People of all age groups enjoy bicycle riding. Many take part for recreation; others use it as an easy and frugal mode of transportation, while still others use it as a vital part of their work. Preventing bicycle accidents and the resulting brain injuries needs to be on the minds of all those who use bicycles.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
National statistics for fatal bicycle accidents are sobering. In 2016, 840 deaths due to traffic crashes were reported. Fatalities like this are a growing concern and many of them are preventable. Though hundreds of fatal bicycle accidents happen annually, thousands of non-fatal accidents leave victims permanently scarred and many of these people suffer from traumatic brain injuries.
Most bicycle accidents occur in urban areas. Common types of accidents are left-turn collisions and “dooring”- when a car door opens suddenly in the path of an oncoming cyclist. Distracted drivers account for many of the accidents, as well.
Approved Helmets Prevent Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injury is one of the major concerns regarding bicycle accidents. Though the majority of these types of accidents happen when a cyclist is struck by a car, a significant number of bicycle accidents happen when a cyclist falls. Rider error and problems with the roadway/walkway are also cited as sources of injury. To a lesser degree, collisions and encounters with dogs are also to blame.
The head is vulnerable in such accidents. Wearing an approved bicycle helmet can prevent brain injuries. Without a helmet, a person is subject to concussion and brain injury. Studies have shown that helmet use may reduce the chances of a fatal head injury by as much as 65%.
California’s Mandated Bicycle Helmet Law
In an effort to keep young people safe, California has a mandate that people under the age of 18 who ride a bicycle on public roads must wear a properly fitted and approved bicycle helmet. Helmets must also be worn properly to provide maximum protection. The law does not apply to those over the age of 18; however, for safety reasons, it is recommended that all people who ride bicycles wear approved helmets to protect against brain injuries.
Even though wearing a helmet may seem uncomfortable or a waste of time, when you consider the consequences of hitting your head on the ground, being thrown into a tree, pole, car or other hard object, and the probability of sustaining a concussion or brain injury, wearing a helmet is a good idea.
Being struck by a car is one of the main causes for bicycle accidents. The attorneys at Maison Law have great expertise in handling personal injury cases. We proudly serve clients in the Central Valley area. Contact us for a consultation regarding your personal injury case.