A CYCLIST has told how her helmet saved her life in a crash on a North Yorkshire road.

Fiona Wynne, from Hambleton, said she lost her front teeth, suffered a significant facial cut which will leave a permanent scar, broke some ribs and suffered a nasty cut to the back of her head in the collision on a rural road between Malton and Easingwold.

But she said her helmet prevented fatal head injuries and she was speaking out to urge other cyclists always to wear one.

"I was genuinely shocked when I saw the bashing my helmet had sustained: that could have been my skull," she said.

"If I’d not been wearing a helmet, I know for sure I would not be here to tell the tale.

"Some of the injuries only took a matter of weeks to heal, but others will take much longer. I am only just beginning my dental treatment (delayed due to the Coronavirus). My dentist tells me that it will take up to six months to sort out my teeth.

"In the meantime, I have suffered from severe concussion, which has left me with a form of vertigo. Hopefully, with physiotherapy, this will eventually be resolved.

"Issues with my balance have meant that I struggle to ride a bike and I’m lucky if I can do 20 miles these days. But I was determined to get back on a bike. Not my beloved bike, you understand. My bike was a write-off and I’ve had to buy a new one."

She said she had been cycling with a friend when the accident happened.

"I was in front and travelling down a quiet country lane towards a corner, not too fast because I didn’t want to leave my cycling buddy behind," she said.

"Out of nowhere, I became aware of a vehicle passing me. I don’t remember what happened next because I was knocked unconscious.

"Next thing I know, people wearing hi-vis jackets were standing over me, asking if I could feel my legs. I was lying on the ground, my face in a pool of blood. I was placed on a body board with a neck brace and air-lifted to hospital.

"My friend had managed to speak to the driver, ring an ambulance and look after me until help arrived. All that time, I was unconscious on the road, which must have been pretty scary for him.

"I was airlifted to hospital because paramedics feared the worse. As it turned out, I came off quite lightly compared to what could have happened.

"I’ve shared my story because I can. Think about it. If you are going out on a bike … no matter how short a journey, no matter how confident or indestructible you feel, please wear a helmet!"