9 December 2022

Wearing a Helmet is a No-Brainer

Acquired Brain Injury Ireland urges all cyclists to wear a helmet, even for short journeys. We are launching our “Mind Your Head” Campaign to remind everyone to wear a helmet when cycling, regardless of the length of the journey. Many brain injuries occur when someone falls off their bike and isn’t wearing a helmet. Protect your head and your brain!

We are making this plea following new findings that confirmed 70 percent of cyclists treated for brain injury in the national neurosurgical centre at Beaumont Hospital, were not wearing a helmet.

The research also found that cycling had the highest numbers for referral to the neurological centre at 86 cases, followed by Gaelic football at 30 cases and horse riding at 23.


The latest research is not surprising to us and it confirms some of what we already see in our services. Nobody ever thinks a brain injury will happen to them and yet it happens to 52 people in this country every day. It is well proven that wearing a helmet reduces the severity of the brain injury by absorbing the impact from the collision. A helmet won’t prevent every head injury, but it can prevent serious head injuries like skull fractures, and this helps to reduce the amount of time a person spends in recovery and rehabilitation.

— Barbara O’Connell, Chief Executive and Co-Founder, Acquired Brain Injury Ireland

Wear a Helmet option 2

As many of us may know, wearing a helmet is not new advice. In 2016, Australian researchers showed how cycle helmets reduced the risk of serious head injury by nearly 70% and the risk of fatal head injury by 65%.

Today, 26 September, marks European Day Without A Road Death which encourages motorists to be aware of others using the road and to be particularly mindful of vulnerable road users including cyclists.

Statistics published in 2018 by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) showed that as many as 153 pedal cycle users experienced serious injuries on Irish roads and a further 778 cyclists reported minor injuries. Helmet wearing was not captured. The RSA’s provisional review of fatal collisions confirmed 9 cyclist fatalities for 2018.

Acquired Brain Injury Ireland also reminded the public that it doesn’t have to be as dramatic as a road collision for a cyclist to come of their bike. Other causes can include:

  • Greasy surface
  • Faulty mudguard
  • Bump on the road
  • Cardiac event

Even a small donation will go a long way towards supporting the work we do to rebuild lives shattered by brain injury

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The last thing we want, is to stop people from cycling which is a great form of exercise, active commuting and pollution-free transport for the environment. But from a brain injury point of view, we want every cyclist - young and old - wearing a helmet. The latest research findings show how serious cycling injuries can be without one. Recovery after brain injury is not easy. A fall off your bike can leave you with a chronic condition affecting your life and the lives of your family for months, years or even decades after the initial injury. Don’t take that chance. Mind your head and wear a helmet.

— Barbara O’Connell, Chief Executive and Co-Founder, Acquired Brain Injury Ireland

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