A 14-year-old boy suffered traumatic head injuries yesterday in Lindon, when he ran into a wall while riding his bike with his sister. He was not wearing a helmet. Juan De Dios Rojas was on a family outing in the Lindon City Park at the time of the accident. He was riding on the Lindon Heritage Trail when he hit the wall and when rescue crews arrived, he was unconscious and unresponsive. Rojas was ultimately transported to Primary Children’s Medical Center where he is reported to be in critical condition.
While helmets can’t prevent all head injuries that may result from bike accidents, they are critical in reducing the number and severity of such injuries. The general statistics are shocking but a 10-year observational study completed by the Utah Department of Health revealed that as of 2003, helmet use in Utah was below the national average. Many states have passed laws mandating helmet use but sadly, Utah is not one of them. But that should not deter every parent from requiring helmet use by their children and all parents should lead by example and wear them as well. In short, everyone should wear helmets every time they get on bike, even if you don’t intend to leave your driveway.
Bike helmets are readily accessible but you may find the task of buying one daunting given the number of choices. Here is some information on how to choose a helmet:
If money is a hurdle, there is a Salt Lake City based project listed on dosomething.org to help lower income families provide helmets for family members. Another place to check for assistance is the Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective’s free helmet distribution program. The bottom line is that you need to do whatever you have to to put helmets on every bike rider in the family – helmet use is not an option.
Bret Hanna of Wrona DuBois in Utah, focuses exclusively on litigating plaintiffs’ medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. He has represented clients in state and federal courts, in mediations, and in administrative proceedings in Michigan and Utah since 1991.