Kids Are At Increased Risk For Bicycle Accidents

As spring approaches, and the weather gets warmer, many people start to pull their bicycles out of the garage and take them for a spin. As good for your body and spirit as biking is, sometimes we forget that it can also be dangerous.

According to the National Safety Council, in 2011, 677 people were killed and 48,000 injured in bicycle/motor vehicle accidents in the United States. 91% of the bicyclists killed weren’t wearing helmets.

Portrait of happy family riding on bicycles at leisure

Nearly 75% of all fatal bicycle crashes involve head injuries. But despite those facts, only 20-20% of all bicyclists wear helmets. Studies have linked helmet use to an 85% reduction in risk of head injury, according to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute.

As our kids go out to play this spring, many of us will worry that our child may not be wearing his or her helmet when not under our supervision. Helmets On Heads offers these tips for instilling good helmet habits in your child:

Establish the helmet habit early

If your child learns to wear a helmet from their first moment on a bike, it will become a lifetime habit.

Wear a helmet yourself

Be a role model for your kids; they learn by watching you.

Encourage their friends to wear helmets

Use peer pressure in a positive way to get your kids wearing helmets.

Talk about why you want them to protect their heads

Let them know that they can hurt their heads permanently or even die from a head injury.

Point out professional athletes who use helmets

Football and hockey players, baseball batters and racecar drivers all wear them.

Biking is a fun and healthy activity for the whole family, but there are laws you must be aware of. In California, anyone under the age of 18 must wear a helmet when riding a bicycle on a street, bikeway or public bicycle path or trail. You can get more information on California bicycle laws from the California Highway Patrol.

Kids are at greater risk for bicycle accidents, and it helps to know your child’s limits:

  • Vision: Kids age 9 and younger are slower in noticing objects in their peripheral vision.
  • Belief that they can be seen: Children often believe that as long as they are not hiding, they can be seen by others.
  • Hearing: Children don’t automatically use sound to determine where traffic is coming from.
  • Limited focus: Kids generally concentrate on one thing at a time.
  • Traffic inexperience: Kids are often oblivious to the importance of stopping at intersections or watching driveways.
  • False sense of security: Children don’t understand the consequences of unsafe actions.

If you, your child, or a loved one has been in a bicycle accident, we may be able to help. If a motor vehicle is involved, you may be entitled to make a claim. Our attorneys have been successful in helping many bike accident victims.

Contact us for a free consultation. Your family’s safety and wellbeing are important to us. Schedule a meeting to discuss your bicycle accident with us.

View more blog posts about bicycle accidents and pedestrian accidents.

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