Bike Safety Awareness Night Honors Bike Crash Survivors and Promotes Helmet Safety

08/31/99    Portland, Ore.

Ten-year-old Trevor Gould is alive today thanks to his bike helmet.

A speeding car hit Trevor as he rode his bike into an intersection. The impact of the accident knocked Trevor off his bike and into the windshield, shattering it. He bounced off the car, onto the road, suffering only minor cuts and bruises. Fortunately for Trevor, he escaped serious injury. He has his bike helmet to thank for that. "I tell my friends to buckle their helmets tight and don't let them slip off," said Trevor. "I tell them I wore my helmet and it saved my life and I'm never going to stop wearing my helmet."

On Friday, Sept. 3, the Portland Rockies, a minor league baseball team, will host Bicycle Safety Awareness Night at Civic Stadium during the game. Trevor and two other children who survived bike crashes by wearing bicycle helmets will be honored. Activities include a bike safety promotion, prize giveaways and free bicycle helmet fittings. The safety event will be sponsored by the Portland Rockies Baseball Club, Oregon Health Sciences University Think First Injury Prevention Program, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Oregon Emergency Nurses Association, American Medical Response and the Portland Police Bureau.

Universal helmet use could save one life each day, according to National Bicycle Safety Network statistics.

In 1997, 40 percent of cyclists injured in motor vehicle crashes were under15 years old. The rate of injury is highest for children ages five to 15, and the rate of death is highest for children ages 10 to 14.

Head injuries account for 63 percent of bicycle-related deaths in the United States and are the most common cause of death and serious disability in bicycle-related accidents, according to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

"We're doing a better job of saving their lives, but the children are left with serious brain injuries, and we're left with all the problems of rehabilitation and learning problems," said Craig Warden, M.D., M.P.H., OHSU assistant professor, Deparment of Emergency Medicine. "There is not the compliance with bicycle helmets we would like to see, less than half the patients we see have worn helmets."

Bicycle helmets are 85 to 88 percent effective in decreasing head and brain injuries in all types of bicycle incidents. This makes the use of helmets the single most preventive measure available to reduce head injuries and fatalities resulting from bicycle crashes according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Prizes awarded during the game include a bicycle courtesy of Bridgetown Bicycles and safety gear for the grand prize winner, and the first 150 children under 12 years of age will receive free helmets. The Portland Rockies Baseball Club Mascot Rocky the Raccoon and Dinger the Dinosaur from the Colorado Rockies, the major league baseball team, will provide entertainment as well.

Trevor has continued to talk about bicycle safety in his school and hometown of Silverton, Oregon. "I'm very lucky," said Trevor.

Editor's Note: The game starts at 7:05 p.m. The Rockies will take on the Southern Oregon Timberjacks.