Q: Recently, I was involved in a Vancouver bicycle accident and suffered a mild traumatic brain injury. I was wearing a bike helmet, so how could this happen?
As someone who suffered a mild traumatic brain injury in a Vancouver bicycle accident, you are upset. You wore a helmet and did everything else you could to stay safe.
Yet, you still suffered a head injury. Why?
You might feel that the helmet manufacturer is to blame. Perhaps the manufacturer created a substandard product or did not provide proper warnings and instructions.
Here is the reality—we are still in the Dark Ages with respect to helmet technology.
Look at the rash of chronic brain injuries in football players, hockey players, and other athletes. They all wear state-of-the-art helmets, but still suffer both acute and long-term neurological and spinal damage. Perhaps they get hurt because they engage in such rigorous activities. To an extent, that is probably correct. However, we should not overlook the fact that the vast majority of helmets only provide protection against direct forces—they do not provide protection against rotational forces.
What does that mean?
If you remember from physics class, physical force contains a scalar component—the intensity of force—as well as a rotational component.
Typical helmets protect against the scalar part—reducing the amount of direct force metabolized by the brain tissue. These helmets do not protect against rotational forces—the centripetal, spinning component. Rotation can stir up unwanted neurochemical action, which can lead to leaking of brain chemicals, bleeding, edema, and other serious problems.
A company in Sweden has been working on a prototype of a helmet called the MIPS helmet, which seems to blunt at least part of this rotational force. However, it will be years before professional athletes and cyclists will benefit from this technology in any real way.
If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury or some other injury in a bicycle accident, get in touch with a Vancouver bicycle crash lawyer at McComb Witten today for a thorough and free consultation. Our team has a deep understanding of how these crashes typically happen, and we can investigate your case and hold wrongdoers accountable. Call us now at 604-255-9018 for assistance.