Love Your Brain
Protect your most valuable asset at Stanford!
Stanford is a designated Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists, with 13,000 bicyclists on the campus daily, creating an abundance of opportunities for cyclists to cross paths with fellow cyclists, motor vehicles, pedestrians—and even stationary objects.
We wish we could say all of them wear bicycle helmets and follow the rules of the road. Unfortunately, many students don’t recognize the serious risk they are taking by not wearing a bicycle helmet.
“It won’t happen to me,” but what if it does?
While biking is generally safe at Stanford, all it takes is one unfortunate crash to change your life. Bike crashes happen, and if it happens to you, wearing a helmet can change the outcome.
Three true stories to inspire wearing a helmet
Stanford student, Kali Lindsay, said she was riding her bike to meet her tutor at Meyer Library. She never made it. Instead, Kali ended up in Stanford Hospital with her concerned parents at her bedside.
It isn’t clear how it happened. What is clear is that Kali wasn’t wearing a helmet when she fell from her bike in front of Larkin and ended up unconscious with a life-altering brain injury.
She struggled to walk, gain her balance, build her stamina, and regain her ability to focus on books, TV or a computer. She had to move home to recuperate. Kali was lucky. She eventually recovered and returned to Stanford.
Stanford undergraduate Anna Polishchuk had a different outcome. She was hit broadside by a car while biking on campus. Polishchuk hit the windshield of the car, which was going about 10 miles per hour through an intersection by Florence Moore (FloMo) Hall. She was thrown unconscious two car lengths away into the bushes.
“I was biking home from the dining hall, and then I find myself waking up on the ground,” Polishchuk said.
Despite the severity of her crash, Polischuk escaped with minor injuries, which she attributes to wearing a helmet.
Alyssa Rudelis, Class of 2017: "I had two concussions before coming to Stanford--one serious enough to where I never remembered the month afterwards, and my personality completely changed during that period. Neither of these concussions were biking-related, but they made the issue, the pain, and the potentially irreversible affects of head injuries very real to me. Upon coming to Stanford, wearing a bike helmet was a no-brainer. I had already had to deal with two unavoidable concussions; why wouldn't I take one easy step to avoid more where they were most likely to happen?"
The Class of 2020 will be the first
Greg Boardman, vice provost for Student Affairs, sees the free helmets for freshmen as an opportunity for the Class of 2020 to make a significant change to the culture at Stanford.
“We are excited that all freshman will receive these helmets thanks to the generosity of Beth and Russell Siegelman,” he said. “As we’ve heard, wearing a helmet can help you personally, but as the first freshman class at Stanford to receive free helmets, you have the chance to make helmets both cool and pervasive at Stanford. The helmets are already cool with the Stanford Athletics design. Making it pervasive is up to each of you. Please wear it whenever you ride!"
See why wearing a helmet is the smart thing to do and learn about a program that could reward you for wearing a helmet!
- David Spain, chief of trauma and critical care surgery at Stanford University Medical Center, presents the importance of wearing a bike helmet from a trauma surgeon's perspective.
- Book a Free Bike Safety Road Show for your dorm or student group. Sprocket Man joins us to review bike safety tips, demo how to lock a bike, show proper helmet fit, and more. Includes free bike tune-ups!
Suggested reading and viewing
Ontario Science Center’s Amazing Melon Drop Demo — This video shows what happens to your brain without a helmet.
Safety and Style — A "Stanford 'S' helmet" video produced by Orientation Volunteers (OVs). Design and videography by John Liu ’19, Orientation Coordinator.
KhanWearAHelmet Academy - Stanford — Love your Stanford Brain? Yes, get inspired and informed by this bike safety video created by Stanford student Juliana Claire O’Donohue.