Do Mandatory Bike Helmet Laws Reduce Injuries?
- Aug 12 2019
It is estimated that wearing a bike helmet reduces the chance of a head injury in a bicycle accident by 50 percent. The chance of a neck, head, or face injury is reduced by 33 percent when wearing a bicycle helmet. Twenty-one states currently have some form of mandatory bike helmet laws, including California. Our California personal injury attorneys handle bicycle accident claims, including claims involving traumatic brain injuries and other head injuries.
California’s Bike Helmet Laws
All minors, 17 years of age and younger, are required to wear a bike helmet when riding a bicycle on a public bicycle path, bikeway, street, or trail. Bicycle helmets must meet safety standards and fit properly.
Adults 18 years of age and older are not required by law to wear bicycle helmets. However, adults are encouraged to wear bike helmets because bicycle helmets can reduce the risk of head injuries if the bicyclist crashes or falls from the bicycle.
Some municipalities in California have enacted bicycle helmet laws in addition to the statewide bicycle helmet law. Riders should always check for local regulations regarding bicycle helmets to ensure they comply with any mandatory bicycle helmet law that applies in their city or town.
Do Mandatory Bicycle Helmet Laws Reduce Injuries?
Some sources claim that mandatory bicycle helmet laws do not reduce injuries. However, several studies indicate that injuries fell after mandatory bicycle helmet laws were enacted and enforced. A study of Australian bicycle helmet laws revealed that following the enactment of the law, the rate of bicycle accident fatalities fell by 46 percent. In a similar study conducted to analyze the impact of mandatory helmet legislation in Canada, researchers found that bicycle-related head injuries declined significantly (45 percent) in provinces with helmet laws compared to provinces that did not enact helmet laws (27 percent).
If you consider the findings of the above studies, it seems evident that wearing a bicycle helmet can reduce your risk of serious head injuries in a bicycle accident. However, wearing a bike helmet is not a guarantee that you will not be seriously injured. Anyone injured in a traffic accident while riding a bicycle should explore legal options for filing an injury claim to recover compensation from the driver or another party who caused the bicycle accident.
Filing a Bicycle Accident Claim
If you are injured in a California bicycle accident, report the accident to local law enforcement. You need an official report of the accident for insurance purposes. In most cases, calling 911 to report the bicycle accident is the quickest way to request emergency services.
After contacting law enforcement to report the accident, it is helpful to document the accident scene by taking pictures and making videos. I anyone witnessed the accident, make sure to ask for that person’s name and contact information.
Seek medical treatment for bicycle injuries, even if the injuries appear to be mild. You must have medical evidence of your injuries for a personal injury claim. Delays in medical treatment or failing to follow through with a treatment plan can be used to argue that you were not injured in the bicycle accident or your injuries were not as severe as you claim.
Contact a California Personal Injury Attorney to Discuss a Bicycle Accident Claim
If a driver or another party was responsible for causing your bicycle accident, that party might be liable for your damages. You might be entitled to receive compensation for your medical bills, loss of income, physical pain, and other damages. Contact us today for a free consultation. Our California personal injury attorneys can help you file an insurance claim and fight for fair compensation for your damages.
Posted in: Bicycle Accident