing around the neiborhood with my childern for fun. luckly I threw on my helmet, A ’99 Giro Hammerhead, Mosty because I requior my children to where them at all times. While crusing the area we live in at about 5 MPH I tried to pass through the fence opening at the park. Though I have done this dozens of times before I caught the fence post with my handel bar. the bar spun and I twisted with the Handle bars. I ended up landing almost square on the back of my helmet. When I woke up I found my daughter above me very worried; Apperantly I passed out for a couple of minutes. Oviusly this bought me a trip to the hospitial and an CAT scan. There were no fractures. The severaty of what happened did not sink in untill the doctor explained what happened. He said All my forward momentum was transfered to throughing me of my bike. Furthermore; the way I landed all that momentum and my weight was focused directly at the back of my head which would have been most likely fatal. His exact words were 80% fatal 19% vegetable 1% able to function again. just as importantly my neck was fine, not even wiplash, due to how well that helmet asorbed the shock. Oviously the helmet was destroyed; But my life is worth the $120 I spent on it’s replacement. I where my helmet EVERY SINGLE TIME I RIDE now, no exceptions. The best benifet was my childern. you see they also will not ride without there helmet. I evev saw my son come home to get his helmet so he can try a freinds new bike the other day.
  • I have had at least 3 crashes on my mountain bike where a helmet saved me from a bad head injury. The most recent was just last night. I was riding along down a technical decent. I "endoed". Usually I’m able to "abandon" my bike in time, but this time I must have slipped. I hit the ground, the right side of my head hitting a rock. And then the back end of my bike came over and hit the left side of my head, smashing me back down to the ground again — basically "sandwiching" my head for a moment. It hurt, and I have a small bruise and red mark, not to mention some bruises in other areas, but I’m basically okay. I’m sending the helmet back to Bell (it is an Image 2000) for my $35 accident replacement.
  • I experienced my first cycling crash five weeks ago sustaining fifteen stitches to my forehead, 30% loss of my right lung and several road scars. I was wearing my Giro helmet which saved my life. I can’t thank the Giro establishment enough for the protection it offered. I have been given the okay to ride again but not until I replace my helmet.
  • Hi! I’m awake at 2 AM, not able to sleep after yesterday’s events, looking at a subject I’ve never surfed in the past. bicycle helmets. Thank heaven my seven year old son was wearing a helmet yesterday! He had a pretty bad bike wreck that sent him to the hospital yesterday morning. He received a concussion, a broken finger, and some nasty cuts and scratches to his face, chest, elbow, and knee. but he is alive! He was riding too fast and went head first over the handle bars, landing on his head on a paved road. I will be forever convinced that his helmet probably saved his life, and certainly his brain health. He has NEVER ridden without a helmet and now he certainly never will! He told me when he first started riding that he felt "stupid" wearing a helmet, but I somehow don’t think that will ever be a problem again. The helmet was damaged with dents and scratches, but think what the damage would have been to his tender young head! Before he rides again, he will have a new helmet, and also knee and elbow pads. Thank-you for your site..I’m about to go surfing to see what you have that I can show my son.
  • I have just found your site, to my great joy, and will thoroughly examine it, as will my sainted husband. I was in a freak crash on my bike about a month ago — brain injuries, airlift to emergency hospital, and then a couple weeks in a rehab center. I’m still unable to ride my bike (great hopes for the future), and require therapy, but I’m improving. What happened: I was wearing my Trek helmet, and was riding down a hill, my husband says going about 12 mph. I have NO memory of the crash, but he says (and has shown me the place) what happened is that my front tire went down into a chuckhole that was pretty un-noticeable. The front tire locked up (stopped), and I was thrown over the handlebars. Alas, but I landed too much on my head. hence the brain injuries. I was unconscious, mostly, for several days (too long, according to the articles I’ve read), but have since made a good recovery (although that seems more apparent to those looking at me from the outside than it often feels to me, living on the inside!). I am able to walk with NO assistance, and reason fairly well, but still have some miscellaneous (sp?)symptoms from the whole experience. The hospital released me last week ( a week earlier than they first predicted ), but 58 is a bit old for superquick recoveries. I have found a therapist who tests people to see when they are ready to resume bike riding, BUT I have a whole new respect for helmets! Had I not been wearing one, who knows what might have happened?
  • My husband and I were riding our bikes to dinner last night. In a freak accident with uneven pavement, I tipped over on my left side. My head hit first and took the majority of the impact. Yes, I have a concussion, and yes my helmet is toast. I knew and the paramedics confirmed, without the helmet, the injury would have been more severe and maybe life threatening. I just thought you’d like to know that real cyclists wear helmets.
  • Just wanted to say thanks for the very informative and useful site. I came across it while searching for a replacement helmet after walking away from a low-speed but potentially brain-scrambling crash involving an open car door. I’m 49 years old and use my bike to commute to work in downtown Chicago, in addition to hour-long exercise jaunts along the lakefront several times a week. After this latest incident I will never go even two blocks on a bike without a helmet. I’m now off to look for something round and smooth.
  • Here’s my helmet story: I was in the first part of my Saturday ride, going up a nice, wide exercise sidewalk next to a 4-lane road. I sped up a bit to cross a street before the light went yellow on me (I made the green light, thank you) so was going about 30 Kph to get onto the sidewalk on the other side. I’m not sure why (mostly because I don’t remember what happened) but I hit the curb instead of the ramp in the curb. I kind of woke up in the ambulance, but I wasn’t fully awake until I got into the ER. My injuries: broken left collarbone (4 pieces), bruised ribs on both sides, concussion, and a fair amount of road rash. My helmet is somewhat flattened on the left side, and the foam is cracked on both sides. Based on the scrapes and gouges in the helmet, I’m convinced that they would have been sewing my ear back onto my head if I hadn’t been wearing it. That is, after they put the plate in my skull & wired my jaw back together. People keep telling me "It was lucky you were wearing your helmet." I respond with "No, it was smart — I always wear one."My kids do too (one daughter stopped riding her bike, unfortunately, instead of being seen with that unfashionable accessory). Although Bell will give me a discount on my next helmet, I’m thinking I’ll keep it to show to folks. I don’t know how anyone could look at this mess & not think they should wear one. At least one person at work went out and bought a helmet based on my experience; after he sees my helmet I think he’ll be convinced to always wear his.
  • One week ago tonight I had a bicycle accident while riding home from work. My front tire became lodged in a streetcar track after I ventured too close to the rails. This is not an unusual occurence when cycling in downtown Toronto, but this time it was at a rail junction and my front tire lodged and immediately stopped turning. I was not travelling very fast. I went over the bars and the bike turned, landing me on my back. Immediately after this impact with the ground my head, which I had tucked down so my chin was on my chest, whiplashed backwards and the rear of my helmet struck the pavement with force owing only to the weight of my head and gravity. The "speed" of bicycle travel was in no way related to the force with which my head hit the deck. I walked away (via an emergency room) with a very minor concussion and a severely fractured helmet. I can’t say if the helmet saved my life but it certainly saved me from certian brain damage and a major head injury.
  • I have been riding cycles since I was a little boy, about 22 years now. It was only about 5 years ago I started using a helmet- simply because it looked cool on my new mountain bike. All the reasons changed for me in the summer of 2000. I was riding my favorite park in a Chicago suburb on a Thursday morning. A young kid came to a T in the road for him; I was coming down a steep hill, having full right-of-way. He and I even made eye contact as he quickly looked in both directions. Just as I entered the intersection, there he went. He pulled out in front of me as I came through at full speed. My bike slammed into the front fender of his car and I became airborn, bike and all. The first to hit the ground on the other side was my forearms, my head slamming into the pavement like a watermelon. I want you to know that my helmet shattered, sending small plastic shards into my nose and chin. My forearms were worn raw. My nose and lips were bleeding. The bike twisted my right knee. My ribs on the left side were bruised. But my head was intact. I didn’t even have a concusion. That accident could have killed me. But it didn’t. Anyone who thinks they are fine without a helmet is a fool who is waiting for a severe injury.
  • In 1993, I bought a new mountain bike and with it came a free helmet. I went mountain biking that weekend and for the first time in my life, I actually wore a helmet. That day, I hit a tree head first going about 15-20 miles an hour. Had I not had my helmet on, I would not be writing you this letter. As you could imagine, since that day I have been a huge advocate of helmet safety.
  • My quick story. I’ve been a swimmer and a long distance runner for a number of years, and decided to give triathlons a try last year. I had not been on a bike in years, and had to borrow a friends. I did however buy a new helmet. I joined a triathlon team that went out on regular Saturday rides. I could beat anybody in the pool, but they left me in the dust on the rides.One Saturday morning one of the women on the team asked me if I had adjusted my helmet since I had purchased it. I answered "No" because I did not really know how it was supposed to fit. She took it off my head, tightened, and put it back on saying that now it would not slide back if I crashed. I kind of laughed at the thought, but thanked her. The following Friday, while out on a pace ride (less then 20 miles, but holding over 20 MPH) a dog ran in front of my bike. In an effort to not plow into the dog, I held my brakes and did not let go, as the bike went end over end, I crash head first onto th! e pavement with enough force to crack the shell on my helmet. That was the good part. The bad part was that after my head hit, my left shoulder hit the ground with enough force to shatter my clavicle into 5 pieces. Luckily, the dog belonged to my former Jr. High School Phys Ed Teacher, who was kind enough to help get me to the hospital, where a few days later I had 7 screws and a steel plate put into my body in an effort torebuildmyclavicle.That accident happened May 11, 2001. I ran the NYC Marathon on November 4, 2001 in just over 4 hours, and just this week purchased a new bike in an effort to restart my triathlon dreams as well as a two day 200 mile ride to raise money to fight Cancer. As I said at the beginning, I’m sure you get 1,000 stories like this a day, but I had to share mine with you. I had a helmet, but had my teammate not tightened if for me just 6 days earlier, it would have slid back and exposed my temple to a 22 mile per hour impact with the pave! ment.
  • Two days ago I experienced by first — and hopefully last bike crash. I had just returned from a 12 mile bike ride with my 7 year old son on a trailer bike. During that ride a bike mechanic at a stop, reinforced to my son — and unwittingly to me — the importance of helmets. After that ride returning to a park near our home without the trailer bike attached and thankfully without my son I proceeded through a small tunnel followed by a 90 degree turn, I panicked, locked my brakes, and flipped my bike into a field of rocks lining a creek bed. Witnesses to my crash, who were kind enough to help me, confirmed my suspicion that I flipped my bike over into a field of one foot diameter rocks placed to prevent washing — the very worst landing site possible.I hit my head and left shoulder. My beloved bike will need a new front wheel. But thanks to my helmet I was able to ride away — slowly — with the warped front wheel. As per safety recommendations I will replace the helmet, but I spent the night at home with my family instead of in the hospital or worse. PLEASE ALWAYS WEAR YOUR HELMET. I’m glad I was wearing mine which has the indentation of the rock which could have instead been my head.
  • I have had two serious wrecks, 1) over the aero bars and to the hospital, 2) dog hit front wheel and broke my left elbow and messed up back. Surprise, head was ok. The first or last thing that hits the pavement, because of the weight, whiplash effect and trajectory is the big old head. Well, I got a new helmet each time but that is ok. Good luck. By the way I am 56 and still doing duathlons and triathlons. Completed Powerman Alabama over the weekend. New Giro is nice.
  • In June of 1999 I was mountain biking to my summer job and decided to take a short cut over an aqueduct pedestrian bridge in order to save time. So I was zipping right along and since my helmet was broken, I wasn’t wearing any and figured it was less than 2 miles and I would be fine. I was thinking it was an easy ride down a dirt path and over a concrete bridge. Turns out, I had not been down that route in 5 years, and I was unfamiliar with the terrain and I approached the bridge around a corner and did not have enough time to react. I went flying over three concrete stairs and hit my back tire on the last stair, flipping me over my handlebars. I hit my forehead against the concrete and snapped my neck back violently. After passing out for about 10 minutes, I discovered my predicament and while my body was in shock, biked home about 1 mile, where I went to the hospital with my mom. After a CATscan, 2 hours of surgery, and 100 stitches, I found out I had a nondisplaced fracture of the occipital condial bone in my neck, which sits on top of the vertebrae and controls nodding. I was in a neck brace for 8 weeks that summer, 2 weeks of which I could not move my neck. I am very fortunate to be alive. Needless to say, I am a bike helmets advocate and I am writing a persuasive speech on the importance of wearing a bike helmet coming across this excellent website while doing research
  • I have hit my head twice in bike accidents.The first time, riding back and forth in the driveway (sans helmet!) after toe-ing my cantilever brakes. Note to self: testing bike repairs still requires helmet, even for 20 foot rides. Even though I can run faster than I was riding, I cut my head and sustained a very serious concussion. After that I NEVER ride without, so number 2 destroyed my $18.99 Bell Barracuda Multi-sport (hard-shell). I was trail riding off-road and downhill when I met a squirrel. Don’t remember much, a tail under my front tire, and then I was standing still and was attacked by a tree that was clearly speeding, and the next second (though he says minutes later) this very nice man helped sort out tree/bike/woman. The whole front of the hard plastic spider-webbed, and the foam split into 4 pieces and my wrap-around glasses were cracked, but no damage to my head or eyes and only 3 stitches to hand, scrapes and bruises and of course had to buy new helmet and gloves. Judging by the helmet, I hit the tree forehead first, don’t really know for sure as their were no witnesses other than the squirrel, who fled the scene before he could be questioned. I opted to keep the helmet, which is on display over my shed door(where the bikes are stored), under a sign that says "#1 reason to follow the 2 finger rule!!" which means pull the helmet down over your forehead. It not only saves me having to explain to my kids why they need to wear a helmet, but how important wearing it right is. It also reminds friends, family, neighbors, and passers-by.
  • At the age of 44, I had been riding bicycles for 38 years without incident. Last August that all changed as I was given the unexpected (and unwelcomed) opportunity of seeing my helment perform the duty it was intended. Being a triathlete and duathlete for the past ten years I’ve put considerable mileage on my bike in both training and racing. This day, I was on a training ride just north of where I live when I encountered a driver in an SUV that "didn’t see me". I was in 14th gear on a straight stretch of back country road that was wide open and easy to see any approaching traffic in all directions. I was hunched over in a aero position with my forearms resting on my aero bars and travelling at approx. 50kph (30mph) as I approached an intersection. I saw a black SUV approaching from my left. He had the stop sign and I clearly had the right of way, but there was something about the way he was approaching that gave me the impression he either wasn’t going to stop, or he was going to make a quick stop and then immediately proceed through the intersection. I got up out of the aero position, placing my hands on the drop handlebars with my fingers resting on the brake hoods. I reached up for the whistle hanging around my neck and started to place it in my mouth, intending to give a couple of quick, short blasts to get the drivers attention, when I noticed he was starting to proceed through the intersection (after brief stop), just as I anticipated he’d do. I had just enough time to hammer on the brakes as I tried to get out a quick blast of the whistle, as I felt myself going up and over the handlebars, headed for the ashphalt. The impact and events that occured after that happened very fast, and I’m still not sure I’ve pieced them all together. But the net of it was; two chunks of flesh taken out of my left elbow (requiring 8 stitches to close), a split chin (3 more stiches), torn ligaments in the left shoulder (still weakend and not fully recovered after 9 months) severe road rash on my right shoulder, forearm, both knees and back and — a cracked helmet down the right side where my head impacted the road (the chin taking part of the impact). Fortunately no broken bones and the driver did stop and turned out to be a good samaritan, taking me and the bike to the hospital and staying there until 02:00 in the morning when all the stitching, cleaning up and x-rays were done. He was genuinely apologetic and helpful (returning the next day with a case of cold beer, a get well card and a couple of lottey tickets) and therefore, I decided no charges would be laid (we’ve actually maintained contact thereafter). Fortunately good guy, a happy ending and — a new helmet!
  • On April 25, 2002 I was on a ride over Altamont Pass in Northern California. Clear blue sky, no wind, riding 20 mph on a slight downgrade. No traffic, smooth road. Not sure what happened, but the 3 riders with me said I yelled "OH SH*T!!" and they turned to see me swerve wildly and go over. I woke up in the hospital with a concussion, broken collarbone and 5 broken ribs and no memory of the event. I can recall the entire ride up to a point about 5 minutes prior to the crash. Minor damage to the bike as well, some torn handlebar tape and bent rear wheel. There was no mechanical failure on the part of the bike as far as we can tell, and I was in excellent health at the time, well fed and hydrated so a blackout is unlikely. My helmet was fresh from the box that morning but in 3 pieces that afternoon, impact mainly on the left with abrasion across the back and to the right side. We’re all stumped as to the cause, as with the previous story. makes it hard to learn from whatever mistake was made.
  • Last year I fell on a set of railroad tracks that are at a steep angle to the road. I can’t remember the accident itself — I had a concussion, along with a crack in a bone in my arm and some ugly bruises on my hip. The foam inside the helmet was cracked, and the shell was dented and scraped. I have no doubt the helmet saved me from serious head injuries.
  • One peaceful summer afternoon in 1993, a friend and I were heading home from a fun day BMX’n at the local track. I was wearing my new helmet with a full face guard. My friend did not have a helmet and liked mine and wanted to try it on. So I gave it to him. A few more feet down the rocky trail, the neck of his bike snapped at the base sending him face first into the rocks. After I realized he was Ok, we discovered a gash in the plastic shell of the helmet. Imagining what could have happened without the helmet, we were thankful he happened to be waring mine. That summer we both learned the importance of ALWAYS wearing a helmet. Of course, I was also thankful I didn’t have to push his broken bike home for him =).
  • Recently I was struck by an automobile while bicycling. The impact ejected me from the bicycle, and I landed face first on the roadway. My face, below the line protected by my Bell Psycho Pro helmet, was badly scraped and very swollen. Above the level of my eyes, the only injury was a very superficial cut, which disappeared in a few day, under the point of impact on the helmet. At the point of impact on the helmet, on the Styrofoam below the smooth plastic shell, there was a dent of a few mm and a crack all the way through the helmet. Also, the helmet deformed, dissipating the energy of the impact. (Of course, I won’t use this helmet again, but it was well worth the $60 or $80 I spent on it. Understatement.) I have seen a plastic surgeon for removal of a few bits of asphalt lodged in my face from the impact. He examined the crash helmet and told me, judging by the location of the impact over a certain bone in my skull, and the complete cracking of the helmet, that the helmet had not just prevented a concussion, it had probably saved my life. This is a very good surgeon talking.
  • I was using a cycle-path crossing on a busy road a couple of years ago, when an idiot over-took a waiting car and jumped the red-light. He went straight into me, writing off my bike, permenantly scarring my leg, giving me severe whiplash and multiple cuts and bruises. My helmet saved my life, as the impact of my head on the road distorted it so much out of shape it was 5 mms thick at the point of impact. Thank God that was not my head. As it was, I still received bruising to my head, despite the helmet; Without the helmet I would be dead from a crushed skull.
  • I have a friend who while riding on a trail hit a bump, lost control and had a spectacular crash, Over a 50 ft cliff that had trees. His bike and he looked like a giant jigsaw puzzle someone had just spilled on the floor. He had a minor cuncusion with a head ache. His helmet was split on a rock that had a sharp edge and if he hadn’t been wearing a helmet his head would have been split. I would personally have a minor concusion. How about you?
  • A rider was seriously injured on a ride I led in June 1996. She crashed by hitting a pothole going down hill at high speed and suffered a broken collarbone and a broken shoulder blade. Her helmet was cracked open, but she did not have any head or neck injuries nor any cosmetic facial injuries. Without the helmet she may well have had life threatening or life altering injuries. You can never tell when or where an accident will happen, so the only reasonable course of action is to wear your helmet — ALWAYS! If you don’t have a helmet, get one before your next ride and wear it.
  • From a pratical, pragmatic first-hand perspective, I can honestly say that a helmet has saved me from a serious head injury. twice. Once while on an off road ride I went over the bars. No big deal. Until I checked my helmet and found a rusty nail embedded point first 3/4 of an inch into my helmet right above my ear. The other time, while in a criterium, a rider went down in front of me in a pack moving at 34 mph. I went down too, as did several riders behind me. My helmet was crushed and broken by a brake lever (still attached to the bike and rider). How do I know that it was crushed by a brake lever? When we unpiled, my helmet was stuck to his brake lever like a shish kabob. That could have been my head. Could either of these situations have been fatal? Fortunately, I’ll never know. Wear a helmet. It won’t make you completely safe, just safer.
  • I’m a retired engineer. Wear helmet all the time!!(while cycling). Have crashed 4 times in 5 years (wet roads, wet rail road tracks at crossings, blow out in middle of hard corner (front tire), and stupidity. Damaged three helmets, but no head damage (I think??)
  • I have gone down and hit my head hard four times in my 40+ years of cycling. The first two times was in the days when there were no helmets except the leather hairnets, and I didn’t wear one The results were many head and facial stiches, mild concussion, unconsciousness, and an ambulance ride to the hospital. The second two times I had helmets. The results were skin abrasions on knees and hands, but no head injuries whatsoever. I have never raced. Two of these accidents happened at relatively low speeds. The worst was caused by a kid running out between two parked cars during a commute. I’m convinced. I don’t even ride around the block without a helmet.
  • Just my $0.02 — if it were not for my helmet (in my case a cheap Nashbar) I’d be dead. I’ve ridden with and without, and am just glad that I was wearing mine the day that I ummm. shall we say. "kissed the guardrail"? Side of helmet — smashed. My head, fine, thanks.
  • The worst crash I’ve suffered this year was thanks to my (RIP) OnZas. decided to release in mid-air. foot somehow lodges in front wheel. I become the "Human Hinge". OUCH! If I’d not been wearing a helmet, I’d be picking grey matter out of my teeth.
  • Three weeks ago today I crashed face/head first into the pavement at over 30 mph (during a race). I was wearing one of the hole-iest helmets on the market — the Giro Helios. Believe me, it worked. Cracked down the middle, crushed on both sides. Over sixty stitches to my face. But I barely had a headache.
  • I started crossing during a gap of right-turning traffic and was not even concerned about my safety or even making cars slow down. Then I have a 5 second memory gap. From reconstructing the crime, a Pathfinder zipped up in the the second right turn lane, made a fast turn, and slammed me with the passenger side of the car. I must have tried to body block the car with my head, shoulder, and hip. I ejected from the bike and don’t appear to have hit the pavement. Then my memory returns. I’m standing woozily at the curb, looking at my bike in the middle of the road, with 4 lanes of traffic waiting for the light to change and the chance to run over it. As cyclists, you would have been proud of my instinctive rescue of the bike. I saunter over to a nearby emergency room, where I get the diagnosis of fractured distal clavicle, unfortunately on my strong arm. The hip is just badly bruised. The helmet worked, sacrificing itself for my noggin. Surprisingly, I spilt no blood.
  • I personally knew 4 people who have been killed on bicycles. These statistics about the safety of cycling are total horse****. I don’t know who comes up with them but every year in Cork, this city of 135000 people, where a minority of people cycle, at least 3 or 4 people are killed on bikes.
  • The motorist who hit me acted responsibly after the accident. His insurance company was quick to pay my medical expenses and the cost of my bike and ruined clothes. I was not interested in punishing the driver. 20 years later, however I am seeing some possible long term effects of that accident. I have periodic episode of vertigo, loss of hearing in my left ear, cataracts in both eyes at age 47, and frequent nose bleeds. While none of these symptoms can be directly attributed to the accident 20 years ago, the first question every doctor has asked is "Have you every had any serious head trauma?"
  • About a year and a half ago I took a fall going down hill on a clear day on clear road and with no cars or other obstructions present that I can remember. I broke a clavicle, two ribs and suffered a concussion — it would have been far worse without the helmet! I have no memory of the actual accident which is common for a concussion. There was no damage to the bicycle beyond a bent pedal and no indication of any impact or mechanical problem. I’ve healed up fine and ride regularly. What is driving me nuts is that I don’t know what actually happened so that I can avoid it in the future.
  • I took a whoop-do-doo a little fast and landed on my head at about 15 mph from a height of greater than six feet. Result: one severely damaged Bell Psyclone Pro helment, scabs on both lips, and two months of sore neck and shoulder. I was able to ride out of the woods. I don’t think I would be able to have done so had I not been wearing a helmet.
  • Recently I had a mountain biking accident in which I believe that a full-face type helmet may have helped. After clearing a technical section of trail, we were headed home on an easy stretch. However, the sidewall of my front tire blew out locking the front tire and throwing me immediately over the handle bars. I was unconcious for a couple minutes, my face was quite lacerated, and my nose smashed.
  • Tuesday night on a training ride I crashed badly, resulting in a concussion, broken helmet and fractured left clavicle. I’ve been told that I may ride my bike on a trainer in a couple of weeks or so but will be off the road for 5-6 weeks.
  • I reached for my water bottle as we started downhill. Just then I hit a rock, which I never saw. With only my left hand on the handlebar, I went out of control and sailed down the wooded embankment. I have a distinct vision of that tree coming toward me. I bounced off and came to rest against another tree. The advantages of cycling with a friend became apparant. After I got myself up the hill, he rode with me home. Despite some pain in my left shoulder, the ride was uneventful. Unfortunately, a trip to the ER confirmed my suspicions—a broken collar bone.
  • I recently collided with a dog at >30MPH and endoed onto my Giro Ventoux (pre-RocLoc model). Thank you, Giro, for saving my brain bucket. Under this severe test (nine broken bones), the Ventoux shell cracked and the foam fractured. IMHO, the foam could not have fractured without the shell cracking.
  • I have sitting here a Giro Hammerhead that recently took a

    25 mph fall on the head. The wearer was unconscious for 12+ hours after the fall, has a tripod (three-way) fracture of the skull, and has been hospitalized for the past two weeks. While the denting and warping of the helmet are quite clear if you look carefully, neither would be difficult to overlook on casual inspection.

  • Well. a friend of mine did an endo this past week and bounced the back of the head and helmet on pavement. he’s fine, but the helmet and foam cracked too. The helmets are designed to do this, actually.
  • I always wear a helmet when I bicycle, and last Sunday I was especially grateful that I had. I was attempting to jump over a small dirt ramp on my mountain bike. I went up one side of the ramp, became airborn, and landed hard, with my front wheel turning inward, causing my bike to stop cold. Unfortunately, I did not stop when the bike did, and was thrown over the handlebars, landing head first on the dirt and gravel trail. My head was snapped back, and my left wrist was broken on impact. I also lost alot of skin on my right arm and my back. I was taken to the hospital immobilized, as the paramedics suspected I may have broken my neck. Fortunately, my neck was not broken, but I would had probably had been killed or more severly injured had I not been wearing a helmet. my Bell helmet now has gashes and deep grooves where my head hit the ground after I was thrown. I understand that Bell will replace my helmet for free, since it was damaged in an accident, but I think I’ll hang on to it, to show some guys I know who say that wearing a helmet on trails is not necessary, because you are not riding in traffic. All I know is that this helmet saved my butt that day!
  • I have recently been in a accident. My (old) helmet is now in about 10 pieces. The bike frame is bent up quite badly (I hit the car head on). But if it weren’t for my helmet, I would probably be a vegetable for the rest of my life. The driver didn’t see me until the last second, and I didn’t see the car. It happened so fast. What I am saying is that there is no time to take your helmet off your handle bar and quickly put it on your head. And to prove that it doesn’t take a flashy, expensive and trendy helmet to do the job, the helmet was a Bell Triumph. So for all of you that don’t wear helmets: please get a helmet and make sure it fits properly, and WEAR IT PROPERLY.
  • Keep up the good work. I’m just dropping you this line to let you know that all your hard work is worth the effort. Several weeks ago, my 13 year old daughter (I have 3) had an accident on her bicycle. She went off trail into a creek, with her head striking rock or rocks. Her helmet split in two (as it was designed), and also had a dent from the original impact.She suffered only minor abrasions, and a headache. She basically walked away from an accident that could have killed her, had she not been wearing her helmet. It was not a name brand, but was Snell-certified. I am an avid cyclist (over 2,500 miles last year), and never leave home without a helmeton.My three daughters never questioned my rules about no helmet/no bike ride (though they had occasion to grumble about them), and now I know they will pass these on to children of their own someday. If only all parents were this strict.
  • Hello. Accidentally found you. Was looking for company named ProAction out of San Diego, Ca. Recently purchased helmet from Sears bearing their name—wanted to find them to say THANKS. My six year old son only got to wear it once, but it did exactly what we think it was supposed to do. Little guy suffered broken jaw plus a whole list of minor injuries but we believe his head was saved thanks to this helmet. Did learn something interesting. While listening to all the kids as my son what happened to him, most of them seem shocked by all the scrapes, scratches, stiches and with the broken jaw. I believe now that there might be a big misconception (with the parents too) that when a child puts on a bicycle safety helmet, that it protects them against injury. I don’t know if people understand that they are designed, hopefully, to save your life by protecting you head not save you from getting badly scraped up.
  • Two days ago my bicycle went into a pot hole and I did a ‘face plant’ at moderate speed. I had a slight mark on my nose and chin and the general sensation that not much else had happened. — ie: my head (covered with a Spalding helmet) touched down, but so gently, I thought, that I assumed it was a very gentle fall. Today I looked at my Spalding Helmet properly! The tough styrofoam shell is split right through! That would have been my head! I’m taking this helmet to my son’s school to show them — it makes an incredible ‘show and tell’. Thanks Spalding!
  • I have been in an accident with my bike (not a serious one) but I was wearing a helmet and the other person wasn’t. She went to the hospital for a gash on her head and a possible concussion. I had to retrue my wheel. It is important to me to wear a helmet and for my friends to wear one.
  • My seven year old son crashed on his single bike yesterday. He has a bad case of roadrash on both knees and on one elbow. He also has a minor bump on his forehead. After getting him cleaned up, my wife examined his cycling helmet. She discovered that the helmet had a big split in the forehead area. Obviously the helmet did what is designed to do, protect the head. His injuries would have been more than just road rash and a bump to the head if he had not been wearing his helmet.
  • I was in an accident last year and am absolutely convinced that the helmet saved me from a serious head injury or worse. Its important that others hear about these stories to counter the "it can’t happen to me" attitude that we all have about accidents and injuries. In my case, a motorist stopped and used his cell phone to call my wife and an ambulance. There are some good folks out there.
  • I, too, learned all this the hard way — about a year ago a car helped me go airborne and land on my head and shoulder. The shoulder still needs another round of surgery, and the helmet needs to be replaced, but the head and contents came out of the experience ok.
  • I just recently learned the hard way why it’s not a good idea to sprint away from a large dog. In fact, I’m sure I’d rather get bit! You were very lucky. poor dog. hehehehehe. anyways just recently I had a big black lab chase me. I was coming up a large hill with the whimsical name of "Oppossum run". I was trying to keep up with my training partner We had just crested and had just regained speed to about 20 mph when this lab runs out at me. Before I could react he sprinted in front of my wheel. I t-boned him big time. When I did, bike and rider were flipped at 20 mph. I was slamed to the road on my back and the bike came over on top of me. Thought I’d killed the dog, thats how hard I hit him. Well, he lived and so did I. But that was 6 weeks ago and I’m still seeing my chiropractor. I injured my low back and hip and it’s definately put a damper on my biking fun, not to mention getting body slamed at 20 mph hurt like hell. Thank god I was wearing a helmet or I would of had a concusion too. The next ride I was able to go on I was chased by a 125 lb rottweiler. I slowed to a crawl, grabbed my water bottle and squirted him in the face. He didn’t want to play no more after that and went back home. My training partner thought I was nuts, but like I said. I’d rather get bit then body slamed like that again!
  • I was hit in November of 1995. I thought I was OK but I went to the E-Room for xrays and a general checkout. I was OK except for some deep bruises and scrapes and a headache, but at least I knew. The driver’s insurance company was happy to pay my E-Room bills. My helmet was cracked and dented, and my front wheel taco’d. At first, that seemed like the extent of the damage to my bike, but after buying a new front wheel I found that there were other problems. The two wheels met the ground at different angles, and they didn’t follow each other (try riding straight through a puddle—how many tracks come out the other end?). Ultimately, the driver’s insurance company compensated me for the loss of my bike and helmet, and paid my doctor bills.
  • Being a pathologist and having seen the severe side of head injury I’ve worn a helmet for the last 10 years without fail. Having cycled 70000 + miles in that period I’ve fallen off many times. Never banged my head to any real extent. Today on a sponsored cycle I hit a stupidly placed emergency road sign that I just did not see until it was too late. Cut and bruised. Fork damaged. Cut on temple, temple area of helmet dented, no significant head injury. Worth it for that one bang. Have multiple cuts and bruises.
  • Tom Churchill, aka Tommy Hustler, was killed Friday September 6 when he was struck from behind by a "reportedly" drunk driver while riding his bike home from work. He was wearing a helmet and moving with traffic at the time of the accident.
  • About 10 miles down the road heading out of the town of Huntsville, we had a white Dodge Caravan pass us and something hit me in the back of the head. The passenger threw a handfull of hardware: nuts, bolts, washers at me and hit me in the helmet. We were lucky he wasn’t going faster. I guess there are other uses for helmets than just protection in the event of a fall. Pretty sad commentary on motorists in the Houston area.
  • p.s. if anybody doubts that helmets work, they should have seen the big flat spot on the back of mine, and my brains aren’t any more like scrambled eggs than usual (excuse me while I bang my head against this piece of software)
  • My brother was hit head-on by a car going 70 mph (est.) He sailed over a hundred feet and landing on his head he was in a coma for 8 days. He was a 3rd yr Med student at the time and his wife had just given birth to their first kid 2 months before. He came out of it. The guy that hit him had NO DRIVER’S LICENSE, and was legally drunk. He left the scene but was caught shortly thereafter. It was his 3rd or 4th DWI. If my brother hadn’t been wearing his helmet he’d be dead. As it is now he’s in Kentucky. I’m not sure which is worse,
  • I was hit by a car while riding my bicycle in Sept. 95. Fortunately I was wearing a helmet and it saved my life. I was in intensive care for a week and acute rehab for about three months. I got out of the hospital Dec. 23 ’95. I’m supposed to have full recovery. I live in Napa Valley and I often see tourists riding with no helmets. I also see parents riding with their kids. The kids are wearing helmets but the parents aren’t. The kids will end up taking care of the parents. If they only knew. My helmet was a Giro and sent me a replacement free of charge. They’ve been really great! My helmet is on display at a local bike shop and the owner has said it has persuaded cusomers to buy helmets and for tourists renting bikes to rent helmets also. I can’t stress enough the importance of wearing a helmet. My life is proof.
  • I never ride my bike without my helmet. I was particularly pleased to be wearing my helmet on March 2 1996. I was riding with my usual weekly group, during a quick (40 — 50Km/h) twisty descent I hit some fine gravel which had been swept out into the road by automobile traffic. My front wheel lost traction completely and down I went. Thankfully, the bike and I parted company because it hit a concrete telephone poll and did a fine impression of a pretzle! Apart from a great deal of lost skin, and some decent bruises I walked away from the accident. I removed my helmet and was shocked to see that the microshell had been quite nicely ripped apart down one side. I hate to think what the side of my face would have looked like had I not been wearing a helmet. I am fairly certain that had I NOT been wearing a helmet, I would have survived. But judging by the scars on my shoulder and hip, I think the helmet was worth $30 and the minor inconvenience of wearing it. I have to say though that I do not approve of the mandatory helmet law. Cycling is relatively safe and attempts to SCARE people is a poor way to justify this rather pointless law.
  • My better half has worked for some time as a doctor in the Emergency Room of a big hospital. She has seen many, many head injuries resulting from cycle or motorcycle crashes. Now: you probably know, that when a head injury is suspected, the helmet is generally left on until the patient reaches the hospital. She has NEVER seen anyone come in after a cycle accident with a helmet, i.e. she has never seen a head injury to someone who was wearing a helmet — except a rare case when the person is hit directly by a car or truck at high speed. She has however seen many people — the majority of them kids or teenagers — come in with cycling-related serious brain injuries; and NONE of them were wearing helmets.
  • I though you might like to know about our helmets since we had an accident. We were wearing Bell Avalanche Pro helmets at the time. I had the most injuries as I was thrown from the tandem as the car clipped our front wheel. I hit the ground/pavemenmt at a point just above my left eye and there are skid marks across the top of the helmet. My injuries include: cut at left eyebrow, small crack in facila bones near left eye, small crack in facial bones between left eye and nose, crack along the sinus upper jaw bone on the left, separated shoulder, broken distal end of left clavicle (

    0.25 inch), dislocation of the proximal end of the left clavicle, nasty road rash on top of left shoulder, cracked lower left anterior ribs, numerous pulled, bruised and sprained muscles. Here is the amazing thing, I did not suffer a concussion! The doctors were surprised when my pupils dilated equally regardless of the fact that I was unconsious at the scene. Needless to say we have become gonzo about wearing helmets when riding.

  • I landed on my head today and tested my new (3 weeks old) Bell Image Pro helmet. It performed very well and staid in place when it hit. It was the first time I’d actually hit my helmet directly in a crash. I’d have to recommend the helmet.
  • I concur on the Giro. I have had 2 wipeouts in the past 7 years, both on Giro helmets. In both cases the helmets were demolished but my head was intact. I was able to return the wreckage for a low cost replacement.
  • I crashed in a Bell Razor last summer. Spun around and did a whiplash, neck snap, back of the head into the pavement kind of thing. It crushed one of the rear protusions but I was no worse for the wear. Bell honored the replacement promise promptly.
  • The other helmet I crashed earlier this year. During a mountain bike race, ‘pilot error’ caused me to go over the bars at 34.5 mph and land squarely on the left side of my head. I lay unconscious for 20 minutes and was helicoptered out of the woods to the nearest trauma center. Did that helmet save my life? Certainly. without question it did.
  • Just last week, my Bell Image Pro (with the "slippiest" straps of any helmet I’ve worn) saved my melon from a serious (perhaps fatal, according to the emergency room docs) brain bang after my back tire slid out in a corner. Knocked a two-tooth gap in my winning smile, but I walked away without a headache. Hey, slippy straps or not, it did the job. I can still form complete sentences most of the time. A post script. just got my inspected helmet back from Bell, and they put new "strap adhesive" on the point where the strap passes through the shell in the front and included extra adhesive "in case" I needed it "in the future" (their words), thus ending all slippage both on and off my melon. Don’t know why they did this. didn’t mention it in my letter. Perhaps there *is* some kind of safety issue involved.
  • I am replacing my helmet after being hit by a car. The helmet seems to have done its job because the CAT scan showed no damage to my head even though it managed to break the windshield of the auto.
  • 15 years ago I nearly got killed bicycling on Wisconsin Av. Only my helmet saved my live as I hit the pavement to avoid smashing into a car turning in front of me. I learned two lessons from that experience: 1) Don’t bike without a helmet. 2) Don’t bike on Wisconsin Av. However, I am not, as some have accused me, advocating forbidding anyone from riding there.
  • Perhaps I can add something from personal experience. Three years ago, while riding my bicycle to work, I was involved in an accident. As I was crossing the road I was hit side on by a car which was doing about 70 km/h. The accident was the driver’s fault. I was thrown over the bonnet of the car and landed on the right side of my head. The helmet I was wearing was caved in on the right hand side. The only injury I suffered was a cut to my right ear. Up until that time I did not believe in wearing helmets but did so because the law required me to. However, if I had not been wearing a helmet, then I would almost certainly have been killed, my skull being caved in rather than my helmet. So you will understand why I now support laws which make the wearing of helmets compulsory.
  • Yesterday I was hit side-on by a motorist who failed to stop at the stop sign. The result was a very lucky one for me as I’m still around to tell the tale and apart from a very broken mountain bike, and a fractured wrist I have no other apparent injuries. After writing the bike off as totally destroyed, I looked at my Netti Stealth helmet and both sides of the thing have very large dings and scrapes along it, indicating that there was obviously some head impact when I hit the road. Whilst I’m still not convinced that the wearing of helmets should be forced upon all people, one thing is absolutely clear in my mind, that is: I will be one person who will always wear a helmet from now on, if I had not had my helmet on, I am sure the injuries I sustained would definetly have been more extensive and I would not be so fortunate to tell the tale today.
  • I haven’t had one accident (knock on wood) since I bought my first recumbent — save for one concussion on the only time I took out the mountain bike. As someone on this list mentioned, I felt like I was riding a stepladder. I’m sure that this very feeling predisposed me towards the crash (which crushed and broke in half my helmet against a redwood tree) by destroying my confidence during what should have been a recoverable gravel-slip.
  • accident 1: Stopped at traffic lights waiting to turn right. Car screams through orange light, clips my pedal I yank my foot out of the way. I was thrown sideways and hit my head on the median strip. I blacked out. I received a cut on my foot and a head ache but that was about it. My head took most of the impact. Fortunately 🙂 The aforementioned motorist didn’t even bother to stop. The largest piece of helmet was about 2 inches by 1/2 inch. It was a fairly hard impact. Without the helmet I am pretty sure my skull would have been severely cracked. I would have had head injuries for sure. accident 2: Travelling along Duncraig Rd about 9 in the morning, about 5 metres behind a friend. I am wearing an orange and yellow spray jacket, a reflective bum thingy and reflective ankle straps. I also had light on the bike as I had been out since 5.30 and was returning home. Young female motorist facing towards me wishes to turn right. She indicates and then waits for my friend to pass. So clearly she had seen us. Then when Iam halfway through the interesection she moves off hitting the bike dead centre and throwing me up into the air. I came down and landed on my bike smacking my head on the handlebars. The helmet has a lovely indentation that fits the bars perfectly, just above my right ear. The foam has been crushed completely. I also took the tips off of my finger tips, smashed my glasses and cut my eyelid and sustained a lot of soft tissue damage to my shoulder. This time the motorist had to stick around I had landed in front of the car. The motorists excuse, "Im sorry. I just didn’t see you." So I believe that helmets do help save lives. Theres also a fair bit of when your numbers up its up involved. I am just irked that a bunch of incompetant swine that we call government see fit to take away the rights of a group of individuals to compensate for inadequacies in driver education.
  • My daughter (when aged 12) was hit by a car when cycling. The five of us all wear helmets when cycling. Her bicycle was completely destroyed. Very little on it could be salvaged as parts. Her clothing was destroyed. The impact was enough to cause her boots to fly off. Her helmet ended up in three pieces. It "died" reducing the impact energy of the car and the gutter. (It has gone on to a better life being carried around schools in safety education classes by the local police). So although she suffered very serious injuries (many fractures including a fractured skull), and although she suffered some brain damage and was not conscious for a couple of weeks, today she is alive and well. She is back at school. She is back dancing (her consuming interest) again. She is here, and alive, happy, and cycling.
  • monday night, about 1/2 mile from home we crossed an invisible line from safe pavement to black ice, and i didn’t dab. i didn’t put my foot down, or a hand or anything. the x-rays and rips in my clothing and cracks in my helmet, and john’s eyewitness account seem to indicate that i hung on and went right down with the bike. (i actually have no memory for about an hour surrounding the fall. i don’t remember most of the commute home.) anyway john took it on his elbow and hip. i got shoulder and side of head. and we did drag the pannier. so now i’ve joined the elite cycling society of those who have broken a collar bone. of course it’s my right side and i’m right handed, so my typing is very very slow these days!
  • But it *does* matter if you’re wearing a helmet when a car hits you. The wife of a member of our USCF club took a head on hit from a car that crossed the center line at highway speed. This is every rider’s worst nightmare and she suffered injuries of the magnitude that you would expect from such an accident. The medical opinion was that the head injuries she received would have been fatal had she not been wearing a helmet.
  • If not for my helmet recently, I too, would have suffered head injuries due to my accident. I was recently run over by a motorist failing to stop at an intersection and the Helmet stopped my head from making contact with the road.
  • I got ran over by a truck, crushing my helmet and nearly my head. I woke up in the hospital emergency room with an x-ray machine in my face checking for cranial and c-spine fractures. Fortunately, nothing was found, even in the head. It took six months of reconstruction and rehab to ride a bike on the side walk. That was 2 1/2 years ago now and I’ve taken the settlment money and bought a really nice bike and a new jeep. Been logging lots of miles since. Just go out and do it, it will all come back.
  • On my first off-road ride a biffed pretty big and broke my helmet. If I had not been wearing it, I am pretty confident that I would not be able to sit here and type this. I was not, however, wearing gloves. It took a little while for the skin to grow back; luckily for me it didn’t get infected. (Or the gash in my shin, or the nearly torn-off nipple, etc etc)
  • I only mention all of this because a helmet saves lives. All the reports in the world don’t mention the falls and crashes that never get reported. Why don’t they get reported? Because people like me were able to walk away, suck up our ego, and fix what got broken without outside help. If I was not wearing a helmet in either of those crashes, I’m sure the death wagon would have taken me away in the first crash and ambulance in the second. Then a report would have been written and I would have been a statistic that says: He should have been wearing a helmet. But, the report was not required.
  • My father was cycling along when a car pulled directly in front of him (trying to zip into a hospital, of all places). Dad piled into the side of the car, sailed over the roof and landed square on the top of his head. He tells me he felt the helmet simply engulf his head as it responded to the impact (by design) by deforming and crushing. He is fine.
  • The pace picked up again as the peloton began the steep climb to Chiflas and a local boy, Olmedo Capacho, winner of a stage in the Itagui Classic, broke free and opened up a significant lead. As the sharp descent began down to San Gil and through the valley of the Chicamocha, Capacho lost control of his bike and slammed head first into the side of a narrow bridge, and was out of the race. [NOTE: Yes, he was wearing a helmet, and yes it appears that he will survive with no more than a severe concussion.]
  • Yup, been there, done that on the river drives in Philly early on a Sunday AM a bunch of years ago (it seems that squirrels have gotten no smarter from evolution), I was motoring along, saw a brown blur, and before I knew it, I was pickin’ fur outta my teeth. In case you were wondering, they grow squirrels pretty big here in Philadelphia. New fork, new front wheel (I was using a light rim and the grommets pulled out of the rim), new helmet 🙂
  • I am a fairly hardcore recreational rider (200-250 miles per week) who commutes on a bicycle. Last may, I found an improperly-retrenched bike lane at around 35 mph and experienced what the emergency room personnel referred to as an "involuntary dismount." I hit the pavement so hard I fractured my shoulder blade (rolling through the fall, I guess), dislocated my shoulder, and covered myself in road rash. My old Bell helmet was completely flat-spotted from the inside. But my head was intact. The attending physician is certain the helmet saved my life. I don’t know whether helmets should be mandated by law, but I do know that none of my kids leaves the garage without one.
  • As I sit here and read this- I am replying with one arm. The other being quite useless right now, as I took quite a nasty spill last week, and broke my collar bone is two places. I assume all of you are writing of road riding, but I was mt. biking when I crashed. It was mainly the fault of my suspension fork not working quite right, and me not cancelling my ride when I realized it. But I can tell you that when I fell-landing on my helmet first and sliding on it until bouncing it off several rocks-then my upside down shoulder off those same rocks-thus resulting in the loud internal SNAP-SNAP that I heard. I cracked my helmet all the way through in two areas- one where the impact was actually made and the other on the opposite side. The myriad of Doctors that I have seen over the past few days have agreed that if it were not for that helmet, I would not only have gotten a SEVERE concussion, but would have received multiple deep lacerations in my face and head, requiring many stiches and even plastic surgery! The stones that still remain in my helmet would have pierced my scalp. Lucky for the shatter proof glasses as well! A few DEEP scratches in them reveal that I would be looking a lot like a pirate right now if it weren’t for them.
  • Two years ago I watched my 10 year son miss a turn (going too fast) slide about 20 feet on his side and ram the top of his head into a curb -probably still going 10mph. It distroyed his bike, his helmet, his clothes,some skin,his pride but he got up and carried his bike home over his shoulder. Without a helmet I feel he would have died as a result of this crash. TO HELL WITH THE AUSTRALIAN EXPERIENCE- NEITHER ME NOR ANYONE THAT I LOVE WILL EVER RIDE WITHOUT A HELMET.
  • Reported in Edinburgh Evening News. Middle aged chap was cycling home at night over the Dean Bridge after an evening at the drama club. No other traffic in sight. Suddenly he "catches his foot in a pedal". This causes his bike to leave the road, mount the pavement, and hit the bridge parapet with such force that he is hurled off it, right over the very nasty spikes designed to deter suicides, out into space over a forty foot drop. Fortunately he falls into a steep gully headfirst which arrests his progress by means of boulders, tree trunks etc. and fortunately he is wearing his helmet when starting this headfirst gully descent, and fortunately by the time the shattered remains of the helmet are torn from his head, he has stopped. A broken rib or two, nothing serious. His helmet saved his life, of course.
  • I crashed on a training ride at full sprint. We still do not know why. I am an experienced rider who also races — I doubt that it was any mistake of my own. There are still three or four days of my life which I do not remember — including the crash. I landed on my forehead at about 45 mph (The guy I was sprinting against has some info to offer). It was serious enough that it necessitated drilling a hole in my skull to relieve blood pressure to prevent brain damage. Had I not had the helmet, I would have fractured my skull and probably suffered significant brain damage.
  • Oh, I’m an alright rider. I just try on every ride to do a bit better, and sometimes it ends badly. When I fall off, I don’t get to choose where my head ends up. Last time I checked, I had nothing more than a cut on my head; no brain damage. Yes they do work. If I hadn’t been wearing it, and my old Giro Riccochet hadn’t snapped and absorbed the impact on one crash I had, then I would have been killed. My helmet saved me, end of story.
  • You should wear a bicycle helmet. I would strongly encourage everyone to wear a helmet. I can’t think of one good reason not to. If you think it’s uncool, well it’s a lot more uncool to have your Mom bathe you, and to have a nurse wipe you after you’ve done your business. It’s not cool being six feet under either, I don’t think. If you think well "Gee those European pros. in the Tour de France don’t wear helmets, and they are fine." Well some racer died in the Tour from a bike crash. Plus, they are professionals, and they’ve got the roads all blocked and cleared. I bet for every pro you see racing in Europe there’s 10 messed people who didn’t wear a helmet at their time of need. My helmet saved my life, I’m not just saying that. Those helmets look pretty flimsy, but they’re supposed to smash on impact. I won’t get into the physics of why that is so. One look at my helmet would show you what is supposed to happen. It’s all cracked, smashed, and broken. That would have been my skull. So WEAR A HELMET.
  • I don’t remember my head hiting the truck. I remember the starting of the contact with my left side. I knew I was at least badly dazed until it came to me that the ambulance never arrives instantly but there they were, instantly. I remember laying on the ground complaining to someone about the pain in both legs from the knee’s down. A policeman was holding large pieces that must have come from the truck grill. He was looking at the pieces then at me with his mouth open. Another guy had my helmet, left side missing a good size chunk, looking at me, looking at the helmet with his mouth open.
  • Last Saturday I was at the end of my third major ride in 2 days and a little too fatigued to be bombing down the mountain at the speed I was going. Reaction time was a little to slow, got loose, went off the trail, slammed a huge bolder, me and the bike were airborn upside down for a while, I hit my head (w/helmet) on a rock, my back on a stump, and the bike kept hitting shit for another twenty feet. I was hurting pretty bad and could only imagine what condition the bike was in. The only thing that happened to the bike was a picnhed tube when I hit the bolder. I have a lot more respect for that Y frame now (and Bell helmets). As for me, well I’m still riding but I just found out today that my rib is in 2 pieces. Oh well.
  • It’s good to wear a helmet, and they DO help. I broke my fall with my head at the state championship at Whitetail Ski resort in PA last year. The bike went down on a wooden bridge far too fast for me to react. The rock I landed on mangled the whole front of the helmet, and put a crack in it. In addition, I believe that extra space that the helmet put between my face and the ground kept my split lip and broken glasses from being much worse. Without the helmet, I believe I would not have been a pretty sight. With the helmet, I managed to come out with only a split lip and a broken index finger. I got back on the bike and finished the race for an 8th place finish.
  • I am so tired of people that wear no helmet for bicycle, roller bladers and motorcyclists. I was accepted by the U.S. Olympic Training Team for long distance cycling. I was wear a helmet on and accident occurred. I had 4 different accidents, all with a helmet on, save my life. Please, wear your helmet!
  • I only have one thing to ask people that oppose helmets. HAVE YOU EVER LANDED ON YOUR HEAD? I have twice. Once in a motor cross accident and last week in a bicycle incident and I had my helmet on and that’s probably the only way that I walked away. I had to wear a neck brace in both cases, but that’s better than my head split open on a tree.
  • My experience is with being hit head on at high speed by a car. You would not expect me to live, but the evidence shows that the helmet made the difference between life and death for me. I think it did so by lessening the impact. It lessened the impact by slowing down the deceleration, which is basically what a helmet’s job is. The proof of the lessening is that I got a concussion so great that I don’t remember either the impact or the ambulance ride and that a doctor testified to this effect.
  • A local journalist was mountain biking on a flat, soft, fire road. According to his companion, he was traveling at a very low speed (around 10 mph), hit a small stone in the road, flipped over his bars, and landed on his head. The resulting head injury was severe. He had to learn to walk again, talk again, and slowly relearn higher skills like reading. I’m not sure he ever fully recovered. They wrote a moving series of stories about his recovery in out local paper (The Philadelphia Inquirer, "Inky"). He was wearing a helmet.
  • I got knocked off my bike 5 weeks ago by a bus. I left home without my lid and had gone 500 meters down the road and realised, I went back and got it. Most unusual for me, on the way home I was hit by at a bus at about 30 m.p.h. I broke a couple of bones and got concussion but my helmet was a mess. There was a massive hole in it where my head impacted with the road. I will still, when I get back on the bike, ride on short local trips without my lid. I want to have the choice. But at the same time when I see a cyclists on the road without a helmet I feel like shouting "Get A Helmet" its weird
  • I used my own statistics from personal experience to choose to continue wearing a helmet. Lack of cycling skills did put my Significant Other on her head while descending a hill, turning and having the wrong pedal down. It was a dumb mistake, her helmet took the impact and she suffered no concussion. She did get serious road rash. Made her a believer in wearing helmets and becoming more skilled. Skill and road conditions don’t always prevent accidents. I’ve only crashed a couple times in the past few years, first one from an unleashed dog on a bike trail, and the second from lose gravel on a curved section of road I frequent. With the later one, my bike slid out from under me, and my head with helmet hit a rock on the pavement. Left a big dent in the helmet, I got a minor concussion from it, and a lot of road rash. Looking at that dent on the side of the helmet convinced me they’re worth it.
  • i cracked a helmet on the windshield of a 70-ish woman who couldn’t bother to look before she made her right-on-red. i’m glad i was required by state law to wear that helmet.
  • BTW was he wearing a helmet? Yes, he was, and it perished in the crash. A nearly new Bell ImagePro with no prior damage. The right rear quarter broke off, with a nasty chunk of hair on it. Quite gnarly. He still got a nice bump on the head, but no (new) brain damage that I could tell. He got a concussion a few years ago in a crash without a helmet, and he has worn one ever since.
  • I just had my first big crash with my Cannondale F700. My only regret is that I didn’t land on MV ( you don’t know how many good posts I miss as I speed-delete all the back & forth BS!) I now feel initiated, but unfortunately will miss some rides I wanted to do next month. Notes: — ALWAYS wear a helmet! I probably saved myself from a COMA. Landed on my head and shoulder. Broke a collarbone and some ribs.
  • I don’t want to start any flame wars here because that isn’t right, but can asnyone give me good reasons NOT to wear a helmet? I already wear helmet every time I cycle (having had a helmet save my neck once before in a head-on collision where I left a massive dent in a windscreen) and it is comfortable for me to do so. I don’t feel stupid, and it isn’t an irritant, nor does it disturb my concentration from the road. Are there any reasons why I shouldn’t wear one?
  • I can add to the helmet comment, I’ve been knocked off my bike by a car, with the helmet probably saving me at least from concussion (not fun when riding), and also ridden down a manhole without a cover when cycling home late one night, the helmet in that case definitely saving myself from pretty much a frontal lobotomy.
  • I crashed yesterday. I went down hard. I’ve been riding bikes since I was a little kid and never. never have I ever gone down so unexpectedly or so fast. I had just glanced down at my computer before leaning into a sweeping left turn I’ve ridden countless times. I was going just under 20 mph. I hit some oil in the middle of the turn and my front tire simply flew out from under me. You talk about a surprise; when I hit the road I still had my hands on the handlebars. My left hip, upper arm, shoulder and head took the impact. I know this is going to rile you up, but I thank God I was wearing my helmet. I don’t know if it saved me from a serious head injury or not, but it did save me from a road-rashed head if nothing else. That alone is reason enough for me to continue wearing one. You can quote all the statistics you want, I saw everything I needed to see today. Did my helmet save my life? Probably not. Was I riding faster than I would have if I wasn’t wearing one? No, this was in completely familiar territory. No amount of education, training or experience could have prepared me for this. Did I feel like superman because I had a helmet on? Absolutely not. I’m 43 years old, I don’t need to prove anything to anyone, including myself. I’m slow and I know it 🙂 I will never tell anyone that they are wrong for not wearing a helmet. I rode without one for years but at this point in my life I’m convinced that a helmet can afford at least some protection from the surprises life can throw at me. I’ll never agree with a mandatory helmet law either. I disagree with it because I don’t believe we need the government to protect us from ourselves. I am capable of handling that myself. As an adult I should have the right to make that choice. Myself. I’ll wear a helmet because that’s what I want to do, law or not. My hip, my shoulder and my helmet all look like Hell. My hip and my shoulder hurt now but they’ll heal. Fortunately, my head doesn’t have to.
  • A year ago on a flat, straight, seemingly safe road with no traffic, a bent bolt grabbed my bike’s front wheel. I was instantly smashed onto the pavement. My helmet saved me from having a scarred face, and maybe, a dent in my forehead.
  • Having suffered a worse fate on the Mt. Vernon Trail 5 years ago, I have much sympathy. (In my case it was a broken left elbow, concussion — the helmet saved my life, 9 stitches under the right eye and lacerations up and down my right side.) But, the good news, believe it or not, is that your ENTIRE summer is far from shot. I was back on the bike in 6 weeks. I would have been on it sooner than that, but my girlfriend INSISTED that I follow the doctor’s orders.
  • Sorry, but I beg to differ. Until a week ago I cycled 15 miles a day to and from work. I _always_ wore a helmet. After comming off the bike twice in 3 years, each time ending up in hospital, the helmet saved my life _both_ times. Without it, my family would of been without a husband/father. Both of these were problems with the bike and not other road users.
  • A friend was hit by a car today while we were riding. Not hurt seriously but he destroyed a Bell Image.
  • From the most recent stage of the giro, where Leblanc apparently fell: "I would have been killed if I hadn’t been wearing a helmet. It’s bad enough as it is as I was only 10 seconds down at the time to Tonkov," Leblanc said.
  • after maybe 12 years of riding i finally got the direct benefits of using a helmet. i got hit by a car at an intersection and ended up landing on my head. i cracked it two places. i have a sore neck, but at least i do not have worse injuries in the face and head areas. i was lucky all i had was a badly sprained ankle and a jammed thumb. both still cause me some discomfort after nearlt 3 months, but i think it could have been worse.
  • Until today, I probably would be here stating that helmets are not necessary, or at worse an optional accessory. After 4 years of riding without incident, last Weds I wiped out chasing a friend down a hill at 40mph. I didn’t realize it until later but I cracked the back of my helmet wide open. I sit here after three days oozing weird stuff out of most parts of my road-rash inflicted body but I will ride again.
  • Had a close encounter with a cat and had my summer cycling season snap to a halt. I talked to a surgeon who recommended putting in a couple of pins to set it since I broke the bone close to my shoulder. My giro helmet cracked like an egg and I was able to walk away from this accident. Wear those helmets. Anybody have any expereince with this injury. What can I expect in regards to healing time, any loss of range of motion. What about pinning the break as opposed to letting it heal by itself. How long till I can ride again.
  • The bloke who hit me from behind at 60-odd miles an hour had a good excuse: he was drunk. I was riding on a flat, dead straight country road in France 8 months ago. My lights were on (it was at dusk), but I was heading South-East so the setting sun was behind me. Anyway, here came Monsieur le Francais: he missed my rear wheel by an inch, plowed straight into my left hand side, and sent me diving head first into the asphalt. I wouldn’t be here to type this if I had not worn my helmet. The outer shell had a big crack, and the styrofoam casing was paper-thin where it hit the road. I ended up with broken ribs, a broken left hand (it got caugth in the side mirror of the car — fortunately the mirror snapped from its hinges before my hand did), a dislocated left shoulder, and a very bruised left hip (I’m still amazed it did not break with the impact). Five months later, I was back on the pedals.
  • The only serious one I’ve had in 20+ years of moderate riding was about 3-4 years ago. It was caused by a metal strip that was constructed into the road surface, stuck up above the pavement, but was covered with leaves at the time. As I cornered *straight and slowly* over the leaves, the metal strip caught my front wheel and jerked it to the right, tossing me sideways and backwards into a curb. I smacked the top tip of my right shoulder first, then my helmet covered head bounced on the edge of the curb. My thin shell helmet cracked in the process, but certainly did its job! My shoulder was toast and unusable for a number of weeks. I was light-headed that day, and did go to the doctor, but was okay the next day. I have no doubts that the helmet saved my noggin. I bought a replacement soon after.
  • I know of several cyclists (some friends, some among the cycling circles that I am familiar with, some through professional contacts) who suffered either death or severe brain injury by hitting their unprotected heads during cycling accidents. Contrarily, I know of several cyclists who have severely damaged their helmets but have not suffered any noticeable ill effects. The last of these I heard about yesterday. My step-grandson, aged 5, fell because he turned around to look at his mother, and in falling he hit his head on the angle of the curb. He was wearing a hard=shell helmet, and the liner was significantly damaged, but he suffered no symptoms of brain injury at all. When a person’s head hits something hard (and angular, in this case) with sufficient velocity to damage the helmet, it is quite reasonable to conclude that the probability of brain injury would be pretty high without the protection provided by the helmet. While the boy’s mother was obviously shaken up by the accident, she is a good observer, had raced in the national championships for several years, and is still an active racing official. She has seen cycling accidents before this. I think that her description of the accident and of the helmet’s damage is credible.
  • Just have to add that my daughter had a serious bike accident a couple of years ago. She was wearing a helmet that saved her life as I know it and lots of tax dollars. She is not a statistic because no car was involved.
  • If you’ve never so much as scraped your head, youv’e been lucky. I have had a few accidents, mostly due to gravel, dogs, or sewer grates that cars squeeze me into, and have only hit my head once — broke my collar bone at the same time. My helmet was a write-off, one side was all mushy. Could have been my head that was all mushy. As I have said before, if you don’t feel that your brain is worth protecting, it’s probably not.
  • I recently had a good forward, over the handlebar crash where the front of my Giro "Hammerhead" helment struck the concrete. There is only a small scrape across the label in the front. It saved all of my face but my chin.
  • Soapbox time here, for unbelievers: Wear the damn helmet! I don’t remember my accident- concussion wiped out everything from about 15 minutes before the wreck until 4 hours later. But I was wearing my helmet, and now I’m following the newsgroup instead of relearning the alphabet!
  • I donated major skin yesterday (as well as 2 new racewheels, shorts,jersey,glasses & helmet) I’m on the "cover with non stick bandages, polysporin every 24 hrs etc routine". It would be interesting if anyone has any better cures for this problem (stopping riding isn’t an option !) Thanks for your input. p.s. Unmarked huge hole in a roadrace, rider in front didn’t see till last minute, speed 60kph ish!
  • On one occassion a colleague of mine was struck from behind by a Jaguar which had come over the crest of a hill too fast and failed to stop in time. The police were most impressed because they extracted fragments of her helmet from the cars radiator grill yet she had only suffered very minor injuries which were easily treated in the hospitals out patients section and she was able to return to work within one day.
  • There’s much to be said about wearing a helmet and I say it. I’ve seen many arguments about not wearing helmets and how wearing helmets increases the risk of neck injury. Some of those in the anti helmet camp point to an increase in the number of cyclists who suffer neck injuries. Because of a helmet I suffered two fractured vertebrae, C6, C7 in my neck, T1 in my back, and nerve root damage at C4/C5 and C6/C7. I also suffered a fractured rib and slight knee fracture. Oh and then there were the cuts and bruises. I also had two impacts to my head. One at the top of my head above the forehead and another at the side, above the ear. Without the helmet I would have been a head injury statistic instead.
    My Spine and Neck Specialist reminded me many times during my recovery that without the helmet I would not be able to complain to him about my slow recovery and pain, that I suffered months after the accident, because he did not treat dead people. If I didn’t die, I more than likely would not be talking to him because brain dead people don’t talk. My Neurologist said upon my first examination, "It’s lucky you were wearing a helmet.". My GP, a fellow cyclist, said, "I’ll bet you’re glad you were wearing your helmet." By now I’m sure you’re wondering how I ended up in such a condition to illicit these statements. One fine afternoon, a picture perfect day, in mid November, I decided to take a little spin. The roads were dry and the air crisp. The first snows had not yet arrived in southern New Hampshire, where I lived. Just the kind of day to get in a 30 mile bike ride About halfway through the ride I decided to head over to an area that I loved to ride; rural back roads with great down hill stretches. To reach that area I had to pass through a heavy traffic area of town.
    While doing so, a 1987 Ford Bronco, pulled out in front of me, from a side street. I avoided colliding with the vehicle by performing a panic turn, while applying my brakes. After I passed behind the vehicle I started pedaling again. The vehicle and I were now traveling in the same direction. I was in the breakdown lane. As I approached the right rear side of the vehicle, it suddenly made a sharp right turn in front of me, to go into a gas station driveway. I immediately hit my brakes, considered turning right with the vehicle and decided I’d go under it if I did. I decided to try to pass behind the vehicle, but there was a car next to me now. I had no where to go. I realized then that I was going to die. In the moment before I impacted I thought about the women I married only the year before. The accident was three days after our first anniversary. I thought how sad she would be and how unfair it was for her. Her first husband died shortly after their fifth anniversary.
    I figure I was going 18 to 20 mph just before impact. I collided with the right rear side of the vehicle, between the rear wheel well and the bumper. The top of my helmet impacted with the side of the vehicle. I passed out from the force of the impact. The next thing I knew there was a police officer kneeling over me. The remainder of the accident was reconstructed by John Allen, an expert witness and who has performed many accident reconstruction’s.
    As the vehicle continued moving to the right, my front tire jammed between the fender and bumper. The bike, with me still on it, pivoted around to the rear of the vehicle. I impacted with the tailgate with my left knee. The impact left a 6 inch dent in the tailgate and a slight fracture to my knee. The material on the knee of my winter riding pants melted and fused with the paint. More than a week after the accident, John found a purple mark on the tailgate of the vehicle that matched the swatch of cloth on the knee of my pants. The dent had been banged out and the paint buffed, but the mark from my pants was still there.
    My left shoulder impacted with the window of the tailgate as indicated by the melted material on the shoulder of the riding jacket. My helmet above the ear slammed into the window next as evidenced by an indentation. This is when my doctors figure I suffered the neck fractures and nerve damage, as my head ricocheted away from the window with enough force to fracture vertebrae and tear nerve cords. Because I was wearing a helmet I am now a bicycling neck injury statistic and because of the helmet, I survived the accident without a head injury, aside from a minor concussion. Sometimes when I think about the accident, I also think about the anti drug commercial of a few years ago; "This is your brain on drugs. " and a picture of a fried egg. Instead imagine "This is your brain after hitting the side of a vehicle, without a helmet. " and a picture of scrambled eggs. At the time of the accident I was 40, rode 3,000 to 4,000 miles per year, completed the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) Effective Cycling course and was then in the process of becoming an Effective Cycling Instructor.
  • Tee hee. These are all good ideas (sprint between stoplights, pedal down hills). Unfortunately, it was pedalling down a hill in a mad sprint to make a stoplight that resulted in the untimely demise of my bicycle. Of course, it took a little assistance from the ******* in the Beamer who decided that the bike lane was a fine place to stop for a quick cell-phone call. Sorry about the helmet imprint on your trunk, dude.
  • As many of you know, Warren was injured Tuesday evening when he was struck by a car while he was riding his bike. He spent Tuesday night in the hospital for observation. I talked to his wife around 3:30 PM today (Wednesday) for an update on his condition. Warren is resting at home. He has a mild concussion, internal bruises and external scrapes. The doctors want him to stay home Thursday, but left it up to him about working on Friday. We may see him then; if not, I expect he will be back to work on Monday. His wife stressed to me that Warren was wearing a helmet which protected him from more severe injuries. Safety at home is just as important as is safety at work!
  • I wiped out once, and took most of the impact on my head. I had a head-ache from the impact through my helmet. Best head-ache I have ever had.
  • Last month Betzi & I were in a large pack when the bike immediately in front of Betzi went down. She was catapulted over the front of her bike and landed on her forehead. Her helmet was totally trashed. Aside from some minor road rash and a bent frame she was just fine. This will never make it into anyone’s statistics. We didn’t call the police, go to the emergency room, or take any other action to bring this to the attention of the statiticians. In thirty years of cycling (and my share of crashes ranging from crit pileups to being run down by a big wheeled pickup truck while I was just riding along) this is the first crash in which I or my significant other actually needed the helmet. This one crash was statistically insignificant. However, I am glad she was wearing one. It only takes one landing on your head to screw up your whole life irrespective of the statistics.
  • My concern over this issue hit home on July 24, 1997 when my son feel off his bike when he was coming down a hill and landed on his side! Thank goodness he had his helmet on because if not my son would not probably be here today! We had a nice 3 hour stay at the hospital to make sure he had not fractured and facial bones but he is okay thank GOD!
  • Helmets help in minor crashes, too. I’ve smacked my head four times in the past ten years, and escaped without injury each time. My trusty Giro absorbed a 20 mile-an-hour collision with a thick, low-hanging tree limb on a bike path; without it, I would probably have been unseated backwards into my riding companion. Another time, I fell backwards while hopping curbs on inline skates, breaking my tailbone and slamming the back of my bike helmet into the pavement. Either injury would have been exceedingly painful without a helmet, and might have hospitalized me. There’s no point in splitting headaches and blurry vision if you can avoid them!
  • The helmet "wars" are *almost* funny. I’ve been spared more serious injury twice because of one and have a friend that had a car suddenly pull out in front of him when he was doing 20 mph. He landed on his helmet, which split, and he was knocked out. He was at work (he was commuting in the first place) within 2 hours with a mild concussion. There is no question in my mind that in that case his helmet saved him from very serious injury or death. I might add he is an experienced rider and the whole thing happened too fast for him to react.
  • We went down HARD sunday on the new Rock ‘n Roll. It was raining, a portion of the surface of the groomed trail (limestone chip) washed away, exposing a clay layer which was as slick as wet ice. The front wheel felt like it was shot out from under me, and down we went at about 30 MPH. Thankfully, my wife has only minor scrapes and a slight case of "what the hell happened?" trauma. We were having such a great ride, so much fun, we really love tandemming! I’m sitting here with a broken helmet, a dandy headache, bruised/broken? ribs, slightly impaired on pain meds wondering; 1. Are tandems are more vulnerable to this (front wheel skid) than a half bike? 2. Has anybody else had to deal with the rib thing? How soon could you get back on the bike? I’m gonna get cranky if I can’t get my 100+ miles per week minimum.
  • I crashed on my bike last month with my 35TI in my little leather fanny pack. I hit pretty hard (hard enough to break my helmet, and bend my front rim). The camera is fine.
  • I recently took a tumble, for lack of paying enough attention, and broke my Bell helmet. It functioned beautifully, as I took a hard hit, and came up uninjured.
  • On a personal note, My husband was in a cycling accident in March. He was only riding a lei surely 14 miles an hour on a level road when he hit a bump that threw the bike over. It was just one of those areas of uneven pavement. He severly broke his femur. However, his helmet was cracked all the way through. He did not even suffer a concussion. The surgeon said if he had not had on his helmet, he would have had severe cranial injuries.
  • I recently had a meeting with a van. I managed to split my crash hat in half but my brain is still Ok (I think)
  • I came off my bike once about half way through a fifty-mile ride in the Trossachs, when I hit a rocky patch on the trail while coming fast downhill. It was fairly sore, but I didn’t notice until after I finished the ride that I had a dent the size of a hen’s egg in my helmet, right over my temple. If the dent had been in my skull, and not in my helmet, I don’t need to tell you that I wouldn’t be telling this story. Maybe a bike helmet doesn’t cover half my cranium, but I *never* ride without one.
  • The rule in our house has always been if you’re on wheels you wear your helmet. This has been the rule since long before I had children when two friends walked away from bike accidents in Cambridge. Both times, the paramedics said that if they had not been wearing helmets, they would be in an ambulance on the way to the hospital instead.
  • This morning I went for a short ride with my SO to check out some changes I made on the Tandem drive system. When we returned I made some adjustments and left to take the Tandem out by myself on our own street to make final adjustments. I was moving at about 18 mph on the right side of the street. A car was coming the other way, and there was a car behind me. Instead of waiting for the car in the opposite direction to pass, the car behind me, who in normal circumstances would have been able to pass me with no problem, sped up to try to get around me and beat the other car. The following car did not have enough clearance to make it, and pulled sharply to the right forcing me into the curb, and the front wheel into a sewer grating. The Tandem lurched forward and up, hitting a tree. The first contact with the tree was with my head, which thank goodness had a helmet on it. Besides a smashed Bell Evo Pro helmet, and a completely destroyed brand new Mythios saddle, both the Tandem and I will be OK, outside of some minor scrapes to both the Tandem and myself. I guess the point of this is about the importance of wearing a helmet. Although I almost always do, there are times that I do not. Many times I ride the "folder" to the supermarket, through our development, using the same route. Since I am not "racing along" and the route does not go on any major street, I will not put one on. If this had been one of those times, I would probably be dead, or severly injurred right now, instead of writing this message. I guess I was given a second chance, and will learn well from it. From now on, I will ALWAYS wear a helmet, even riding up and down my own street.
  • During a pretty steep descend, my front air chamber decided to explode. In that particular moment I was not using the brakes. I cannot be sure, but I think there has been a small "thunk" right before the episode, something like a small stone or hole. The word "explosion" should be taken literally. A motorbike travelling full speed a hundred meters ahead of me heard the "bang", did a U turn and assisted me. The front wheel *stopped*. I did not. I proved the old theory that asphalt is harder then the human body. All my left side is in a pretty disgusting state. The head got protected by the helmet (it’s in a thousands pieces: the helment, not the head which is still intact) but I could not avoid some rashes to the forehead. Nothing that 9 stiches and 7 days cannot cure (I hope). Please, I do not wish to start another helmet war. In my case it looks like it worked. The speed must have been pretty high (50/60 Km/hr) at the moment of the accident.
  • I went down for the first time this year and as previously posted put a 2 1/2" crack in my new Giro Helios helmet.
  • I believe in helmets. Three Bell helmets have been cracked on my head and only one resulted in getting knocked unconcious.
  • I never really needed a helmet either, until a car pulled out in front of me. I had almost zero reaction time to evade, I failed, I landed on my head. The helmet was cracked completly through. I was pretty happy I wore a helmet that I’ve never needed. until that moment.
  • More head trauma stories: In the 13 years that I’ve been riding, I personally know of three people who were saved because of their helmet. The first went endo over the bars directly onto his helmet at over 30 mph because his front forks snapped off. Helmet saved his head, but not his face (ouch. but he did make a lot of money off of the bike manufacturer in litigation). The second fell off a cliff and landed on his helmet because a soft shoulder on the trail gave out. Helmet was in two pieces when we finally got to him. Had a concussion but at least he was still alive. The third went endo headfirst into a large boulder because the stupid fool didn’t check his headset before the ride (yup, that’s me!). Top of helmet was completely crushed. I didn’t even end up with a headache! In all cases, the helmet didn’t save the person involved from his own riding technique but from pure accidents (ok, I should have checked my headset).
  • About eight weeks ago I was involved in an almost very serious bicycle accident on Skyline Drive. While I cannot state categorically that the helmet saved me from death, massive head trauma, or whatever, I can state unequivically that I’m very glad I was wearing it; the helmet was destroyed, and everything else I was wearing at the time (not to mention my bike) was damaged as well.
  • I have crashed twice in 2 years where my helmet saved me from further injury. Did it save my life — NO, but it allowed me to ride home on the bike, not in a chopper or ambulance. My brother took a fall last summer that punched a hole 3/4" deep in his helmet. What would that have done to his head?
  • Two of my sons and I were riding the other day and my 12 yr old son had a dog run out in front of him and he ran over the dog and flipped his bike. The dog ran off. My son skinned up his elbows and arms. While we did some first aid on him we took off his helmet and we noticed a big gouge on the left side of the helmet and several small scrapes on the left side too. I am convienced that if he did not have his helmet on he would of been in worse shape.
  • I was hit by a car back in 81 during my college days (was a roadie then, before I realized it was suicidal) It cracked my helmet in two as well, and it was one of those fiberglass ones they made before everyone went to the foam. Wrecked my bike but I had no permanent injuries.
  • The group I ride with have one rule only: Wear a helmet. We’ve had several serious helmet-crushing wrecks involving large rocks, and no rider has the right to expose the rest of us to the terrifying experience of scooping said rider’s brains into a plastic bag.
  • I recently had a spill, damaged my Bell Image Pro and spared my head.
  • One month ago I had a huge dog come out of nowhere on a sneak attack and body slammed me and the bike. Ended up trashing a $100 helmet. Argued with the farmer and they had the guts to blame us bike riders on the dog attacks. Go figure.
  • I was riding in a light rain yesterday. I was trying to avoid an intersection which has cobblestones and is crisscrossed by trolly tracks (between Mt.Airy & Chestnut Hill,in Philadelphia) but was unable to avoid the crossing because of numerous road repair projects in the area. I am an experienced rider,took every precaution (except walking the bike) and proceeded through the intersection to make my turn at a slow speed. As I mentioned. I know how to cross tracks. Nevertheless, the bike flipped out from under me and although I was not moving forward very fast, my head was moving quite fast by the time it struck the cobblestones. I got up and out of the intersection with a bruise on my chest and a headache.I was wearing a Giro helmet and the rim absorbed most ofthe impact. I don’t usually respond to these things but I felt my good fortune in wearing a helmet and living to tell about an extremely ordinary fall which could have sent me to the hosopital, or worse required me to attest to the good sense in wearing them. I survived childhood without them and I often feel like not bothering with the damn helmet. But the fact is that I am also a much better rider now which also makes me faster, likely to be in more dangerous situations, heavier than in my childhood, and smarter. Keep the rubber side down.
  • My helmet (a Giro Supermoto RL) may have saved my life. It certainly saved me a concussion and other serious injuries. I was climbing a very steep, sandy hill near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, when my front tire lifted up abruptly. Before I could get control of the bike, I flipped backward with my feet still attached to my clipless pedals. I landed on my upper back and the back of my head struck a large rock at the edge of the trail. This was a direct and powerful blow, but the helmet received the direct contact, not my head. The helmet, which was in perfect condition before the accident, cracked on impact, completely protecting my cranium from what might have been major trauma.
  • I had rebuilt a bike and was ready to take it for a test ride. As I pedaled off, I saw someone I know walking so I slowly pedaled and talked for a while. Decided to show off by sprinting away. Bad idea, I had forgotten to screw in the right clipless pedal and it snapped off just as I jumped on it (you know, out of saddle and all). I went down hard on a concrete road, banged up my elbow and ankle and had some good road rash on my shoulder and butt. Fortunately, I had put on my helmet because I could feel it absorb the impact. Later inspection showed it to have cracked and I’m sure it saved me from being a vegetable.
  • In the interest of promoting helmet use I want to tell you about my daughter’s experience. She was riding down hill on a city street, between parked cars and traffic. She suddenly came upon a deep pot-hole and had no time to stop and nowhere to go except straight ahead. She hit the hole and the front wheel colapsed throwing her over the handlebars. She apparently landed on her head because her helmet cracked. She was knocked out and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. Very fortunately there was no permanent damage to her. The bike was ruined. At the hospital she was told that if she had not been wearing the helmet she would most likely have been killed.
  • Well, I must admit that I’ve been impressed. I cracked up my RazorPro helmet (it saved me from a probable fractured skull). On Sept 5th I mailed it to Bell (along w/ $30.00 ck, Hhmmm. ) and I received a replacment on Sept 11th (EvoPro). How did they do that? In six days. Hey, even though I had to pay something for it, the turn-around time was excellent. Besides a new EvoPro would have cost me a lot more. Hey BELL, give yourself a pat on the back. [I understand that your personal experience may differ from above]
  • Well, I was coming down a steep pitch, front wheel caught a rock and I went over the bars, smacking a large boulder head on. Direct hit, dead on with the top of the head. Rather. helmet. Made a believer out of me, happend so quick. Hate to think how bad it would have hurt to not have a helmet on. -) Its a matter of personal choice, and I choose to ride with one. Who knows, maybe some day I’ll stop on the trail and help patch you up 🙂
  • I used to never wear a helmet while riding. Then I started, but only off-road. Then one day I was cruising home from work and decided to do a shortcut across this empty lot that had kinda-tall grass. Then I ended up on the ground after hitting a foot-tall rock that I didn’t see, and my head came within inches of another similarly-sized rock. If I had been going faster, I would have been really injured by the impact with my skull. Probably not dead, but probably irritated. This irritation was solved by blowing $50 on a helmet. It just so happened that I had another irritating wreck about a week later, and did smack my head on the ground (rather hard, indeed), and wasn’t hurt due to the fact that I had the helmet on. Yet I haven’t wrecked in six years while riding off-road. Strange. )
  • I’m with ya—eight years of off-road riding, doing some pretty nutty stuff at times, and zero significant crashes. Five years of road riding, and at least four major wipeouts, three of which involved some amount of head impact. Maybe I just suck as a roadie, but after about 11,000 miles, I think I’d have figured it out. And in each of those impacts, my helmet saved me. Not from death, but definitely from stitches and possibly from concussion. Statistics be damned—my head is not a statistic.
  • Last Thursday, I was riding through a parking lot on campus when I was hit by a pick-up truck backing out suddenly. He knocked me over, and I was carted off to the emergency room. Luckily, my helmet took the brunt of my fall, and I came away fairly intact, with just a stiff neck and shoulders and a pretty scraped up face. I should heal just fine, though.
  • I was hit by an automobile in June, a girl pulled out in front of me (I had the right-of-way) and I went flying over the hood. Miraculously I wasn’t killed. This time my clipless peddles released without any work on my part. I flew over her hood, landed on my shoulder and head (cracked helmet, no broken bones!).
  • Hey there, almost 2 years ago I was riding a relatively easy off road track I got silly so what happened was my fault — BUT because I was wearing a helmet I am alive to tell my tale Today. The doctors In ICU and the Emergency room agree that the damage that was done to the rest of My body and after looking at the remains of my helmet, they unanimously agree that had I not had a skid-lid on I would either, a: be Dead, or b: in a wheelchair with very little body control because my brain would have been so badly damaged.
  • I hit a dog, flipped, and broke my pelvis and crushed the helmet liner and scratched up the helmet like you. No head injury. Without the helmet, my head would’ve taken the lick the liner took.
  • Wait a minute. helmets are NOT useless. I probably wouldn’t be writing this email if it weren’t for a helmet. I was broadsided by a car, flipped head over heels and landed flat on my back with the back of my head slamming into the pavement. After coming to in the hospital, I got to see my helmet. Sure, the foam was crushed and it was scraped up pretty good, but I only had a slight bump on the back of my head. I assure you that I would have had substantial cranial injury if my unprotected head had hit the concrete with the same amount of force. I did have a broken leg, however. I NEVER ride without my helmet, and I don’t think any non-suicidal cyclist should, either.
  • I awoke laying on the ground, twisted up near my girlfriend’s brand new hybrid bicycle. It was night time, somewhere around 3:00 am. I was at the foot of a steep hill, near the local high school, where a concrete staircase with steel handrails descends to a ballfield. Next to the stairs is a worn dirt path which presumably, I had just attempted to ride down. Instead, obviously I crashed badly, tumbled down the hill and landed unconcious in a heap at the bottom. I must have been laying there for several hours because I left the house at midnight and never ride around the neighborhood for three hours. I had just gone out for a quick spin to wind myself down for the night, and to get a little aerobic work in before the upcoming Seniors Windsurfing Regatta at Hilton Head Island, SC. I remember opening my eyes, looking around and wondering where in the hell I was. It was so quiet and eerie. Then I saw the goal posts and shotput circle, the bleachers and school parking lot and recognized the location. I wondered how I got there and what had happened? Why was I there? Why would I have attempted to ride down a hill I had never been down before? Especially at night and using my girlfriend’s bike which I had only ridden once before? I would not have risked damaging her bicycle, would I? Or worse, damaging myself. Hmmmmmm. I heard first, then saw a sanitation truck making his rounds between the dumpters behind the school. As he approached my location, I wondered if he would see me laying there. No, I just barely saw the top of the truck cruise by above me. He couldn’t have seen me. Then it got very quiet once again and I felt very alone. I started to sense the realities of the situation. I slowly untwisted myself and struggled to my feet. My right calf felt like it took a cannonball hit, but I could stand. My precious knees seemed OK. I looked at the brand new Trek helmet I had been wearing, for only the second time. It was smashed on the top and left side. Thank God I had it on. Judging by the damage, I might have been dead without it. Part of the strap system cut me badly behind the right ear, probably on it’s way to being wrenched off my head. I don’t think it stayed on, but I don’t really remember picking it up either. Then my shoulder caught my attention. Mainly because I could not move my left arm. I thought "clavicle", but it was in one piece. "Rotator cuff" maybe? No, this felt worse. I thought "Oh man, I’m hurt bad. I gotta get home. Can I ride?" Luckily, the bike’s only damage was an out-of-true rear wheel. My calf probably caused that. So very gingerly, I got on the bike and slowly pedaled around the track toward another set of stairs leading up to the parking lot. I leaned on my left arm once, and swerved off the path from the resulting pain. "Do NOT do that again" I cursed. I got back on track and make it to the stairs.
  • Two years ago I was traveling about 30 miles an hour down an overpass and my front tire fell into a concrete expansion joint and promptly flipped me onto the road. This cracked my helmet and broke my collar bone. I started riding again as soon as I felt I could safely ride again.I had to rebuild my wheels and replace my seat but my bike was not damaged too badly. I was surprised that I did not have the fear of riding that you experienced. Perhaps if I had been hit by a car things would be different.
  • For all who have Manitou shocks, check the dropout/slider connection regularly! A good friend experienced a catastrophic failure with his yesterday when both dropouts sheared off of the slider. Since he was going down a rocky hill @ about 34 mph (can you say faceplant?), he was EXTREMELY lucky to get off with stitches in several places. no broken bones (and he’s still picking rocks out of his gums). His helmet is in several pieces, no doubt after having saved his life. There was a recall on these shocks a year or two ago and his were replaced then, so don’t take it for granted you are safe if you had yours replaced. Be careful.
  • I was always kind of on the fence regarding wearing helmets. After all, I ride about 5,000 miles a year and (until June of ’97) never fell. This past June I made the bad mistake of trying to press the laws of physics taking a turn while going down a hill. With all the road-rash I accumulated (I hit chip-seal doing 40 mph) it never dawned on me to look at my helmet until the next day, when I discovered it was cracked in the back. Wide open. If that were my head, I wouldn’t be here adding to this silly debate. A helmet weighs almost nothing. And it probably did save my life.
  • Last summer, I went riding on Mountain Ridge with some friends and met a girl that changed my mind about helmets. A friend of mine told me she used to be the most balls out rider, but was in an accident a year ago that has made her a little gun shy. After riding behind her I thought she must have developed some permenant hand cramps from how hard she clutch her brakes around the switchbacks. At the bottom of the ride, she told me about the race she had been in the previous summer and how she was barralling down and into a switchback so fast that she lost control, flew off the trail (bike and all) and landed face down on a jagged tree root or stump. Her helmet cracked and a piece of the tree aimed right at her eye smashed the pair of Oakley glasses she was wearing. She spent a lot of months healing the scars all over her face and is convinced she wouldn’t have walked away from that accident if she wouldn’t have been wearing that annoying helmet. Watch the switchbacks and protect your mellon!
  • about 5-7 years ago i was riding along. it was one of those rare times i was wearing a helmut. at the time, all we had were those bell brain buckets. anyway mirage came out with a styrafome(sp?)helmut. light, comfortable, and cheap. back to the ride, i don’t know what happen but i went over the handle bars, landed squarely on my helmutted melon, next on back — yeowch. i got up and checked my bike — it was o.k. i was o.k. so i went on home. if i crash/flat/have a mechanical problem i go home — bad mojo. later that day i was giving my stuff the once over and found huge flat spot on my helmut. the helmut worked. it absorbed the shock, and dissipated it. here’s the point, that’s why they call them accidents, because you don’t know when they are going to happen.
  • A always rode with a helmet when I was racing/training on my racing bike. I felt the added dangers (feet "trapped", other riders, etc) warrented this. However, on my commuter bike, where I ride on safe cycle paths I never did. Summer 1996, It happened, my "biggy". I was in a chasing group, 12 strong. A flag marshall never made it to the junction in time, we were all a bit wary as we approached the intersection and the brakes went on. I put myself at the back of the group, hoping to keep my momentem going if the others stopped. The first 2 guys went straight accross so the rest of us assumed saftey. As we neared the white stop line we were suddenly aware of a truck coming from the left and we all hit our brakes as one. Bikes, bits of bikes, arms and legs flew in every direction. Amazingly the truck flew past and missed us all. I had tried to swerve to the right of the guy in front as I stopped, but he had also moved to his right. My front wheel went in his rear cogs and I flew over the handlebars. I think I held on to the brakes too long, but it was my reaction, stop = brake. I was still holding the brakes when my helmet hit the ground. My second contact with the ground was my chin. I broke my jaw in 3 places, and suffered a fracture of the adams apple. I had trouble breathing and had to be trached (small hole for air tube through into me under the adams apple.) Our crash speed was around 10 m.p.h. If we had been going faster I would have probable released the brakes and gone sideways. So speed is not the issue here. I damaged 15 teeth, received cuts to eye, nose, general rode rash on upper forearms and legs followed by back and knee pain for some time. I was laid off work for 4 months. But all this was stuff they could fix. I did not even suffer a light concusion, the helmet was a write-off, split in several pieces. Think about this for one minute, the first and hardest contact with the road was the helmet, the second was the jaw bone, which broke in three places.
  • The group of guys I ride with won’t let anyone without a helmet even ride with us. Last year at one of our favorite riding spots there were 2 serious accidents on the same day. One guy slammed head-first into a tree on a downhill. he cracked his helmet in half, but walked out of the woods a little shaken, but no serious injury.
  • I crashed recently on a fast ride in the hills with some cat 1 & 2 riders. My helmet probably saved my life, and at the least, a very serious head fracture.
  • This past weekend I was riding by an entrance to a popular weekend "meandering" trail. For some reason I was noticing a woman (she was attractive) putting her child (I assume it was hers) into her bicycle seat on the back of her bike. The child was helmeted and strapped in. Mom, who also had a helmet on (although I think she already had a few too many blows to the head to help), promptly lets go of the bike and turns around to shut the deck lid on her Cherokee. Bike falls over, baby falls over, hits head, bounces a bit, starts screaming, and so does mom. Baby was fine, just scared. Helmet worked, bike seat worked, baby stayed strapped in.
  • I have NEVER hit my head when I was riding hard doing the knarly single track thing or while going fast doing techincal downhill. (I always wipeout to the side or flip completly over the bars and hit my butt or back never hit my head. ) Or riding on the streets. NEVER. On the other hand I have hit my head twice while just ridding along. Once I was with my wife on a very easy trail I ride all the time with a helmet really fast and hard. I’m just ridding along behind my wife doing may 5-10 mph with a slight downhill. next thing I know my front tire STOPS. and I flip right onto my head. (I was wearing a helmet) I saw stars and my neck was stiff for a week or so. I doubt that fall would have killed me but I am sure I would have been hurt alot worse if nothing else cuts from the little baseball sized jagged rocks my helmet hit. (The helmet was cracked) What happened? I caught a stick just perfectly (tiny little thing) and flipped it up into my wheel. Had I been going faster it probably would have just broken it. (I also probably would have been paying more attention and more prepared for a weight change, the front tire might have slid and I would have gone down to the side. who knows 🙂 The other time was pretty much the same thing. Not paying attention since I was going so slow and easy. and flipped over right onto my head. (So maybe I should pay attention when I go slow 🙂 so, the moral is. just ridding along is where you should worry the most. )
  • I fell off my bike about two weeks ago now. I was making a left turn, one I’ve made every day I’ve ridden to work, but not two weeks ago on Monday. I pulling out of the turn, and then all of a sudden I’m looking at the sky. My back slams against the ground, and as my head is moving backwards, like a whip, the thing I thought before my head hit the ground was, "Good thing I’m wearing a helmet." The blow to the back of the helmet rang through my head.I then looked around, remembered I was in the road, got up picked up my bike, and moved off to the side to assess the damage. A car stopped and asked if I wanted to go to the hospital. I guy stopped mowing his lawn and asked if I wanted an ambulance. I eyed myself off an then I waved them both off. I looked at my legs, hardly a scratch. I looked at my back, and where I stuck the ground was a huge abrasion, but no bones stuck out, and I was walking. My elbow was bleeding a little, but not serious. I popped off my helmet. The back was pushed in and the styrofoam had a crack running in a ring in the back. I imagine that would’ve been in my head. The main message here: Wear your helmets.
  • Does anyone know the name and address of the UK agent/distributor for Bell Cycle Helmets? My 8 year old son fell off his bike descending a woodland trail on the weekend and the helmet prevented a serious head injury. I thought that Bell may like to see the result of a real crash for evaluation/research?
  • In 1993, I was hit by a car that pulled out from a stop sign in front of me. My 200 pound body was launched over the hood of the car and landed about 15 feet away on hard asphalt. Even though I landed directly on the top of my head, I got off lightly with cuts, bruises, road rash, and a broken finger. My helmet was cracked; you could say that I was saved by the Bell! Actually, the only part of my body that didn’t hurt afterward was my head.
  • I didn’t start wearing a helmet until I was 40 (last year). I had a bad tandem accident with my son. His helmet broke — I needed three stitches. Six months later, while wearing a helmet, I went down and broke my helmet. It would have been much worse without. I’m glad I changed my mind.
  • I took a hard spill yesterday (first spill) at at least 20 MPH. The left side of my head hit pavement — and hard. The helmet I was wearing has a crack in the one-inch thick crushable foam that runs from the bottom left side to the first air-hole (about 1 3/4 in.). Had I not be wearing that helmet yesterday, I seriously believe that I would be at least seriously brain damaged as it would have been the temple portion of my skull that would have made contact. Instead I was able to walk away with some juicy road rash.
  • I’m relatively new to the bicycling newsgroups and find this helmet "argument" rather silly. All I can think is that those who say they don’t need a helmet have never fallen on their heads (good for them, so far) and have also never had a friend riding with them pitch onto their heads. As one who has done both, I’m particularly glad I had my helmet on as I crashed at 30 mph and the side of my head bounced up and down on the pavement. Two weeks ago while mountain biking my wife performed a classic endo while going downhill at considerable speed and was pitched forward and landed nearly vertically, head first. I hate to think of what would have happened or would still be happening if she hadn’t been wearing a helmet. Helmets have their limits but much of the time they work just fine, thank you.
  • Last week while on a ride a buddy had his front wheel kicked off a rock, into a downed tree along the trail. This dumped the bike sideways and him to the ground. I was about 40 ft ahead of him and I heard the smack of his helmet on the rock. He got up and was a bit dazed, but overall ok. It wasn’t a tough trail, just "one of those things" that can happen while riding. We continued the ride. If he had no helmet — he would have gone to the hospital with head injuries, I’m sure.
  • Would’nt be without my MET Rapper. Its Power Lock mechanism locks the helmet on. it can’t twist or rotate. I have had 2 accidents where I could have been in serious trouble without it. One was on a downhill where I was doing about 30kph, and saw an overhanging branch at the last moment. I could’nt avoid it, so I put my head down so the top of the helmet connected the branch. It glanced heavily off the helmet, cracking it. MET replaced it for a nominal fee under their damage warranty. I am sure my head would have looked different without the helmet.
  • My Bell Vertigo saved my life when a truck pulled out in front of me and I couldn’t stop in time. its about a 45$ helmet.
  • Two years ago, while riding my mountain bike on a light dusting of fresh snow on the bike path, the front wheel washed outfromunderme.Since it happened so quickly, I didn’t even have time to extend out my arm. My right forehead hit the pavement hard enough to fracture the helmet like a road map! Since the ambient temp was 15 degrees, there wasn’t much chance for someone to be strolling down the forest preserve. Thank goodness I stayed conscious.
  • I’ve personally broken two helmets and no heads in bicycling falls. One helmet cracked when the back of head hit a tree trunk, and one buckled when a low-hanging tree branch hit the top of my helmet end-on (I hadn’t seen it because it was dusk and the branch presented such small footprint in my field of vision).
  • I was on the Annapolis-Baltimore bike trail and crossing a roadway when a speeding motorist forced me to make emergency manuevers. I missed the car, the patch of sand, but was out of momentum and couldn’t avoid the post sitting in the middle of the bike path that was put there to keep cars off the path. I ended up catching a pedal (almost missed by thaaaat much) and spinning into the stop sign put up to bring cyclists to a full stop. Tacoed the front wheel, split a helmet and still have the crescent scar where my glasses cut into my cheek. I also have the memory of my wife — a nurse no less — panicking and setting off down the bike path for our car — in the wrong direction.
  • To all you anti-helmet folks out there: I had a run in today and totally biffed my helmet. It could’ve have been my skull. If I weren’t wearing a helmet, I wouldn’t be here typing this post. So say what you want against helmets, but I’ll give up riding before I give up riding with a helmet.
  • In the last 18 months, I’ve had three accidents. I wear a helmet whenever I cycle on the road, but then, I think it’s particulary silly not to in London. In one of the accidents, a Jeep Cherokee overtook me, without bothering to change course at all, hit me and shunted my bike into a parked car. I went over the parked car in a graceful swallow dive and crashed head first into one of Kensington and Chelsea’s huge concrete bins. I cracked my skull (plus quite a few other injuries), and I was told by the doctor who treated me that without a helmet I would probably not have survived intact.
  • I have a theory that there are just some people who get in a lot of accidents. I had a couple of years in which I seemed to be a walking/pedalling car magnet. Helmets have quite literally saved my life more than once (one time the ambulance driver said that when he saw what had happened to my helmet, he certainly didn’t expect me to be alive and blinking when he got close enough to see), and for that reason and that reason alone I will wear one when I go out riding, whether Julian thinks I’m a wuss for doing so or not.
  • I fell off the bike this morning. I knew there was ice on the road so I was careful but even so. The back end went out on me 2 miles from home- I just caught it. Almost in to work, coming round the last corner and I started pedalling, idiot — back end went and dumped me in the road. My _helmet_ saved a broken skull and is fatally cracked. Otherwise just bruises.
  • Here’s my war story: hit a wee bump while mountain biking, did the ol’ over the handlebars thing. Broke my clavicle in two places, had a bunch of scrapes and bruises. At the ER, I swore my head had not hit the ground! A couple of days later, while pulling the bike out of the car, I noticed that my helmet (a Bell) was shattered. The right side was split in 3 or 4 places. There was an obvious rock impression on the side as well. I’m convinced it saved me massive injury!
  • Our bicycle touring club counts approx. 1000 members. And from 1990: — Crashed on high speed downhill member is alive, but his helmet was broken to small chanks. He demonstrated it in a plastic bag at the club meeting. Spent 1 day in Stanford Univ. hospital. The rider is OK and riding. — During 10mi race a club rider (I’ve witnessed it) while riding on clipons and closing his eyes on the rod drifded to the right and crushed into a huge truck parked along the street. I run to call 911. When I was back I saw his face with blood running from his nose and ears and I saw a cracked helmet. He hit the truck with his head at 18-20 mi/hr. After 5 days in a hospital he was OK (left with a neck pain), but I did not see him partisipatin in club rides after this accident. — A club rider was hit by a car run on red ( young lady was late for her final college test) at the cross at 50mi/hr. He was all broken but alive. Without helmet. After more than year he is riding, but not the same. Our club policy applied to the club members only and require helmets on all clup rides. It is stated at the top of monthly Ride Schedule. Riders without helmets do not get ride/miles credit. I can not recall seening a club member on a club ride without helmet.
  • Having ridden over 100,000 miles in the last ten years, I have been in three paceline crashes that I could not have avoided. In two of them, my helmets were demolished — broken in two parts. No head injury was sustained. I wear one for every ride I make.
  • Ha, my favorite ex-local (I moved!) trail was 200m long. It was a steep gulley in Emily Murphey Park, Edmonton, with a small dropoff half way down. Almost invariably, the dropoff sends you flying over the handlebars. A friend, who said "that doesn’t look that steep. " promptly did a Superman dive, arms and legs akimbo, landing straight on his head in the (luckily) sandy gulley! His helmet was toast, but he seemed OK after a few days. Found out later, in a Good Houskeeping (or something like that) magazine, which had a quick article on MTBing, that the trail was called Brain Basher. . The only way I’ve been able to go down it was full tilt, but then I usually wipe trying to avoid the trees at the bottom.
  • Gentlemen (?), please: Say what you will about helmets. but after 25 years of riding (mostly commuting and light touring) I had a run-in with a car just before Thanksgiving. I walked away with some bruising and soreness but the helmet was totaled. I’m convinced that if it were not for my helmet, I would’ve spent the holiday in the ICU.
  • 5 PM Sunday 2/1/98. Cooling down after a great 50 mile ride to Leesburg, I missed a speed bump on slight downhill. Said bump on grounds of the Rotonda Condo is at 45 degrees to traffic, for some reason! Did an endover to top and rear of left shoulder (ass over tea kettle). Am now righthanded. Left ER at FFX Hosp after 10 PM with sling, X rays showing clearly a broken collarbone, and prescription for Percoset. Did not take the Percoset or Motrin yet. Was able to finish ride on bike using one arm and drive to and from the ER. So much for February match with Mike Tyson. Toughest part was getting all 4 layers of clothing off. One kind man in the sprains and breaks waiting line helped me do this in front of the others. Saves cutting the stuff off. Shoulder pads are in order this spring. Fracture is not near any artery, major nerve or bursa. Not far from the AC ligament. There are some shattered pieces. Will see orthopedist tomorrow, but ER gave good prognosis. Need a new helmet. Cracks in shell on both sides above ears and noticeable black scuffs running fore and aft at TDC. Was aware of one head smack, but absolutely no pain. Helmet did not fly off. Bike stem twisted at least 90 degrees, saddle twisted a few degrees, and LH brake grip turned in on handlebar. It all happened in an instant with no warning. Was on Raleigh. Am famished after going without food all day. FFX Hosp gets high marks, but they were very crowded with crying babies and people like me. Lady before me also fell from bicycle and had cuts on forehead, dazed look and wheelchair. Pain is more irritating than excruciating (although I suspected injury before moving). It should worsen tomorrow. Moral: pay attention. Switch to indoor eyeglasses later in the day.
  • I agree with the rests of the post here concerning downhils and such but I have a warning. In a near collision with another rider I mistakenly pulled on both at once, locked them up and in a fraction of a second was face first in rocks and dirt. Six stiches in the lip, thirty-six in the forehead and two under the eye. These brakes are not very forgiving. Yes, I wore a helmet. Crushed the front of it. Bike survived, thank God!
  • Bub, I hate to get into an argument with you. You know my stance on this — that I think the stats are all pumped up by facial injuries which a helmet wouldn’t prevent. However, a brand-new cyclist I know, on their new bike for two weeks, got into a spill last week. Had a pedestrian walk out in front of them, and lost control of the bike. Maybe you or I could have got out of that without notable difficulty. The chap in question, however, had a spill. Apparently wonked his noggin (and his brand-new Bell) on the pavement. Perhaps that’s the point of the whole mess. Maybe that stupid law helped the newbie from being badly mangled?
  • On several occassions, I have been hit by a car. Three have resulted in slight injuries (one crushed my helmet — I am glad I was wearing it — don’t leave home without it), and ICBC paid for repairs and replacements on my bicycle. It has always been the driver’s fault — 100%.
  • I was glad my helmet absorbed the impact, and not my skull, when I was run down.
  • Anyone here suffered a concussion as a result of a bicycle accident? I did, today, and I’m still a bit worried. I was leading a short pace line on a small (1/3 mile) track today, and looking straight down, when I slammed into a roller-blader who was on the track illegally. (Joggers, skaters: both prohibited.) I destroyed _another_ helmet (I’ve been through 3 this year) but what I found really distressing was that for about 1/2 hour afterward, I was unable to remember important things: my address, the names and numbers of the classes that I’m taking, the problems that I was working on.
  • Last I was riding my regular 15 mile evening route across the South downs when I came to a steep decent that takes me to a steep banking with some nasty drop-offs. I had been down this banking quite quickly a couple of times before, each time quicker than the last, and had felt pleased with myself after getting to the bottom, looking back and noticing how steep and rugged it was. So last week I approached the banking at speed — getting a little blas I suppose — I started down and realised I had no chance of making it at the speed I was going, so I started braking. I don’t know whether it was because I was braking too hard on the front, or the result of hitting a drop off with my weight too far forward, but I went straight over the bars, dropped straight as a die and landed on my head. As I was about four foot from the bottom of the banking when I went over the bars, I traveled a considerable distance through the air, and when I landed I heard a loud cracking sound. I picked myself up, my ankles were buzzing after my feet had been wrenched from my SPD’s, but apart from that I seemed OK. However my helmet felt loose. I took my helmet off and found it had broken clean in two from front to back. I hate to think what kind of a vegetable I would have been if I hadn’t been wearing a lid. For the first month I had my bike I rode without a helmet, but you’ll never find me off road again without one.
  • I know that if I had not been wearing my helmet when I fell this week, my head would have been injured. BTW, I did get on and do a VERY easy 19 miles on my road bike this morning but am still very sore.
  • About wear or not an helmet? This is my story: on june the first I was racing in Verona Italy, the Lessinia Legend bike, a 50 km race long, with bad weather conditions: rain rain rain. The last part of the circuit was a long steep descent, very very fast: my speed was about 60/70 kmh and approachin a doble s, I felt my front wheel loosing grip on the ground. I crashed and I remember the noise of my helmet hitting the road. I had no bad injuries but i can tell you my story.
  • I fell going a little faster than 1 mph (maybe 5) and did the same — launched myself off a small rise after hitting a root. I landed so hard on my head that I broke a Bell V-1 Pro Helmet 🙁 I found that I could not move (hard to breath when your face is crammed into the dirt) for a few seconds and then the pain hit — ouch. I missed out on 6 months of mountain biking due to the back injury from that fall but I’m thankfull that I didn’t miss out biking forever.
  • I once did a head plant at 23mph. It took about .05 seconds for me to go over the top of my bike and find myself in the middle of the road, and the reaction time of Muhammed Ali wouldn’t have helped me (ironically, I am thinking of him while he boxed and not now).I split my helmet down the middle and walked away unscathed. So I don’t even make your statistical analysis because I never reported an accident and I suffered no injury. Yet I am convinced I would have been very seriously damaged or killed without my helmet How many other "non-victims" do you think are out there. Perhaps enough to significantly skew your probability tables.
  • I’ve been racing for over 12 years, and doing fast saturday and Sunday rides with big packs ( 50 to 75 riders ) made up of cat 2’s, 3’s. 4s, and more tri-geeks than desirable ( WPB Florida—pack rides on A1A) .I’ve personally seen at least 10 crashes in that time, which involved riders going over the handle bars and hitting head first so hard that they shattered the helmet. Let me say this a different way—-I would have seen at least ten deaths, if these riders had not been wearing helmets. I think the message is clear—smart riders wear helmets, those with little to protect do not. -)
  • I’m 13 and have always worn my helmet when I rode my bike and also rollerbladed. My mom and dad said no helmet no GO. My friends would tease me and tell me I looked like a dork. I cracked my first helmet when I hit a low hanging tree branch racing my mountain bike on the trails. I crached my second helmet when I went down on the road last summer. Both times I remember the headache I had for a couple of days. It’s funny how some of my friends have become dorks now and wear their helmets when we ride. We also go to the LBS and have the straps adjusted so the helmets fit tight. Now if I could get them to go on a 40-50 mile road ride they might understand those bike shorts;-(
  • As I sit here licking my wounds, I can’t help but think about all of the riders I see that don’t wear a helmet. I just went over the top of my handlebars at about 27 mph. Sure, I am missing some skin and my back hurts a little (a lot), but if I didn’t have a helmet, I would have no pain now at all. There is a big chunk missing from my helmet where my head would have come into contact with the pavement. Now the only thing I only have to worry about is will I be able to do USTS Phoenix, and Wildflower, and if so, how I am going to get in some swim and run training before them. By the way, how long does it take for the skin to start returning? It is not a pretty sight.
  • You can never underestimate the value of a good helmet. Two of our club members had a major crash with a car during a race last month and fortunately both walked away with minor injuries. But its only because of their helmets that neither of them were killed. Both helmets bore the scars of some pretty serious impact with the road.
  • Helmets do save lives. It saved mine. I suffered from a mild hemotoba (brain bleeding) after my accident. If not for the hemlet, my brains would have been elsewhere than in my head.
  • Me too. And you don’t have to go fast. I once snapped of a bike pedal just as I was starting and went over on my back. Bike speed was maybe 5 mph, but my head snapped back and I could hear and feel the helmet compressing. The plastic was cracked, and the absorption material permanently dented. I had a very minor concussion, but shudder to think if I would not have had my helmet on. the noise I heard would have been my skull cracking. I like my helmet.
  • I’d just like to say that I was in a car/bike accident where I was hit by a car in excess of 35 mph. The woman who hit me was not drunk and generally was a careful driver, but at that time she wasn’t looking and made a quick turn into me. This happened about 2 years ago and I’m still suffering the emotional and physical pains from it. I must say that the only thing that saved my life was my now severely cracked and bloodied helmet. The helmet took the brunt of the hit to my head. With everything that I’ve experienced since the accident, I don’t wish this to happen even to my worst enemy. You never know what’s going to happen when you’re riding even in the safest streets. It’s only common sense to protect your greatest asset i.e. your head (brain). Everytime I see a kid riding without a helmet, I cringe. Yes, there’s a good chance the kid won’t be hit or fall down, but on the off-chance that it may happen, isn’t it prudent to be more safe than sorry? I’m glad that I was.
  • On the ride home this evening I was out of the saddle and cranking pretty hard — pulling up vigorously — when my right foot came out of the pedal. I lost control completely, hit a curb and went over, barely missed cracking my head open on a three foot high boulder on the side of the road. Aside from a lot of dirt ground into my clothes, a wasted tire (from the curb), a cracked helmet, and a few bruises, the only thing hurt was my pride. These were no-name SPD-style pedals and name-brand SPD-cleated shoes. So here I am thinking that I shouldn’t be able to pull my foot out of a clipless pedal when I’m pulling directly up. Am I wrong? I haven’t raced in fifteen years, and I’m not a powerful rider.
  • I shaved my head two weeks ago. And noticed that I started getting funny tan lines from my helmet. I thought to myself, I’ve worn this helmet for how long now? And never needed it (I never crash). Do I really need to wear it? And put up with these tan lines? I decided on wearing a thing called a "flydanna" under my helmet. It’s kind of like a bandanna that’s made to tie in the back. Good thing I did. Two days ago while road biking, I went down at about 35 mph on Chevy Chase Dr. in Glendale, CA. I shattered my collar bone (R. clavicle), and shattered my helmet too. My head had a slight bump on it. The doctors, upon looking at the remains of my helmet, said if I had not been wearing that helmet I would be in a different part of the hospital. The Morgue.
  • As planned, my wife and I went to NYC for the 42-mile "Bike NY" ride on Sunday. We went up Saturday, got started in the cold and rain on Sunday morning, but by 11:00 AM or so the sun came out and things looked up. We got to about the 25-mile point just past the Brooklyn Navy Yard when for some reason unknown to me our bikes started to touch each other, I pulled right, lost control, and flew over the bike landing on my right side. My wife said she heard me hit HARD, and when she got to me I was unconscious, not moving at all, just snoring. Police and ride officials were right on me (I’m told) and called an ambulance. I slowly came to, although I don’t remember the early talk; the ambulance showed up, and they took me and my wife to Bellevue’s emergency room. I’ll spare you of all the gory details, the CAT scan results, etc. The end result, however, is that although I am very, very sore, with a huge hip bruise/hematoma, and lots of cuts, I was checked out by my own doctor in DC this afternoon, and I’m OK. No broken bones; no detectable neurological damage. Although my face took a cut and some scrapes, my Specialized "Air Express" helmet was on securely, broke in several places, but according to the doctors most certainly saved my life. In retrospect, this could have been MUCH worse, as in a broken back or neck, long coma, or death. I’ve always believed strongly in bike safety, including helmets (the wearing/not-wearing of which I sort of viewed as a modern part of Darwinian evolution), but now it’s no longer abstract to me. Any suggestions on where to buy a replacement helmet? Just thought I’d share this with you as a little reminder of the need for a good helmet worn properly.
  • My 4 year old recently wiped out on his 2-wheeler (with training wheels), bouncing his head off the pavement at least twice before coming to a stop (he was out of control going down a small hill, and I was frozen like a deer in headlights). He never cries when he’s hurt but this time I figured he’d at least gotten a concussion and expected the worst. I ran over, picked him up and held him tight, figuring we might be taking a trip to the hospital. He cried maybe 15 seconds, then jerked around, jumped down, grabbed his bike, and off he peddled. My friend and I stood there in utter amazement — he didn’t even seem fazed by it. All I can say is — make your kids wear their helmets — they DO work.
  • I have a couple of friends from MIT that bought Bell V-1 pros when they first came out. Both of them got hit by a car in front of the MIT Museum. Both of them walked away (OK, one limped away because she did damage to her ankle) with a split helmet and paramedics remarking how smart MIT students were and how they wished the rest of the world would be so smart.
  • I came down a short slope, with an easy right turn at the bottom, at a max of maybe 15 mph. At the bottom, my front wheel dropped into an unseen rut that basically yanked the bike right out from under me. As the bike and I parted company, I was launched superman style off the trail and into the weeds, where I hit a log head first. Ever set off a cherry bomb inametaltrashcan?That’s what the impact of helmet on wood sounds like from inside. I don’t think I ever totally lost consciousness, but everything went gray for a second, and my ears rang like tuning forks for several minutes. a probable T.K.O. I didn’t get up right away. Laying in the weeds and the rocks seemed like an ok thing to be doing at the time, and it gave me a great view of the poison ivy. When I felt a little steadier, I sat up and discovered a hellacious headache, worthy of an all night tequila bender. But, I got back on my bike, finished the ride (maybe 4 more miles), loaded up my bike and went home. I can’t say I got off scot-free. I got my chimes rung, and the headache lasted until I went to bed last night. Today, I have a really stiff neck, an assortment of bruises, cuts and scrapes on my left arm and leg, a scuffed-up helmet and a bent bar end. And if I haven’t got poison ivy, I don’t know why not. But I didn’t end up spending the rest of my Sunday in the ER waiting to have my scalp stitched up and my skull x-rayed (or worse).
  • A little over a year and a half ago, I had a chunk of highway collapse under me as I rolled over it. (It turned out to be a bit of utility retrenching that hadn’t been sealed properly.) I was moving just over 30 miles per hour, and hit the pavement hard enough to snap my shoulder blade in half, dislocate my shoulder, shred my jersey, and cover my legs and side in road rash. I totalled an older Bell Image helmet. I didn’t really think much of the head impact. I thought my shoulder had absorbed most of the force of the accident as I instinctively tried to "roll through" the impact. Then the attending physician started making a big deal out of it. He was convinced that I would be dead if I hadn’t been wearing my helmet. Convinced may not be strong enough, he was adamant. He even had one of the nurses shoot pictures of the helmet to use with young cyclists who came in with (hopefully) more minor injuries.
  • I knew it was coming. I wasn’t sure when, but I knew it was coming. My first bike crash. Its a momentous occasion. While flying along, wind behind my back, downhill, at about 35 miles per hour, my front and rear tires got caught in a big crack down the middle of the road. Needless to say I want down, HARD. I’m not sure how far I skidded but my jet stream water bottle ended up about 100 meters down the road from where I stopped. My left side is now road pizza. Surprisingly, my bike came out of it well. Just the left side of my handle bars and the my left pedal are very scraped up. Nothing some new grip tape won’t fix on my handle bars and the pedal is in good working order. What really got to me was the fact that the left side of my helmet is totally trashed. I’m glad that that wasn’t my head. Lesson learned: watch out for big cracks in the road.
  • I was feeling great, crossed under the highway. mile 102 and I’ve done 5 1/2 hrs, which is great for me. Down the trafficked road section I go, and there’s a buncha cars heading for Madison’s Sesquicentennial (15-years) celebration. I’m cruising down at around 20..not super fast or slow, and suddenly a car decides it’s gonna turn into a strip mall. F*K. Screech, I brake like hell, but it’s slow-mo as the headset hits the rear and flings me like Super Dave, headfirst into her rear tailight. My helmet hits and pieces of taillight are exploding as my body flips around and smashes a dent in the rear of her car. I’m laying there on the burning pavement amidst broken bike, car pieces, and exploded water bottles, and I look up. amazingly, the car continues to drive on in to the strip mall. People are running across the street to help, and the EMT’s and rescue vehicles are there in under 3 mnutes. they were apparently only one block down. The pavement is scorching and I try to get up to crawl to the grass, but everyone keeps going "Don’t move". I roll over there anyway, feeling the swiss cheese that’s the left side of my body. Only after the cops arrive, does the little old lady driving the car come running up. Someone went and stood by her car until she came out of the drugstore and pointed to her damaged vehicle then at me at the mall entrance. She’s about 67. "I couldn’t imagine what that loud noise was. It was you on a bike! Are you OK?" she says, as I lay there. "Ma’am", I croak, " you didn’t signal until you turned in front of me, and I had nowhere to go." The cop is standing there as the EMT’s have me up and are treating the various abrasions and checking for the usual stuff. concussions. "I have a perfect driving record," says the lady. "Not anymore, ma’am," says the cop. She spends the remainder of the time ruminating on her ruined driving record. Turns out the cop and the EMT’s all have folks in triathlon and know my bike type and stuff. THE GOOD NEWS: Nuttin’ broken. Bone bruises all along my left leg, the usual garden claw assortment of nasty abrasions and gouges. It’s Tuesday now, and already, I’m doing some brisk walking and swimming tonight. Should be back in shape to start back up by Monday. DA BAD NEWS: All but the frame and fork of the bike are trashed. About $400-600 worth o’ damage. Hopefully they’ll fix it as soon as possible..this guy is my competition bike.
  • Although I happen to be a fairly skilled cyclist, I have had a couple of wipe-outs due to my poor judgement, which didn’t involve my head/helmet. However, I have had two accidents in the last fifteen years, caused by events beyond MY control (which, possessing ALL of the anticipation and bike skill in the world, could not have been avoided) that destroyed TWO helmets: (1) a car door was ‘flung’ open in front of me, separating me from my bike and landing me on my head and a shoulder (denting the outside and crushing the inside of my old-style BELL helmet instead of my skull) (2) a car lurched through a STOP sign immediately in front of me (and a bunch of cars going my direction). Similar landing, but splitting my thin-shell/styrofoam helmet instead of my skull. In the first instances (like most self-induced accidents 😉 the helmet was not a factor. In the later instances (like most event-induced accidents) the helmet probably saved me from dying —OR WORSE— serious NON-FATAL brain damage.
  • I personally KNOW from personal experience the benefits of wearing a helmet, both on motorcycles and bicycles. I have an imprint of a piece of lumber in a Bell Image where a passing truck didn’t realize that his lumber was sticking out sideways from the bed, and it impacted on my head. The helmet was crushed. My head was not. In my case, end of story. My accident could not have been prevented. I was doing absolutely nothing wrong, and was riding responsible and defensively. The truck driver wasn’t a bad person, drunk, on drugs, or even speeding as far as I know.He never even new that he hit me. The extent of my injuries were a broken wrist and some missing skin. Without the helmet, I would have been dead.
  • Just Riding Along (many of you may already be familiar with the term!), and not really going very fast as I got to the bottom of the hill and started to turn, giving a slight lean that has always felt so natural when flowing with the terrain. what the?- W H A M. You know the sound you make when you hit the pavement really hard? I’m serious- think about it, you can HEAR yourself splat when you hit! I remember it clearly! Kind of a sshrACK! And what the hell just happened. Jeezus, it was as if someone with a tow-strap connected to my fork just stepped on the gas and jerked the thing right out from under me! Much different from the bails that you KNOW are gonna happen; the ones where you can put a bit of conscious effort into rolling or something to save your tender hide. Musta hit some moss or mud or SOMETIHNG damn slick, ‘cuz I could barely even THINK before I hit the pavement! "Well, XXXXXXXXXXXXX ME!" was the first thing out of my mouth, but since there was not a single witness it went unheard. I know I hit my head, and pretty hard from the way I was feeling right afterwards. I was a bit dazed for a minute, and just crawled over and sat next to the bike for a few breaths before taking inventory. Well, a good quarter-sized patch of skin was missing from my wrist, but the rest of my glove was pretty much intact. The left knee and calf were scraped a bit, as well as the right calf. I landed prety hard on my right thigh, and it was already swelling- no surprise considering my shorts were torn open and the contents of my pocket were strewn about the grass! On up to my shoulder, where a bloody fist-sized hole was torn in my shirt, with the source of the blood throbbing with equal fervor underneath. Felt like I had some major razor burn- oh, CRAP! It got the face! Now I’m gonna have all kinds of questions to answer at work! Okay, how ’bout the head; let’s see what the helmet damage is. Geez, there’s a small chunk taken out of the side and the visor is almost worn through. There’s also a nice crack in the side, which on closer inspection goes ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE HELMET! Damn thing was split nearly in two! What was also a bit unbelievable was that I violated one of the Sacred Crash Rules and checked MYSELF before my bike! Yep, I definitely hit my head! Luckily, aside from a bit of grass in the derailleur, there was nary a scratch. Then I got right back on the thing and made my way back to the house, where I got some cool reactions from the other folk. I thought sure I’d have a splitting headache, but it never came. The Bell Image Pro with special Limited Edition Eagle graphic that had served so well these past three years had sacrificed itself for me, and for that I am grateful. Please join me in a moment of silence for a heroic melon-lid.
  • I got a bit more of a ride in before doing a "face plant" on Sunday. Two hour climb in the Cleveland National forest. Up 4000ft (or so the trail book says). On the way down I came into a turn a little fast. Tried to slow it down, realised I was heading into gravel. Oh crap! Only chance was to let the brakes go and try to ride the gravel which rapidly became fist size rocks. Just enough time to realize I wasnt superman but could fly for a second or two.Ended up with skinned elbow, wickedly bruised hip (amazing the colors that skin can go) and a cracked helmet. I hit head first and flipped over. The muscles down the side of my neck are sore from the impact. The bike was untouched. I think I will mount the helmet on the wall as a trophy. Got to go out tomorrow to get a new one so I can ride in the evening. Thank god I can still ride.
  • P.S. I just had a major race bike crash ata spped of probably 25 mph, and most probably the helmet worn by me prevented bigger damage except for a few skin scratches. No bones broken! No skull damages!
  • I am just getting back on a bike now after eight weeks enforced layoff. Laying in a hospital bed not being able to move with a splitting headache, double vision and memory loss was fun due to the concussion at the time but had I not been wearing my helmet then I would defiantly have split my skull open as well as the spinal damage I suffered (bruised chord causing paralysis in the right arm). Do not say I will not happen to you, if you ride on the road, or MTB off road it can. But whatever you choose to do keep cycling and enjoy it.
  • Chris Boardman crashed at a peleton speed of 35mph and slid into a stone wall, head first. He was stunned and concussed, having no memory of it. THe top of his Giro helmet was badly damaged. Chris suffered a fractured wrist and cuts and bruises and is back in his home in the UK.
  • Earlier today. riding the fixed gear out a remote country road which has little or no traffic: Cruising down a moderate descent at about 30 mph (which is close to where I start bouncin’ in the saddle with the current 75 inch gear), when a sedan approached from ahead. I really wasn’t payin’ much attention to it, but did see the passenger arm extend and lift briskly. As the significance of that action began to register, I lowered my head reflexively just before a heavy *THUNK*! A bit stunned, I still didn’t quite get what had just happened. As I slowed, I felt somethink dripping down my neck. Quick inventory — all body parts reporting in okay, cap’n. Hmmmm. Touching the helmet, I feel wetness, just about the same second that I begin to smell beer. (‘course all this was in milliseconds, but that was about the thought process) Having slowed to a reasonable speed, I did a quick u-turn and near where I was hit, I found a (somewhat still cool) 16oz. can of cheap beer 1/4 full. The bottom of the can was heavily dented, so I pulled off my helmet to see what, if any evidence was there. A large egg-sized dent was crushed into the foam, and one of the ribs inside the microshell had cracked cleanly in two. Thinking about the probable 30 — 40 mph auto speed, I realized I’d just stopped a 60 mph can of beer with the top of my head. The helmet did it’s job so well that I only felt a heavy thunk, and absolutely no physical damage to myself at all.
  • Since I started riding again about 3 months ago I’ve been reading the anti-helmet threads w/ not a little amazement at the stupidity of people who refuse to wear helmets for whatever reason. That aside I’ll tell you I am sitting here today because my helmet saved my head from a serious injury this past weekend. My lady friend and I went to Savannah, Ga. to ride in their century. Just after the first 50 miles two dogs chased us and as I sped up to try to get away I caught my friends back wheel and went down HARD! on my left side. Hard enough to bend my handlebars completely parralel w/ my top tube and scratch my STI shifters badly. My head smashed the pavement and the force of the blow actually cracked my helmet and left numerous dents in the plastic shell. My helmet took the force of the blow and I’m positive that if I had not been wearing it I would be in a hospital today if I lived at all! The usual painful strawberries and cuts will heal quickly and thanks to my helmet the mild bruise I have on the left side of my head will heal very nicely. I know this story will fall on deaf ears. I’m not trying to reach you. You are stupid anyway. The person I’m talking to is like me. Just before the ride a friend told me about spending $60,000 on medical bills to have his face reconstructed after his spill when his helmet was not adjusted properly and it slid up and allowed the road to scrape his nose off. So I tightened my loose helmet straps and boy am I glad I did! Now I’m going out and buying some Halt! to go w/ new helmet!
  • I attend a University that has poor parking and have found that by incorporating my commute and my cycling I kill two birds with one stone. About 4 weeks ago I was on my way to school. I was run off the rode by a car. I went into a ditch and flew over the handle bars of my rode bike. I hit a bank head first and rolled back into the ditch. If not for the Bell EvoII Pro helmet my skull would have been fractured or worse. I did crush 3 vertebras and broke 6 ribs and the only thing that had any impact was my head. I have ridden my bikes for a long time and know that this was a freak accident but it proves that helmets are a necessary piece of equipment.
  • I actually had this happen to me in the mid-seventies on Haycock Road near where the Metro station is now in West Falls Church. Some cretin in a pick-up truck opened the passenger door and intentionally nailed me, causing me to fly into the weeds. Unbelievable. And I WAS wearing an early version of a bicycle helmet- otherwise I’d probably be drooling now (or dead) instead of writing this. On another note, I was also wearing a helmet when someone parked opened a car door on me on College Avenue in Berkeley, CA in the early 80’s. Quite a sudden shock- to those of you who say that they can fall correctly in such a situation, you’re dreaming. I wasn’t hurt too bad (helmet helped this), but this same thing happened to a grad student buddy of mine the same year in the same place, and he was really beat up- lip torn off, nose broken, hard-shell helmet completely split, but alive (because of the helmet- common thread here?).
  • For those who heard about my crash last Friday, I’m recovering fast (from scraping my shoulder into a disgusting gooey mess and bashing my thumb nastily and breaking my helmet) and wasbackonmybiketoday.YIPPEE. Driving to work sucks.
  • A year ago the police department I work for was split into four districts. The district I was assigned to immediately initiated a full-time, year-round bike patrol team. I was fortunate enough to be assigned to that first team. On July 4th I was on patrol with three other officers and we were heading to work the fireworks crowd. I was third in line as we descended a hill I’ve been down numerous times in the last year without incident. That time would be different. I took a slightly different line and hit a piece of road that seemed to have been recently "repaired". The front end started to bounce around and I was unable to regain control. I went over the handle bars and landed on my head. My helmet did its job and broke on impact saving my head a similar fate. Road rash and bruises are not so bad when I consider the alternatives. I will now use that helmet as a training aid when I speak at bike rodeos and civic associations.
  • True, a few bumps and bruises never hurt anyone. But, i did hit a mailbox head on at 35 mph (on a turn with sand that i did not see) in which the helmet cracked. The helmet did do something. One can say I should have been looking, but, i was. S*** happens and NO ONE is immune from that. This is ONE of those times in which an unexpected crash occurs. I was on my street, had taken the turn a gabillion times before, and, well, I slid over one foot too many and WHAM.
  • 4 years ago my husband went for a bike ride on a paved bike path by himself in Ottawa Ontario. When he rounded the bend-there was a stick in the way- so he swerved and corrected-but lost his balance. He hit the cement with his head-it bounced- and he hit his head again-then hit with his shoulder-elbow and finally his legs. When he came to a stop-there was no one around and he had to walk about a kilometre to get help. At the hospital he was found to have fractured his shoulder- an open fracture of his elbow-requiring 2 surgeries-and 10 days off work. His legs were badly cut and grazed- with some scars still visible.BUT- his head was fine- despite hitting twice-thanks to his helmet.No cuts-bruises-headaches — it was fine. The bike was a write off- the helmet split over his ear-breaking in two.That could have been his head. He was not speeding- he did not hit a car-truck post or even a tree-HE JUST FELL.
  • Hi there everyone, I am just sending you a short note on the good of helmets. I have three children and they always have to where there helmets at all times. My 12 year old dauther was coming home from the neighhood pool when she hit a stationary 1/2 ton truck right in the back. A little shaking up and a small scatch on her cheek she was fine. My husband on inspection of the truck found a small dent and the owners said that she moved the truck she hit so hard. My husband then inspected her bike helmet and found a cut in the shell and a indent. Now just to let you all know that we are as sure as ever that that helmet saved her life or from serious injury. Thank you for all the hard work in educating the public on helmet use. However I wish Parents would make there children wear helmets or walk. In our community of 300 or so families I have only seen 2 other children wear there helmets and that really scares me. So I will try to let the story be known of the life that was in my opinion saved.
  • My husband is an avid bicyclist and last year had a major bicycle accident resulting in a 10 days Neuro-ICU stay at Harborview then extensive therapy at Good Sam at Puyallup, an operation on his right shoulder. No matter how much we all went through with his recovery, we owe his life to the helmet he was wearing. He had just purchased a newer Bell helmit the day before. After the accident it looked like a lawn mower had plowed across the right side of it, but it did what it was supposed to do. It saved his life.
  • I was involved in an incident a couple of years ago where I ran off a road and crashed. Keep in mind, I was 45 years old at the time and had ridden a bicycle on a regular basis for well over 30 years. There were no other cycles or vehicles involved in the crash but fortunately, I was not riding alone. If it had not been for my helmet, I know for a fact that I would not be here today writing this note. I took a very hard hit to the left side of my body (including my head) and broke my shoulder and put a crack in my helmet. The gash in the side of my helmet would have been in the side of my head (about 1/2 inch deep). I did get knocked out for awhile but I was fully recovered in about a year (thanks to the surgeon that pinned my shoulder back together).
  • My 3-1/2 year-old daughter took a spill off the sidewalk and onto the street a month ago, and she was probably going 7-8 m.p.h. Her helmet made a pretty good thud on the pavement. She cried a bit, but on a scale of 1-5, the crying was about a 2-1/2. Without a helmet, we might well have visited the emergency room, and I’m sure she’d have at least had a goose egg.
  • I drove to my favorite mountain bike trail only to find that it had rained there earlier. The ranger said the trails were open but muddy. Not wanting to waste the long drive, I went out anyway. My tires were not really designed for it; they got clogged up with mud, and 2 miles into the ride I found myself unable to slow the bike on a rocky descent. Struggling to slow down, I wasn’t paying enough attention to body position and when I hit a root I went right over the handlebars, at speed, and landed on my hand, shoulder, and head. When I got up, my shoulder was scraped and bleeding; something was wrong with my fingers (a severe sprain that made the hand puff up to twice normal size by the next day); and my head was ringing. I took off my helmet and found a clear impression of the trail surface in the foam rim at the temple. It took two months for my hand to recover (and I still feel it from time to time); the scars on my shoulder will fade someday; but five minutes after the accident, my head stopped ringing and that was all. I’m sure the helmet — a Giro Incline — saved me from a concussion or worse, not to mention facial injuries. I rode out; if I had not been wearing the helmet, I don’t know if I’d have been able to walk.
  • Yesterday, my son fell off his bike. He hit his head on the paved road. Fortunately, he was wearing a helmet. He suffered a concussion (his head was bumped just below the rim of the helmet). The helmet cracked. The doctor, police officers and ambulance workers all agreed that without the helmet, his head would have broken open like a watermelon.
  • While biking to work last week, a friend of mine had an accident involving two runners on the bike path beside Arlington National Cemetery. He says that he was preparing to pass them, and thought they’d heard his bell, but when he got close one must have jumped in front of him. He hit the runner and fell head first. He thinks his helmet hit the pavement. The runners stopped and offered to help, but he cycled on to work. His helmet was destroyed because the outer shell came off the foam part and the foam is probably impacted. Also, he had aheadacheallday.Otherwise, he reports no lasting damage to himself or his bike.
  • I race a bmx bike as my sport this year in late april i was at our local track riding my bike. some guy wanted a picture so me and my friend decided that we would do a jump side by side. we started from the start of the track and went as fast as we could and took this jump. my friend did a trick and his bike hit mine causeing me to lose control. i let go of my bike and fell head first toward the ground. i was wearing a motorcycle helmet made by bell and DOT approved. i crashed into the ground breaking the helmet into 3 peices and making me unconsious. i woke up 15 minutes later in the hospital i had a serious concusion, i didnt know what had happened and i had lost all my short term memory. after a few days i felt better and had gained my memory back. i decided that i would still like to race bmx bikes so i went to our local bike shop and purchased a new helmet, money was no object because my parents wanted me to have a good helmet after my accisent. so we spent 350 dollars on a snell approved helmet and a few days later i decided to try to race again. in my first race i placed second and in my second race disaster struck again the chain on my bike broke sending me over the handle bars and into the ground again, i cracked my helmet and broke four ribs. after 4 months of recuperation i am racing again with yet another new helmet. This letter was wrote to you to tell you that i tell all my friends this story and make them get helmets too. i never ride without a helmet and because of this my life has been spared.

    BHSI Comments

    A lot happens in an instant in a bicycle crash, and the brain does not register all the data. A blow to the head can blank out some memory as well. On occasion we have examined a helmet that is credited with preventing injury and found no evidence of external marks or crushed foam. But we have also had riders tell us they did not hit their heads at all and have shown them the gouges in their helmet, cracks and crushed foam to indicate that they did, but the helmet cushioned the blow and they were not aware of hitting. So the rider’s memory is not necessarily an accurate indicator of what happened.

    We are not suggesting that this collection is statistically significant, or even that it is a representative sample. People who died in their crash despite wearing a helmet obviously did not send us a message about it. Helmets don’t prevent all head injuries, and of course many unhelmeted riders crash without brain injury. But we invite you to take a look at some of these and decide for yourself whether or not the shared experience they represent means anything to you.

    And watch this space for more stories. Maybe yours.

    Send us your own crash story to info@helmets.org .

    A site with crashed helmet photos and stories

    Each helmet saved a head.

    The Web site inspired by the traumatic injury of Harry Landymore, a six year old who crashed without a helmet and nearly died. The "long story" of Harry’s crash and his parents’ agony is memorable.

    Some are not so lucky.

  • Here is a Web site to make you cringe. We don’t know what helmet Greg Whorwood was wearing when he crashed, or what standards it might have met, but the Web page describing the resultant injury is memorable.
  • For stories about those who were not wearing helmets when they hit, see our other crash page.

    This page was updated or partially revised on: March 8, 2015.


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