Bike helmets are one of the most widely-used technologies for sportsmen and women.
But as it stands, the technology has only proven itself effective in protecting against minor injuries and is not nearly as effective in preventing serious injury.
And while helmets are designed to protect against head injuries, many sportsmen, including those with a history of concussion, do not wear them.
“I don’t wear one anymore because I can’t afford them anymore,” said Kyle Johnson, a competitive cyclist who trains and competes at a local park and rode his bike into a wall in 2015.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends that all athletes wear helmets in the United States, with a few exceptions: Those who compete in sports involving a high risk of concussions, or those who compete on an ice rink or indoor track.
The American College of Sports Medicine says athletes should wear a helmet if they have a history or are likely to suffer a concussion in the future.
“If you’re going to wear a safety-rating helmet, you should wear one now,” said Dr. William F. Walker, a pediatric neurologist and chairman of the American College’s committee on sports-related brain injury.
“You can’t get a helmet on for five years.
And it won’t wear off.”
As of this month, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 11,000 people in the U.S. have suffered a concussion.
In a study published last year in the journal Pediatrics, researchers found that children who played basketball in a sports-focused facility and who wore protective gear for a full season experienced a drop in symptoms of concussion.
Researchers also found that the number of concussed children who returned to play in the following season rose dramatically.
“It’s a very promising development, but it’s not a silver bullet,” Walker said.
For Johnson, it’s also not a game-changing technology.
He is now taking part in a trial with a private company, RideSafe, that will assess helmets for safety.
Johnson said he hopes the results will help convince him to put on a helmet for the foreseeable future.
“If we can reduce the number that are worn, we’ll be okay,” he said.
Johnson has already undergone a helmet-recovery program, which has included a battery of tests.
He was not wearing a helmet when he injured his right foot during a practice.
His trainers have helped him wear a protective vest to help keep his head above the surface of the court.
“I’ve been wearing my vest since it was about the age of eight,” Johnson said.
“The first day, it was really tight on me.”
After getting his left foot fixed, Johnson had to wear protective gear while racing.
He’s now using a helmet, which he believes will help him avoid further concussions.
Johnson is one of several professional cyclists who say they would not wear a head-to-toe helmet if it meant losing their jobs.
A survey by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCHIC) found that in 2015, more Americans were injured on their bikes than in any other sport.
The study surveyed 1,100 American cyclists and found that cyclists who were wearing helmets were five times more likely to be killed on a bike than those who were not.
Other athletes who are currently on the road include cyclist Robert Tarr, a former professional basketball player who competed in the NBA for four years and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2016.
“My heart breaks for those who lost their livelihoods,” Tarr said.