Schoolgirl alive after head run over by car

Posted: July 5, 2008 in cycling, Road, Safety
Tags: , , , , , , ,

crushed helmet

A 11-year old school girl on her way home from a cycling proficiency test lost her balance and fell into the path of a car.   The vehicle ran over her arm, shoulder and head but, amazingly, she escaped with just cuts and bruises.

As you can see from the image above, the helmet took the brunt of the force.

I can see no better reason for people, young or old, to wear a helmet. I mean, if that’s what the car did to the helmet, then imagine what it would have done to her head if she didn’t wear one. A horrific image, to say the least!!

I think it’s time this government of ours did something good and pass a law that everyone riding a bicycle needs to wear a helmet. Just the same as if you are riding a motorbike, those riding bicycles should wear a helmet too.

So peeps, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this. Drop a comment or send me an email.

  1. justwilliams says:

    As I pointed out in a recent post, I think children and teenagers should wear helmets, that it should be optional and a matter of individual choice for adults and that I cannot justify compulsion.
    This girl was extremely fortunate to survive. However, it was a very rare and exceptional event and it does not justify any change in my thoughts about helmets, much less a change in the law.
    The motorcycle argument is irrelevant: Totally different vehicle, totally different set of problems and totally different helmets.
    Needless to say, I am delighted that the young lady escaped more serious injury.

  2. Matt Damon says:

    On this occasion, any parent given the choice would rather have their child in full health and able to live life to the full rather than be remembered with flowers on the side of the road or require 24×7 care and have to eat through a straw for the rest of their lives.
    I have a friend whose son was knocked off his bike and killed by a driver that had only just passed their test.
    The effects that this has had on the boys friends who were out with him at the time of this incident have had dramatic influence on the mental stability and behavioral patterns, causing depression and attention seeking disrupting behavior.
    There are places that I mountain bike that you are not allowed at unless you have a helmet, this has no effect on the numbers that I regularly see on Saturdays and Sundays.
    This is not a question of resisting change enforced by a flagging Labour Government, it is a question of cutting down the number of deaths and serious head injury’s and I believe that this decision should not be choice, but a legal requirement and enforced by law.

  3. Fixup says:

    Do you really think the car’s wheels ran over the girl’s head? Because I doubt a human skull – helmeted or not – could withstand that sort of impact.

    Matt Damon, how do you know that more people wouldn’t turn up to the places that you ride, if helmets weren’t compulsory?

    And don’t you think that the government should be imposing tougher punishments for the people who cause the danger (i.e. bad drivers) rather than forcing cyclists to wear helmets that don’t provide anywhere near as much protection as most people seem to think?

  4. Matt Damon says:

    The place that I ride doesn’t appear to be affected by the helmet policy, I have no facts on whether is does or doesn’t mean that less turn up, what I meant was that the car park is packed on Saturdays and Sundays and most week nights with nobody complaining that they have to wear a helmet. The land is owned by the Crown estate and the insurance policies that cover you when riding there mean that a helmet is stipulated but I have no idea whether the policy is compulsory or not.
    My argument for helmets is not linked to anything else other than stopping people from being injured as a result of something that COULD be avoided by the use of a helmet. The comment you made is similar to being tougher on speeding motorists rather than enforcing the seatbelt law. As I have seen the effects of what happens when someone is killed by a motorist when hitting a car, I would like to see these accidents reduced by simply protecting the head. The motorist has nothing to do with a fair percentage of head trauma accidents, these accidents happen on-road, off road, error or lack of care and attention. One thing that annoys me the most is the justification for not wearing a helmet being that ‘I don’t go fast enough to need one’ and yet simply falling and landing on your head is enough to cause an injury and potential trauma without moving. I fractured a cheek and had a lovely black eye after parting company with my mountain bike on a mountain in Wales, the helmet took 90% off the impact and saved my life, I am certain.. surely this is something that everyone should see as a positive rather than another rule enforced by the nanny state…

  5. Matt Damon says:

    killed by a motorist when hitting a car, (Sorry meant bike)

  6. Craig says:

    @ justwilliams – I have to say that I don’t agree with you. Just like Matt, I too have lost a friend due to head injuries suffered when coming off his bike while not wearing a helmet.

    There are too many needless deaths on our roads, and if a helmet can help reduce that number, in any way possible, then I am all for it.

    As I’ve said in a previous post [], the last time I came off my bike I landed up with a concussion that ruled me off the bike and out of work for 5 days. The left front section of my Giro Ventoux had ripped off completely from the impact. And looking back at it, if I was not wearing my helmet then that would of been my head. Maybe not ‘ripped off’ but I would’ve sustained some serious head injuries. Hate to think how bad it could’ve been.

    I still feel more should be done to change the law and make cycling helmets compulsory.

  7. Craig says:

    @Fixup – from what I understand in reading all the news articles is that the car actually did run over the top section of her head. The car didn’t just bump her. The helmet did what it was meant to do. So huge kudos goes out to the manufacturer!

    I also agree with your comments on tougher punishments for the those who cause the danger. But at the same time, law should also stipulate that helmets are compulsory. There’s no point in just making tougher punishments for dangerous drivers, as you will still get those who will push the boundaries and cause needless injuries and deaths. Take driving with a mobile phone for example. Those caught get a fine as well as having points added to their licence. But does this stop people? Not really. Still today you see and hear about people driving without due care.

    Something else that I am astonished about is that the government doesn’t make noise about the fact that there is no VAT on any helmets sold in the UK. I know this doesn’t seem like much, but it is still a saving for the end-user. It also means that you could use that extra bit of cash to buy the next model up or some additional safety gear.

    Either way, there should be tougher punishments (ie. prison sentences) for dangerous drivers and law should be passed making helmets compulsory for all.

  8. Fixup says:

    And what happened when cycle helmets became compulsory in New Zealand? Oh yes that’s right, the number of cyclists decreased. I’m sure that’s what we all want, eh?

  9. Craig says:

    It definitely isn’t. Look at what happened when the UCI enforced the pro riders to wear helmets – did they quit the sport? Nope. They embraced it and used it to their advantage (and their pockets). No guys are personalising their gear to help them stand out from the rest of the crowd.

  10. Fixup says:

    that is a completely different situation. how can you compare professional cyclists to recreational cyclists? that is a stupid comparison.

  11. Fixup says:

    also… go to amsterdam. look around. there are thousands of cyclists on the streets, and you would be extremely lucky to see anyone wearing a helmet while cycling. same as the rest of holland/the netherlands. yet the netherlands has one of the lowest number of cycling-related head injuries in the world.

    such a large proportion of cyclists, so few helmets, yet so few cycling head injuries. why do you think that is?

  12. Matt Damon says:

    Holland has a designated cycle network… Go to London and use ours…. Laughable… You can’t compare the two…

  13. Fixup says:

    Exactly – then maybe you should redirect your energy into supporting campaigns for proper cycle networks rather than forcing people to wear helmets?

  14. Craig says:

    @Fixup – Yes, we should be supporting those campaigns for proper cycle networks. The problem however, is that these cycle networks will not spring up over night. Therefore, I still feel that the quickest way to sort out this problem with cycle safety is to enforce the rule of wearing a helmet.

  15. Craig says:

    @Fixup – regarding cycling in Amsterdam. There are so many laws protecting cyclists over there. Basically, cyclists come before cars. Maybe that’s why they don’t need to wear helmets. Unfortunately, car drivers in the UK have more rights than cyclists do, hence we should protect ourselves properly until the tide turns in our favour.

  16. Fixup says:

    Why don’t you think it should be the individual’s choice to wear a helmet?

    If someone is fully aware of the facts, yet they still prefer not to wear a helmet, then why should they be forced to wear one?

    Do you drink alcohol? Do you know that alcohol is a dangerous substance and could kill you either in the short term or the long term? Do you think it is reasonable for me to want to force you not to drink alcohol because it is more dangerous than not drinking alcohol?

  17. Becky, 17 says:

    Here in New Zealand it is illegal to ride a bike without a helmet.
    Who ever takes safety precautions when they aren’t required by law? No one wants to look like a dork…
    Just because you may be a better cyclist as you are older, it doesn’t mean you can’t have an accident.
    Your government really needs to wise up and start thinking about safety. For everyone.

  18. will benton says:

    Get a Tax disc & an engine…..

  19. hmmm says:

    “Unfortunately, the bicycling world has its own fundamentalists in the form of bicycle helmet advocates. They are loud and intolerant and they reject science with the same fervour as they embrace their beliefs.”

  20. […] bit suprised with Giro! Following my posting on the 11-year old school girl who’s head was run over by a car and survived to tell the tale, I decided to look for more safety stats into the use of helmets. So […]

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