March 15, 2014
Last year, a study found that in spite of all the attention that is currently being paid to the risk of brain injuries affecting football athletes, it is bicyclists and not football players who have the highest risk of sports-related brain injuries. This March, the Brain Injury Association of America commemorates Brain Injury Awareness Month, dedicating this month to increasing understanding about this devastating injury.
According to the research that was released last year by the American Association of Ideological Surgeons, bicycle accidents were involved in approximately 86,000 of the 447,000 sports-related brain injuries that resulted in a visit to an emergency room in 2009. Football only accounted for approximately 47,000 of those injuries, in spite of all the attention that is currently being paid to the link between brain injury and football. The National Football League is currently embroiled in a national controversy that centers on its failure to warn players about the risk of brain injury while playing football.
Bicycling was also the single biggest cause of head injury in children below the age of 14. In this age category, the researchers counted more than 40,000 brain injuries in bicycling accidents, roughly double the number that were caused by the football.
Yet, you hear very little about preventing the risk of brain injuries involving adults and children while bicycling. There is a lot of research currently being conducted into the type of helmet that football athletes should wear to reduce the risk of multiple concussions to the head while playing the sport. You don’t see similar research being conducted on the best helmets to prevent brain injuries. You don’t even see that many awareness campaigns that promote bicycle helmet use among adults or children.