A friend of mine, a college student, loves riding his bicycle on weekends. He especially enjoys taking long rides through the city. To my surprise, I found he never wears a helmet.
I began to wonder why a person who spends so much time and money developing his mind would not wear a helmet. Riding a bicycle without a helmet greatly increases his risk of brain injury.
Each year, over 50,000 people in the United States will suffer some form of brain injury from a bicycle accident. Not all of these brain injuries are fatal, but many have long-lasting effects. Getting medical treatment can cost huge sums of money and can extend over 10 to 20 years. Compare this waste of time and money with the $40 you spend on a bicycle helmet.
Getting a friend to wear a bicycle helmet is not always easy. The most effective method I know of is gentle persuasion. Let your friend come to his or her own decision about wearing one. Invite your friend to take a bicycle ride with you. Without saying anything, put your helmet on quietly, or perhaps ask your friend if you put it on straight.
If you stop at a store during your bike ride, keep your helmet on. This will send a message that you are comfortable wearing a helmet both on and off your bike. If you remove it too quickly, your friend may think wearing a helmet is bothersome.
Buying your friend a helmet as a present may not be such a good idea. Your friend may feel you are pushing too hard and may resent the pressure.
Each person needs to reach his or her own conclusions about safety and how to protect the body. Your wearing a helmet demonstrates your belief that the human brain is a precious resource and you are determined to safeguard it.
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