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骑车不戴头盔,你真的是在玩命

更新时间:2017-10-25 19:57:00 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Buckle Up a Helmet to Save a Life
骑车不戴头盔,你真的是在玩命

I will start this column with its conclusion: Riding a bicycle without wearing a properly fitted helmet is simply stupid.

我要开门见山地把这篇专栏文章的结论写在最前面:骑自行车不戴大小合适的头盔简直愚蠢至极。

Anyone who does so is tempting fate, risking a potentially life-changing disaster. And that goes for all users of bike-share programs, like New York’s Citi Bike, who think nothing of pulling a bike from its station and cycling helmetless on streets, with and without bike lanes, among often reckless traffic on foot and wheels.

无论谁这么做都是在冒险,有遭遇一场可能会改变一生的灾难的风险。这同样适用于所有共享单车用户,比如纽约的 Citi Bike。目前,这些用户把自行车从站点取出来,不戴头盔就骑上不管有没有自行车专用道的街道,汇入常常颇为鲁莽的人流和车流,完全不以为意。

Even a careful cyclist is likely to crash about once every 4,500 miles and, based on personal observation, many city cyclists are anything but careful. Although reliable details are lacking on bike share accidents in New York or elsewhere, one shattering statistic reported by New York City for cyclists in general stands out: 97 percent of cycling deaths and 87 percent of serious injuries occurred to people who were not wearing helmets.

即便是小心谨慎的骑行者,也可能会每骑行4500英里(约合7200公里)发生一次事故,并且根据我个人的观察,很多在城市里骑自行车的人根本不小心。尽管缺乏有关纽约或其他地方的共享单车事故的可靠详情,但纽约市面向骑行者公布的一项统计数据令人震惊:骑行时发生的死亡和重伤事件中,没戴头盔的人分别占97%和87%。

Head injuries account for three-fourths of the roughly 700 bicycle deaths that occur each year nationwide, and helmets can prevent or reduce the severity of these injuries in two-thirds of cases, according to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, a nonprofit organization based in Arlington, Va. This protection holds even in crashes with motor vehicles, researchers from the University of Washington in Seattle reported as long ago as 2000, a statistic verified many times since.

据总部设在弗吉尼亚州阿灵顿的非营利组织自行车头盔安全研究所(Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute)称,在全国每年发生的大约700例自行车事故导致的死亡中,颅脑损伤占四分之三,而三分之二的事故属于头盔可以防止或降低受伤严重程度的。位于西雅图的华盛顿大学(University of Washington)的研究人员早在2000年就通报称,即便是与机动车相撞,这种保护依然成立。此后,这个统计数据被多次证实。

I’ve been a cyclist for more than 70 years, most of them before anyone thought about wearing a helmet (protective helmets for recreational cyclists didn’t even exist until 1975). Although I’ve owned many helmets in the last four decades, I admit to occasionally not wearing one to avoid “helmet hair” before an evening out.

我已经骑了70多年自行车了,大部分时间都处在有人考虑戴头盔之前(为娱乐休闲自行车骑行者设计的保护性头盔1975年才出现)。尽管过去四十年里我有很多头盔,但我承认自己偶尔不戴头盔,只为了避免在参加晚上的活动之前顶着“头盔发型”。

But a few weeks ago I learned firsthand how foolish it was to worry more about my hair than my head. Luckily, my helmet was securely in place when, for reasons unknown, I fell forward over the handlebars while riding slowly uphill a few houses from home. Although I suffered a mild concussion and have no memory of the accident (I also sustained a nasty cut on my chin, badly bruised ribs and a scraped knee), my helmet prevented a serious brain or facial injury.

但几周前,我亲自体会到了更担心发型而不是脑袋是多么愚蠢。幸运的是,当我在不知道什么原因的情况下从车把上朝前摔下去时,我的头盔稳稳地在它该在的地方。当时,我正缓慢地骑车走在与我家只隔着几栋房子的那段上坡路上。尽管有轻微的脑震荡并失去了对那场事故的记忆(还有下巴上一个严重的伤口、淤青的肋部和膝盖擦伤),但头盔让我的大脑和脸部没有受重伤。

I will never again mount a bicycle without the helmet on my head where it belongs, not in my backpack, bike basket or, worse, at home.

我再也不会在没有把头盔戴在头上时骑自行车,那是它归属的地方,而非背包里、自行车车篮里,或是更糟糕地留在家中。

There are laws requiring young cyclists to wear helmets in 21 states and Washington, D.C., and at least 200 localities, but very few cover adult riders. A common sight in my neighborhood: Fathers riding helmetless with their helmeted child on a bike seat behind them.

21个州和华盛顿特区,以及至少200个地区都有要求青少年骑自行车时戴头盔的法律,但覆盖成年骑行者的法律少之又少。在我住的社区,常看到的情形是:不戴头盔的父亲后座上载着戴头盔的孩子。

There are many reasons besides helmet hair that keep people from wearing helmets. One of the most frequent excuses: “I’m only going to the store (or the gym).” Yet, as with car accidents, the majority of bike accidents happen close to home, as mine did, and not necessarily in traffic or at high speeds. Even low-speed falls on a bike trail can scramble brains.

除了头盔发型外,还有很多原因导致人们不戴头盔。最常见的借口之一是:“我只是去商店(或健身房)。”但和汽车事故一样,多数自行车事故发生在家附近的地方——我那起事故也是——并且不一定发生在交通繁忙或高速行驶的时候。即使是在低速骑行时摔倒也可能伤到大脑。

“A very low-speed fall can be just as dangerous as a fall at higher speeds,” said Randy Swart, director of the consumer-funded Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute. “All it takes is gravity – the distance to the ground – to cause a head injury.”

“在速度非常低的情况下摔倒的危险性,可能和在速度更高时摔倒不相上下,”由消费者资助的自行车头盔安全研究所所长兰迪·斯沃特(Randy Swart)说。“只需要重力,也就是与地面之间的距离,就能造成头颅脑损伤。”

Teenagers seem especially resistant to wearing helmets, yet with their still-developing brains they probably incur the greatest risks and have the most to lose from a head injury. “There’s often a rebellion aspect among teens,” Mr. Swart said. “They say, ‘All through childhood, my parents forced me to be safe. Now I want to make my own decisions about risk.’” College students and young adults often also think similarly, he said.

青少年似乎尤其不愿戴头盔,但因为大脑仍在发育,他们面临的风险是最大的,颅脑损伤对他们的危害也是最大的。“青少年往往有叛逆的一面,”斯沃特说。“他们说,‘整个童年时期,我父母都强迫我安全一些。现在我想自己做有关危险的决定。’”他说,大学生和刚成年的人们往往也这么想。

I worry too about younger children, even those whose parents insist that they wear a helmet when riding a scooter, tricycle or bicycle. I see many such riders with parents in tow in my Brooklyn neighborhood, and in at least half the cases I’ve observed, the helmet is too big or is not on correctly and likely to provide little protection in a serious fall or crash.

我也担心少年儿童,即便是那些父母坚决要求他们在骑滑板车、三轮脚踏车和自行车时戴头盔的孩子。在我所住的布鲁克林地区,我看到很多这样的孩子骑车时父母紧跟在后面,并且我观察到的至少一半情况是头盔太大,或是没有正确佩戴,在突然摔倒或发生严重碰撞时几乎无法提供保护。

The most common error is positioning: If the helmet sits too far back on the child’s (or adult’s) head, it will not protect the most vulnerable part of the brain in a hard fall, especially if the skull fractures. When the straps are too loose (or, as I’ve often seen even among adults, the chin strap is not clasped), the helmet will fly off in a fall and offer no protection whatsoever.

最常见的错误在于位置:头盔如果戴得太靠后,将无法在孩子(或成人)重重摔倒之际保护大脑最脆弱的部分,尤其是在颅骨骨折的情况下。如果带子太松(或未系颚带,我常常看到就连成人也有这种情况),人摔倒时头盔会飞出去,无法提供任何保护。

The helmet should sit on the head straight, front to back, and not move when you shake your head. The straps extending from the helmet to the chin strap should each form a V right under the ears.

头盔应该从前到后立立整整地待在你头上,并且在你摇头时不会移位。从头盔两侧延伸到下颚处的带子,应该在每只耳朵下方分别连成一个V字。

“A bike helmet is a like a seatbelt – it should feel snug, not tight, when you first put it on, but when you start riding, you should be able to forget all about it,” Mr. Swart said.

“自行车头盔就像安全带——第一次戴上它的时候,你应该感到舒适,而不是紧绷,而且当你开始骑行的时候,应该可以完全忘记它的存在,”斯沃特说。

Another excuse I’ve heard, perhaps from those familiar with concussions among football players, is that helmets do not prevent concussions. And that is true. You don’t even have to actually hit your head to get a concussion. A concussion results when the gel-like brain sloshes violently or slams into the unyielding bony skull, and this can happen with almost any significant impact to the head. What the helmet can do is reduce the energy of the impact and the likelihood of a skull fracture or brain bleed.

我听到的另一个借口,或许来自那些对橄榄球运动员的脑震荡习以为常的人,即:头盔不能防止脑震荡。这话没错。你甚至不必真的磕到头就会出现脑震荡。脑震荡是由凝胶状大脑猛烈摇晃或撞到坚硬的颅骨引起的,而这差不多会在头部受到任何重大冲击时发生。头盔能做的是降低冲击的力度,以及颅骨骨折和脑出血的可能性。

If cost is a deterrent, Mr. Swart gleefully noted that many inexpensive helmets perform just as well as expensive ones. His organization had three “extremely cheap” helmets ($15 to $20 range) tested along with three “very expensive” ones ($150 and above) and, he said, “their performance level was almost identical.”

如果有人担心花费问题,斯沃特会高兴地指出,很多廉价的头盔和昂贵的一样好用。他所在的机构测试过三种“极其廉价”的头盔(价格在15至20美元之间),以及三种“极其昂贵”的头盔(价格不低于150美元),他说“它们的性能水平几乎没有差别。”

So if you’re not overly concerned about fashion or brand names, you can feel confident purchasing inexpensive helmets for every rider in the family at a chain or big-box store, he said. They all must meet the standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

因此如果不太在意时尚或品牌,你可以信心十足地在连锁店或仓储式商店为家中的每一个骑行者购买一个廉价头盔。它们都必须符合美国消费品安全委员会(Consumer Product Safety Commission)制定的标准。

After determining a proper fit for head size and comfort within your price range, my advice is to select a helmet that is brightly colored; one of mine is red-orange and the other lime-yellow, the same as the colors of the jackets and backpacks I wear with them.

买头盔时,除了确定其大小适合头部的尺寸,价格也在能承受的范围内,我的建议是挑一个色彩鲜艳的;我的一个头盔是橘红色的,另一个是酸橙黄的,我会用它们搭配同样颜色的夹克和背包。

Now, don that helmet, enjoy the ride and come home safe and sound.

现在,请戴上头盔,享受骑行的乐趣,然后安然无恙地回家。

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