Understandably, motor vehicle accidents are a sad and recurring reality across Southern California, given the region’s high population and the comparative complexities inherent in its crisscrossed roadway systems.
As such, the victims of adverse car and truck crash outcomes are many and diverse. Other drivers and their passengers suffer from the negligent behaviors of some motorists. So, too, do motorcyclists and pedestrians.
And bicyclists, a point we have noted in past select blog posts.
For obvious reasons, bike riders — especially children — comprise an especially vulnerable demographic where vehicle-related collisions are involved.
Bones easily break. And brain injuries rank high as a core concern for many bicyclists who hit the pavement after being struck by a car or truck.
Helmets are obviously tremendously important for riders, a point that is duly made in a media report discussing the comparative efficacy of different helmet types.
The bottom line emerging from the comments provided by a Stanford University research team examining bike helmets is this: A helmet that employs airbag technology and is widely used in Europe needs to be rigorously tested without delay in the United States and potentially offered as a safe alternative to the foam-based helmets used in this country.
And here’s why: When it works, it can offer far more protection against concussions than foam models do.
Of course, researchers note, the fact that the European helmet hasn’t yet been shown during research to always work as intended is troublesome, but, even with such a downside, they point to a strong upside potential.
The Stanford researchers strongly urge American regulators to focus on the airbag helmets, noting that the United States does not even have a testing regime established currently for them.
That needs to change, they say, given that the airbag models have been shown in some instances to be as much as five times more effective against brain injuries as conventional foam helmets.