Far too often, children go for bicycle rides without a helmet. The unfortunate reality is that bikers who don’t wear this type of protective gear are at significant risk of suffering fatal or catastrophic neck or head injuries.
Years of studies and mounting evidence show that helmets save lives. The Journal of Pediatrics conducted a cross-sectional study of all bicyclists aged 0-16 years included in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System who died between January 1999 and December 2010. They compared fatality rates in age-specific populations between states with helmet laws like Florida and those without them. The results indicate that bicycle helmet safety laws are associated with a lower incidence of fatalities in child cyclists involved in bicycle-motor vehicle accidents.
Florida’s helmet law §316.2065(3)(d) prohibits a bicycle rider or passenger who is younger than 16-years-old from riding without a bicycle helmet that is properly fitted and meets federal safety standards. Adults are not legally required to wear helmets in Florida, but the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends all bicyclists wear properly fitted helmets every time they ride. “A helmet is the single most effective way to prevent head injury resulting from a bicycle crash,” an April 2013 Traffic Safety Facts report based on 2011 data from the NHTSA states.
Even the most cautious bike rider may suffer a bicycle accident due to a distracted driver. If you have been injured in this type of collision, it is important to consult with a personal injury firm about your legal rights.