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I have heard that bicyclists are more likely to be injured in a Bethesda bicycle accident if they are wearing a helmet. Is that true?

Much like the harmful myth circulating about how wearing a seat belt is more dangerous than not, this rumor circulating is not fact.

The Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation looked at a 2008 study done by the Dutch government regarding cyclists in the Netherlands, a country that does not place a high priority on wearing helmets; less than 1% of people that ride bicycles are strapping on their helmet before taking off.

The fact that the anti-helmet supporters cling to is that of the cyclists who were admitted to the hospital in the Netherlands. Over 13% were wearing a helmet when they were hurt. On one hand, that statistic can be rather alarming and does seem to point to the fact that the helmeted bikers are more likely to be injured. Of course, statistics can be manipulated, and that is precisely what has happened here.

What is absolutely critical to note is that of the hospitalized helmet-wearers, 50% were riding mountain bikes, and 46% were riding road racing bikes. This means that nearly all of the injured bikers who wore helmets were engaging in either competitive or extreme riding and, therefore, were much more likely to be injured than the average person riding for leisure.

The important thing to remember is that the cyclists who were injured wore the helmet in the first place to protect against the added risk that they knew they would be undertaking.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the Netherlands is one of the most bike-friendly countries in the world, and motorists and bicyclists are conditioned to share the road. In the D.C. area, cyclists and motorists sharing the roads is still a relatively new idea that leaves bikers at a significant safety disadvantage. Helmet usage is so important in order to avoid a Washington, D.C., cycling accident injury.

If you have been injured on your bike because of a motorist’s careless actions — whether you were wearing a helmet or not — you deserve to be compensated for your injuries. Call the Washington, D.C., bicycle accident attorneys of Lewis & Tompkins today at 202-296-0666 for a free consultation.