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How To Get Your Child To Wear Their Helmet

Friday, September 16, 2016

Every cyclist, particularly those who have been in an accident, knows the importance of a helmet. Helmets can reduce the chance of severe head injuries by 88 percent. Unfortunately, helmets aren't "cool" and up to 50 percent of child cyclists forgo wearing them while on their bikes. So how can you get them to protect their heads?

Start Early

If your child isn't already cycling the neighborhood, introduce the helmet early, as in the very first day of teaching them to ride a bike. Be sure to stress how important it is to wear a helmet each time they ride a bike.

Wear a Helmet Yourself

If you aren't wearing one, why should they? It is as simple as that. Children need their parents to lead by example.

Reach Out to Non-Helmet Parents

One of the easiest ways to get a child to do something, is to get their friends to do it. If your child refuses to wear their helmet because the other kids don't have to, talk to those other kids parents and ask if they could persuade their children to wear a helmet as well.

Stress Why You Need to Wear a Helmet

There are a hundred little tricks to help your child take to wearing a helmet while cycling, but let's not forget that children are people too. Be real with them for a moment and let them know why they need to be wearing a helmet. Tell them you want to make sure their heads are protected and that you care about their safety. It is cheesy, but surprisingly effective.

Getting a child to wear a helmet is difficult, but it will protect them in case of accident. If you have been in a cycling accident, or worse, your child already has, contact us today to see if you have legal action available to you.


Bicycle Safety Includes a Proper Fit, Position and Core Strength

Friday, August 19, 2016

If you're a cyclist, then most likely you've suffered from shoulder and neck pain and stiffness. Many assume that the pain is the result of the position your body takes on while riding a bike. But that is not necessarily true. The pain could be the result of your core strength, the position you assume, or your body's fit in the seat of your bike. Because bicycle safety is more than just following the rules of the road, we'd like to provide you with some tips on how to correct the issues that could be causing you pain. 

Improper Bike Fit

To determine if the result of your pain is improper bike fit, we suggest you visit your local bike shop. Subtle adjustments can be difficult, and some bike shops have software that can automatically adjust your fit.  

Riding Position and Core Strength

In order to have the core strength needed for cycling, you have to pay attention to your overall health and fitness. Bicycling.com has a great article on how to train your core muscles for cycling. Also, paying attention to your muscle fatigue is extremely important when cycling. Your body does a great job of telling you when it's tired, so listen to it.

As for the proper position, again, your local bike shop can help you determine the proper frame for your size, handlebar position and more. If you're not riding in the correct position, your body is only going to get sorer and sorer with each ride.

We want you to stay safe while riding, and proper fit, position and core strength is key. If you've been injured while cycling, pleasereach out to our experienced team today.

A Bicycle Accident Brings Changes to Berkeley

Thursday, June 09, 2016

On February 2nd, 2016 Megan Schwarzman was wearing fluorescent green safety gear and a helmet. She had lights on her bike, as she rode south on Fulton Street near Bancroft Way in Berkeley. She was struck from behind, trapped beneath a car, and dragged for a short distance. Firefighters had to raise the car to free Schwarzman so they could rush her to the hospital. Her injuries were so severe that almost immediately, police called in the fatal accident investigation team. She had 20 fractured ribs, a smashed pelvis, two partially collapsed lungs, complex facial fractures and a bleeding liver. She arrived at the hospital unresponsive from blood loss. Amazingly Schwarzman, a doctor and research scientist at UC Berkeley, survived. 

In 2000, the city of Berkeley designated the block where Schwarzman was hit and the next block of Fulton Street as bike lanes in the city's bicycle master plan. The master plan contains projects designed to make cycling conditions safer. Six weeks after the accident project approval for Fulton was granted. Now, 16 years later and just months after Schwarzman almost died, the new bike lane on Fulton street is open. The new southbound bike lane runs for two blocks on Fulton from Bancroft Way to Channing Way. It previously ended at Bancroft, dumping cyclists and motorists together in the intersection. Now it closes a gap in the city's bike lane network between existing bike lanes on Fulton Street/Oxford Street north of Bancroft Way and the Bicycle Boulevard on Channing Way. 

Bicycle Accident that almost took a life may save many lives, as a route that many students and faculty take to get to campus is now safer. If you are in a cycling accident, please contact us. We specialize in protecting the rights of injured cyclists. 

Bicycle Laws Regarding Helmets

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Many medical and other professionals agree that wearing a helmet prevents or reduces serious head injury to riders who have collisions. Surprisingly, no state bicycle law requires adult cyclists to wear a helmet, and only 22 require younger cyclists to wear them, usually up to age 16. By contrast, 47 states have motorcycle helmet laws, and 19 of them have universal helmet laws – that is, they require all motorcyclists of all ages to wear a helmet.

Localities sometimes impose stricter helmet requirements than the state bicycle law. For example, Alaska has no state helmet law at all, but cyclists under age 18 in Juneau, Bethel, and Sitka must wear a helmet, and those under 16 must wear helmets in Anchorage and Kenai. New York requires all riders to wear helmets up to age 14, but several counties and localities have higher age limits; in addition, Rockland County and Greenburgh have universal helmet laws, as do all parks in Erie County. Enforcement activity generally consists of issuing warnings, but some jurisdictions provide for fines on subsequent violations. California, for instance, dismisses the charge if it’s a first offense, but afterwards, violators are subject to a fine of up to $25.

From a legal perspective, wearing a helmet where it’s legally required is a wise course of action. This is because the law considers a bicyclist negligent who violates a helmet law, and thus at least partially responsible for any head injury sustained. Whether the cyclist can recover any compensation at all for medical or other costs is then dependent upon the state’s rules on shared fault. Some states, including California, New York, and Florida, observe a doctrine called “pure comparative negligence,” and accident victims can recover some compensation no matter how negligent they were. Some other states observe a modified version of comparative negligence, which limits a victim’s compensation if the level of negligence exceeds a certain threshold. A few states, including Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, DC, observe the doctrine of contributory negligence, which denies any compensation to a victim whose negligence, no matter how slight, contributed to the accident.

Of course, the best way cyclists can avoid these kind of problems is simply to wear a helmet when cycling, regardless of age. Those who suffer injuries while cycling, whatever the circumstances, should protect their rights by consulting with an attorney who’s proficient in representing accident victims in bicycle cases.

California’s Bicycle Helmet Law Debate May Reignite Thanks to Latest Study

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The December 2015 edition of the journal, Injury Epidemiology , is likely to reignite a bicycle law debate that took place throughout California earlier this year. The debate centered on bicycle helmets, which are mentioned in the state’s Vehicle Code Section 21212, Subsection A through F3 as well as Penal Code Section 1463. Presently, it only impacts minors and their parents or legal guardians.

Some fractions of the government and general public would like to see the law expanded whereas others prefer it be done away with altogether. Those that push for expansion want the a fore mentioned bicycle law to include cyclists of all ages. Those opposed, generally find the bicycle law in question, meaningless. Ironically, at the crux of each side’s argument are scientific studies that have been circulating in America for decades.

As a whole, the opposing studies focus on the cause and effect of bicycle accidents as well as mention preventive measures. Some studies, like the one published in a 2015 edition of Injury Prevention indicate that mandatory or voluntary bicycle helmet use is not as effective as safety experts once believed. Others, including a 2015 piece in Emergency Medicine Australasiacite data to the contrary. As such, they are often used by proponents of bicycle laws.

So which bicycle accident studies are to be believed? Unfortunately, study veracity depends on numerous factors which many on each side of the argument tend to gloss over for argument’s sake. What both sides can agree on is to keep the portion of the bicycle law intact as it pertains to children. This consensus is largely related to the sheer volume of cycling related injuries among minors.

To learn more about the ongoing debate between opponents and advocates of California’s bicycle helmet laws, please contact us. Initial consultations with our California bicycle attorney are free.

California's Bicycle Helmet Laws

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

The state of California has a law requiring all bicyclists below the age of 18 to wear a bicycle helmet while riding. However, there is no mandatory state law that requires all adult bicyclists to wear a helmet while riding.

However, some cities may have their own ordinances in place that require all bicyclists to wear helmets while riding. It is important for you to know whether your city has an ordinance requiring helmet use while riding a bicycle. It could possibly impact your chances for a claim for compensation if you are involved in a bicycle accident.

If you have suffered head injuries in an accident, because you were not wearing a bicycle helmet at the time, it could significantly impact the success of your claim. You can expect the other party to claim that your injuries would not have occurred if you had been wearing a helmet.

Additionally, because helmet use is so widely promoted as a way of reducing the risk of head injuries, a court or jury may also be unimpressed with your failure to wear a helmet, and could blame your failure to wear a helmet for your injuries.

Speak to a California bicycle accident lawyer about whether you are eligible for compensation after an accident in which you were not wearing a helmet. A bicycle helmet cannot protect against every type of head injury. If you can prove that wearing a helmet would not have prevented your injury in any way, then you may still be eligible for compensation.

Discuss your options for compensation with a California bicycle accident lawyer.

Bill Would Mandate Bicycle Helmets

Sunday, February 01, 2015

A new bill that has been introduced by a California state senator would make it illegal to ride a bicycle without wearing a helmet in California. The bill would require that all adult bicycle riders in California wear helmets. Any violations would result in citations and fines of up to $25.

Bill 192 is currently modeled on other laws in California that require persons under the age of 18 to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle. However, California does not mandate bicycle helmets for adult users. The bill would target that deficiency, and require that all adult bicyclists wear helmets while riding.

The number of injuries and fatalities in bicycle accidents is on the increase around the country. In 2009, 91% of the bicyclists who were killed in accidents were not wearing helmets at the time. Failure to wear a bicycle helmet while riding could cost a bicyclist up to $25 in fines.

Any California bicycle accident attorney would recommend that bicyclists wear helmets while riding, simply because it reduces the risk of suffering serious head injuries in an accident. However, many critics believe that bicycle helmets don't necessarily keep bicyclists safer, or prevent the risk of accidents. In fact, they point to other bodies of research that indicate that motorists get a false sense of security when bicyclists wear helmets. That immediately places the bicyclists at risk of harm.

In other words, motorists may be more likely to engage in dangerous driving behaviors around a cyclist, if they believe that a bicyclist is safe from serious head injuries in an accident. In fact, one study conducted in the United Kingdom that whenever motorists were driving around a bicyclist wearing a helmet, they drove as much as three inches closer to these bicyclists, increasing the risk of an accident.

Helmets Just Got Smarter

Saturday, August 30, 2014

California bicycle accident lawyers like to keep abreast of the latest technology in bicycle helmet technology, because of the important role that these devices play in reducing the risk of a fatal accident. More advanced innovations are already being seen in the field of motorcycle helmet technology. One new motorcycle helmet prototype includes an HUD display screen, GPS functionality, and rearview camera system that allows the motorcyclist to have a clear view of exactly what is behind him.

The motorcycle helmet is called Scully AR-1, and is designed to provide rearview visibility, GPS functionality, and an HUD display screen that allows a motorcyclist to use GPS functions and other functions without having to remove his hand from the handlebar. According to the designers of the helmet, the rear camera system allows the rider to see whether he or she can change lanes with a single glance.

The helmet is designed to pair with a smartphone via Bluetooth. The helmet was introduced in late 2013, and the company is currently taking pre-orders. Once it hits stores, the price will probably be close to $1,500.

It is being billed as the world's smartest motorcycle helmet that not only helps protect the motorist in the event of an accident, but also significantly helps reduce the risk of an accident in the first place. After all, head injuries are not the only injuries that motorcyclists suffer - they could be at a high risk of spinal cord injuries, fractures, broken bones and other injuries that a helmet cannot help prevent.

Bicycle helmets have gotten better at protecting bicyclists, but it would be great to see similar enhancements in bicycle technology, because of the high rates of head injuries involving bicyclists too.

How to Make Your Child Wear a Bicycle Helmet

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Every child who rides a bicycle to school or anywhere else, must wear a bicycle helmet. That is the single most important piece of advice that any California bicycle accident lawyer would offer parents.

Unfortunately, bicycle helmet usage rates, which should be 100% among children, are not always so. Many children resist wearing a helmet for a variety of reasons, and parents simply go along. Children don't like helmets because they consider them uncomfortable or uncool. Parents need to be stricter about getting their children to wear bicycle helmets every time they ride.

Not wearing a bicycle helmet increases the risk of brain injury if the child is involved in an accident. The risk of brain injuries is present when an adult bicyclist is involved in an accident, but the risk of severe injuries may be greater when it is a child involved in a crash. That's because young brains are still growing, and may be much more vulnerable to the damaging effects of a sudden blow to the head, which often results in a bicycle accident. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children account for some of the highest rates of injuries in bicycle accidents. They account for close to 60% of all injuries in bicycle accidents.

Introduce your child to helmets early. A young child, who has begun wearing helmets, is likely to develop a habit of wearing helmets, and will continue wearing bicycle helmets as he grows older.

Get your children to help pick out a helmet. The helmet must be properly fitting. Let your child pick the color or design that he or she wants to.

It also goes without saying that you as an adult should model appropriate behaviors, and wear a bicycle helmet while riding.

Bicycling and Brain Injuries

Saturday, May 10, 2014

It’s no news that the bicyclist who is not wearing a helmet is at a much higher risk of suffering serious, and possibly even fatal brain injuries.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2010, there were 800 bicyclist fatalities across the country in bicycle accidents, and more than 510,000 bicyclists bicycle accident-related injuries. Every year 26,000 bicycle injuries comprised of traumatic brain injuries.

These are some of the most serious injuries facing bicyclists, and a helmet can be a bicycle bicyclist’s sole chance of minimizing the risk of such injuries. Brain injuries are not only disabling and debilitating injuries, but also some of the most expensive injuries. An average brain injury victim can go through millions of dollars in expenses over a lifetime of care.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, there has been a 30% increase in the number of hospital emergency room visits that are linked to traumatic brain injury. The findings were seen over a four-year period, and the researchers believe that the increase in the number of emergency room visits is possibly the result of greater awareness about the dangers of brain injuries, especially milder injuries like concussions.

You can minimize your chances of suffering a brain injury in a bicycle accident. Wear a helmet every time you bicycle. If there are other people in your family who bicycle, make sure that they are all helmeted too. The helmet must be properly fitted, and must meet federal safety guidelines.

Children must be protected against these injuries, because their brains are still growing, and may be much more vulnerable to the long-term effects of injury. If your children refuse to wear a helmet, get them involved in the process of buying a helmet.

Take care to avoid being involved in an accident. Ride with the traffic flow, and not against it. Make sure that you're aware of all traffic signs and signals, and follow all traffic rules stringently. Learn the correct hand signals and use these correctly.


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