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Yesterday, I reported that a city-led task force has made recommendations designed to decrease the number of bicycle accidents in Austin.  Now, preliminary results of a new study were released by the University Medical Center at Brackenridge, and the report is once again putting the spotlight on bicycle accidents, particularly those that result in head injuries.

The study was reported on by at least two Austin news outlets, and each have a different emphasis.  Last night, local television station KXAN ran a story that suggested that advocates will use the results of the study to push for a new law mandating bicycle helmets.  The study confirms other studies that find head injuries are a frequent result of bike accidents and that helmets could prevent between 45 and 88 percent of bicycle-related head injuries.

A story in this morning’s Austin American Statesman focuses on the study’s findings regarding bicyclists who drive while intoxicated.  The study found that an astounding 40 percent of the injured who reported to the hospital for bicycle accidents had been drinking.  The intoxicated were also much less likely to have been wearing helmets and three times as likely to have suffered head injuries.

For more information on bicycle and helmet safety, please read resources from:

The Mayo Clinic

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration

The Center for the Advancement of Health

Consumer Affairs — Bike Helmet Laws Reduce Injuries

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