Bike helmet safety is important for all bike riders. A popular pastime, especially during the warm months, biking can pose a serious risk to riders of all ages, but especially children. Every year, many injured cyclists contact bike accident lawyers. Often, the victim is not wearing a helmet. However, there are also many cases where the victim’s helmet is outdated or poorly-manufactured, and does not fit the rider properly. Without a secure helmet in place, these victims face the threat of serious head damage and trauma that could become permanent.
There are 85 million bicycle riders in the United States. For this reason alone, bike helmet safety is necessary in ensuring minimal injuries. However, every year, there are bicycle injuries nonetheless. In 2005, 720 cyclists died in crashes with motor vehicles, and about 540,000 visited emergency rooms with some form of injuries. Of those, 27,000 had injuries which were serious enough to be hospitalized. These hospitalizations are for grave injuries that may result in permanent damage, or even death.
Bike accidents can cause a variety of injuries. These include:
- Head injuries
- Brain injuries
- Facial injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones or fractures
- Scrapes, cuts, and bruises
A secure helmet can help avoid many of the above injuries. In fact, bike helmet safety has proven to reduce severe head injuries. Studies show that a properly fitting helmet can reduce serious head injuries by 85%. This is especially important for children under the age of 15, who make up 39% of the deaths from cycling injuries. Contrary to common belief that you only need a helmet if you bike on the road near larger automobiles such as cards and trucks, most severe injuries occur — specifically with children — during low speed falls away from the highways.
There are many different types of helmets. These include:
- Road cycling helmets
- Mountain biking helmets
- Commuter cycling helmets
- Full-face cycling helmets
- Trail cycling helmets
- Child helmet
- Toddler helmet
Finding a helmet you like is also important for bike helmet safety. When you buy a helmet, make sure you like the way it looks otherwise you will not wear it. There are a wide variety to choose from because helmets come in all different colors, shapes, and sizes. You must also be aware that the helmet you buy meets the bicycle helmet safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), If the helmet meets these standards it will be labeled inside. All the helmets manufactured or imported after March 1999 must comply with the CPSC standards, and older helmets should be certified by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or Snell Memorial Foundation.
The sizing is also important for bike helmet safety. Helmets must be the right size or they will not work. They should be worn on top of the head covering the top of the forehead, and should never be tipped back. If the helmet moves around or slides down around your eyes, adjust it to make it tighter. When you buy a helmet for your child, keep in mind that it will come with removable fitting pads. These can be removed as your child’s head grows, so the helmet will last for years.
Accidents involving bike helmets happen every year. Please remember these tips before you hop on a bike this weekend. It’s smart for you, it’s smart for your child, and it’s the law. If you or your loved one has experienced an injury from a bike accident or helmet malfunction, contact Cohen & Cohen personal injury lawyers today at 202-759-2523 and we can set you up with one of our experienced attorneys. Bike helmet safety is serious and we want to see if we can help.