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Old 03-09-07, 08:11 PM
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In 1974, when she was 17, my sister was involved in a bicycle accident. She was riding around a patch of water on the street when a motorist decided he could pass between her and the curb. He couldn't, and she was hit from behind. She hit the back of her head on something and suffered a basal skull fracture. She spent one week in intensive care and a total of four weeks in the hospital. When she first regained consciousness, her eyes were crossed, she suffered a significant hearing loss in one ear, a significant loss in her sense of taste, and a significant loss in her sense of smell. When she returned to school two months later, she found that she could no longer do math. When she entered Northwestern University the following fall, this former honor student who had been tested as having an IQ of 143 flunked out. She has since recovered her vision and some of her sense of taste. This being 1974, bicycle helmets were unknown. Would one have prevented this injury? Almost certainly.

Eight years ago, while I was riding my motorcycle to work, a motorist turned left directly in front of me while I was crossing an intersection. When I woke up, someone was trying to get me up from the pavement. I declined, and laid back down on the street. In what seemed like a few seconds, the EMTs were there removing my helmet and putting me on a backboard. The total extent of my injuries were a minor concussion, a cracked bone in my left arm, and a cracked bone in my right leg. When I recovered the helmet I had been wearing, it had a big swatch of green paint from the side of the truck that had turned in front of me. If I hadn't been wearing a helmet, I'd certaintly have had a major injury to my jaw, and almost certainly had a sever concussion and possibly irreversable brain damage.

If you'd like some information on helmets that is expert but is not part of the industry, try the Snell Memorial Foundation:
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