Bicycle helmet laws do more than enforce what accessories should be worn while riding. A recent study finds that helmet laws result in fewer deaths among children in bicycle: car accidents.
In fact, those states that have laws requiring a helmet to be worn experience approximately 20 percent fewer deaths in bicyclists 16 years and under. The lower incidence rate in states with bicycle helmet laws remained even when adjusting for potential confounders.
The key factor seems to be making it law. And this is important since it’s estimated that about 900 people lose their lives every year in bicycle accidents.
Bicycle Helmet Laws in New York
A large number of states have no laws pertaining to helmet usage for any age. Those that do have such laws typically require them for children and/or teenagers.
In the state of New York, all children ages 14 and under are required to wear a helmet. With New York experiencing approximately 54 bicycle fatalities every year and 2,000 hospitalizations (with about 38 percent involving a brain injury), the risk of disability, severe injury and death could be significantly reduced when these laws are enforced.
Bicycle accidents can be especially severe when they involve children. Head injuries can range from lacerations and concussions to skull fractures and brain damage. The more severe the injury, the more time spent in a hospital recovering. Sadly, some never do.
When a child or someone else has been seriously or fatally injured in a bicycle crash, it’s important to seek legal advice. Compensation for damages may be recoverable through a claim if the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence. To fully understand one’s legal rights, contact an attorney who is knowledgeable in these types of cases. Gacovino, Lake & Associates can assist, so call 800-246-4878 to schedule a consultation.