Study results renew calls for mandatory helmet law in Austin
May 28, 2008 A study of serious bicycling accidents over a one-year period in Austin reveals a new kind of danger some cyclists are facing. They're not just riding without helmets -- they're also drinking and riding without helmets.
Researchers looked at serious accidents from December 2006 until November 2007.
Doctors found injured cyclists who weren't wearing a helmet were twice as likely to suffer serious brain injuries. Add to that the drinking factor, and cyclists were four times as likely to suffer severe head trauma.
"You're talking about 40 patients out of 200 that had been drinking and riding -- that's a big proportion of the data set," said T.J. Milling, MD, UMCB.
The study has renewed doctors' calls for the Austin City Council to renew the city ordinance that makes bike helmets mandatory for cyclists of all ages.
Former Mayor Bruce Todd, who credits a helmet with saving his life following a cycling accident, was on hand Wednesday to echo the call for requiring helmets.
EcoRescue/Firefly Brigade The fireflies have fled the city because they couldn't stand its dirty air. All of us cyclists, pedestrians, commuters, even those who ride cars who live, work and raise families in the city may suffer the same fate. We also risk disappearing like the fireflies." Why resign ourselves to this fate? We have a choice. We can fight for clean air and bring the fireflies back.
I thought drinking and biking was personal 'sekwet' to keep, unknowest and oblivious to all. But lo and behold, 40 patients out of 200, is too alarming a statistic to keep secret anylonger.
How convenient naman kasi to fill 3 liter camelbak with chilled beer rattlin full of ice cubes. Then bike and bike around the village like a decent homeowner with gate guards saluting et al and neighbors waving cheerful 'Hellos. Not known even to wifey and maids but perhaps only to your German shepherd or Labrador, your Camelbak is locked and Loaded with precious booze na pala. Tsk. tsk. Tsk. Very Bad!
I was a lucky chap while as US Marine stationed at Okinawa circa early 90's, not only did I fill bladder with beer, but longneck of Johnny Walker Black as well. Then I biked out along Okinawa coastal white beach resorts for some 40 kms until just like a sledgehammer, scotch took over and "wham", I couldn't bike any farther. I shook off booze 3 to 4 hours or so by lying sprawled on isolated coves, blitzed to oblivion like worn rug. Luckily, Okinawans didn't steal nor rob my wallet full of bills, nor drink my scotch whatever was left of it, nor take off with my Huffy Bike. I defied 40 to 200 statistics during those days, as I managed to bike back safely to base quarters, with my noggin intact, to answer call of duty next formation.
My point is "if you Bike, don't drink. If you drink, don't bike"! Capeez?