Doctor’s life saved by cycle helmet – now he has a safety message for other cyclists

Accident and emergency consultants at University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton Andy Simpson, Kate Williamson and Kevin Moore.
Accident and emergency consultants at University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton Andy Simpson, Kate Williamson and Kevin Moore.

A doctor whose life was saved thanks to his cycle helmet has added his voice to a campaign urging others to take precautions as they pedal.

Consultant Andy Simpson is among a team of A&E medics backing calls for people to wear a good quality helmet and other protection after witnessing first hand the injuries caused by collisions.

A quarter of my helmet was broken off inside, so if I hadn’t been wearing it, my head would have taken that force.

Andy Simpson

He found from his own experience that it can make all the difference, suffering concussion, facial injuries and the loss of four of his front teeth when he came off his bike a few years ago.

He has joined fellow University Hospital of North Tees consultants and keen cyclists Kate Williamson and Kevin Moore to get across the safety message from Road Safety GB North East’s (RSGB NE).

Andy said: “I’m certain that my helmet saved my life or prevented me from suffering a brain injury.

“A quarter of my helmet was broken off inside, so if I hadn’t been wearing it, my head would have taken that force.

“I can’t see any good reason why a cyclist wouldn’t wear a helmet.

“It doesn’t take much to come off your bike and suffer a serious brain injury, but it does takes a long time to recover from a brain injury, if people ever do recover 100%.

“If we can reduce the likelihood of head injuries happening through raising awareness, it will be worth it.”

RSGB NE has joined forces with police, fire officers, and the Police and Crime Commissioners from Cleveland and Durham to promote cycling safety this summer.

Between 2012 and 2016 there were 3,044 cyclists reported as injured on North East roads.

Paul Watson, of RSGB NE, urged all road-users to give each other respect on the roads and added: “Nobody wants to think that they will be involved in a road collision, but the reality is that it could happen and therefore people should reduce their chances of head injury simply by wearing the right gear.”

For more information go to http://www.roadsafetygb.org.uk/regions/r3.html.