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Each year there are more cycling Incidents in the UK. In 2019, 17,148 accidents involving a pedal bicycle were recorded in Britain. That means every single day in Britain, there were 47 accidents including pedal bikes. Of these accidents, 4,470 were classed as serious and 107, unfortunately, resulted in a fatality. The other 12,571 were classed as “slight” accidents. Source (Finder- accessed March 2021).

So why do people still refuse to wear helmets? The question has been asked so many times and there have been numerous studies done to try and find out why. So, when one of our consultants witnessed a serious accident in Edinburgh where the cyclist had not been wearing a helmet. We thought we would take this opportunity to remind everyone how important wearing a helmet is.

Our consultant describes what happened, ‘It seems that his bike tyres became caught in the tram tracks which catapulted the casualty off his bike resulting in a very deep 3-inch laceration on his head as well as what looked like a fractured thumb.

Being a first aider, I managed to get a first aid kit from a nearby train station, but prior to that asked a passer by to call for an ambulance as the trauma sustained to the casualties head was not superficial.

Whilst waiting for the ambulance to arrive, I attended to his wound using a couple of bandages and kept talking to him asking if he was feeling sick or dizzy as these can be signs of concussion, but at that time he seemed to be coherent.’

He went on to say,

‘An important lesson to take from this accident was that he was not wearing a helmet, and I am very confident that his head injuries would have been substantially lessened if he had one on. Thankfully the ambulance came within about 10 minutes of the incident where he was attended to (I think he will need a few stitches on his head and most likely a cast for his hand).’

I hope that in reading about this incident that if you are going out on your bike, please wear a helmet at the very least because after all, 75% of all cyclist deaths are due to head trauma. You should also make yourself visible day and night by using bike lights and a safety vest.

Stay safe on the roads and think safety first. For more information please visit the highway code for cyclists.

An important lesson to take from this accident was that he was not wearing a helmet, and I am very confident that his head injuries would have been substantially lessened if he had one on.

Douglas Smart