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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We handle cases throughout California, including the cities of:
Silicon Valley, San Jose, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, San Mateo, Menlo Park, Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Orange County and San Diego. We also have a network of qualified cycling attorneys throughout the country for clients who are seeking representation outside of California.