Study: Bicyclists' risk of injury doubles if they lack most up-to-date helmets

John Broadway bikes along the Tennessee Riverwalk Tuesday, June 26, 2018 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Broadway said he regularly gets out on the trail to ride about 14 miles. Broadway moved to Chattanooga about a year ago and said of all of the places he has lived, Chattanooga has one of the best spaces for locals to easily access outdoor recreation.

WASHINGTON - The next time you hop on a bicycle to head across town, consider this: your helmet may not perform well enough in an accident.

A first-of-its-kind study using the latest techniques for simulating head injuries found significant variations in how bike helmets protect against concussions.

Urban-style helmets - which have nearly solid covers with few vents - and helmets that don't have the latest anti-concussion technology were more than twice as likely to result in injuries, researchers from Virginia Tech and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found in a study released last week.

"I'm of the opinion that the less you hit your head, the better," said Steve Rowson, director of the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab and an associate professor of biomedical engineering and mechanics. "But when you do hit your head, you want to have the very best protection because you want to reduce the forces that the brain is experiencing."

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