Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Letter: Bicycle helmet law won't cure injuries

Maybe americans have softer heads.

From ChicoER
In his letter to the E-R Sunday, Alex Buchmiller militates for mandatory helmet use by bicyclists.

Bicyclists seem to be an easy group to pick on. The last time such legislation was offered in Sacramento it went nowhere. It shouldn't have gotten that far.

Buchmiller trots out some scary statistics on fatalities, injuries and medical costs. I was wearing a helmet when I crashed and got a spinal cord injury and lifetime paralysis. Believe me, I've contributed plenty to California's medical economy.

One helmet-wearing friend crashed on a group ride a few months back, suffering a severe concussion, resulting in weeks at Enloe, induced coma, surgically opened skull to relieve brain swelling and who knows how much rehab.

Cities such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam enjoy very high bicycle ridership, next to zero helmet use and extremely low incidence of head injury. Go figure.

If Buchmiller really wants to lower the number of head injuries he should propose mandatory NASCAR-rated helmets for all motor vehicle occupants. Last time I called the neurosurgeon's office, cars were much more dangerous than bicycles. Find a legislator to carry that bill.