Mandatory Bike Helmet Laws: Do They Really Make a Difference?
Past studies have concluded that when a bike accident occurs and the biker was wearing a helmet, their chance of suffering a serious head injury is half of what it would be if they were not wearing a helmet. The chance that they will suffer an injury to the neck or face is lowered by 33% when the rider wears a helmet.
It is thanks to studies like these that nearly half of the states in the U.S. have some type of mandatory bike helmet law – and California is among them. However, some recent studies have put previous “facts” into question. Keep reading to find out if helmets are as helpful as we used to believe, and find out if bike helmet laws increase usership. If you are involved in this type of accident, contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 for a free legal consultation.
The Bike Helmet Laws in California
In California, the law states that any minor aged 17 or younger must wear a bike helmet if they are riding on a public bikeway, street, trail, or path, and that the helmet they wear meets safety standards and fits properly. Adults who are at least 18 years old are not required by California law to wear helmets, though some municipalities have passed local regulations on adult helmet wearing.
Do Bike Helmet Laws Do What They Are Designed to Do?
Some people believe that mandatory bike helmet laws do not do what they are intended to do – reduce injuries. That said, several studies have shown injuries caused by bike accidents to have fallen when bike helmet laws are both enacted and enforced.
For example, one study of bike helmet laws in Australia showed that once the law was enacted, the number of fatal bike accidents dropped by almost 50%. Another survey of similar laws in Canada showed that bike-related head injuries went down by 45% when bike helmet laws were enforced.
Helmets Do Help – But They Cannot Prevent All Bike Accidents
The fact of the matter is that every reliable study we have seen shows that riding with a helmet is considerably more dangerous than riding without a helmet. The facts have also shown that when strong helmet laws are enacted and enforced, more people wore helmets, and fewer fatalities were reported.
That said, no one can prevent 100% of accidents. If you have suffered in a bike accident and believe someone else was at fault, contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 for a free legal consultation. We will carefully consider your case and advise you on how you can best proceed.