All of this is, in a sense, good news. She was very, very lucky, given that she was not wearing a helmet. The prognosis is that she will recover completely after some unknown amount of time. My mother flew out to Oklahoma on the first available flight, and she'll be staying with Anna at least throught next week.
She is an exceptionally smart girl, and she knows perfectly well how important helmets are. When we were little, I witnessed her flip her bike and pile-drive her head into the sharp point of the curb in front of our house. She was not hurt, but her helmet nearly split in half. We still have that helmet, even thought it is ruined. The seven inch long, two inch deep gash across the crown makes it perfectly clear that Anna would have died that day, had it not been for a geeky-looking early 1990s vintage Bell helmet. The very first serious email I ever wrote was to thank Bell Sports for saving my little sister.
Now is not the time to wonder why she wasn't wearing her helmet yesterday. Maybe she lost it, or maybe she figured she was only going to ride a short distance, or maybe she didn't expect any cars on campus. We may never find out, given that she doesn't remember the accident. For now, we're focusing on when we can take her out of the hospital, and how long it will take her to recover.
I am writing this here today to ask you, dear reader, to always wear the proper safety equipment. Concussions are not funny. Shit happens. Protect your noodle.
I am going to go ahead and shamelessly plug Bell helmets. Bell has been making helmets since 1954, and they invented the modern bicycle helmet in 1975. Bell saved my little sister once, so they've got my vote for life. Buy a helmet, and make sure it is on your head whenever you so much as handle a bicycle, in case you are overpowered by a sudden uncontrollable urge to peddle around. In fact, buy two, just in case you loose one, or for variety, or for the hell of it.
If you are wondering how to make bicycling safer, you can do two things. Wear a helmet, and bicycle more :
The analysis undertaken in this study suggests that policies which lead to an increase in cycling will not increase the likelihood of cyclist crashes. From the work reported here, it seems the more cyclists there are on the roads the lower the risk that any individual cyclists will be involved in a collision. Road safety professionals concerned about reducing the likelihood of cycle crashes might consider measures that increase cycling.