New Research From the Academy of Pediatrics Advocates Universal Bike Helmet Laws


October 21, 2013

While many kids in Georgia shun the idea of wearing a bicycle helmet when pedaling to the store, school or a friend's house, a new report presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting indicates that bicycle helmet use significantly reduces the risk of suffering serious injury in a cycling accident. According to the study, there are approximately 900 people per year who die in bicycle accidents across the U.S. Approximately 75 percent of those who die in these bicycle accidents suffers fatal head injuries. Based on the results of the research presented at the conference, the Academy of Pediatrics is recommending that bicyclists wear helmets at all times and that states pass universal bicycle helmet laws that apply to riders of all ages.

In Georgia, kids who are 15 or younger must wear a helmet anytime they are cycling. The Georgia bicycle helmet law imposes requirements that the helmet comply with national standards, fit appropriately and be properly fastened. Although those over the age of 15 are not required to wear any protective headgear, use of a bicycle helmet can prevent coma, concussions, loss of memory and brain damage.

The researchers who conducted the recent study analyzed data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) on all bicycle accidents involving kids under the age of sixteen who experienced severe injuries or died over a ten year period. The rate of incapacitating injuries and fatalities was compared between states with mandatory bicycle helmet laws and those without such restrictions. Incapacitating injuries included any injury that prevented a cyclist from engaging in the routine activities he or she participated in prior to the bicycle crash. While those in states without any bicycle helmet requirements suffered debilitating injuries or fatalities at a rate of 2.5 per million children, the rate was only 2 per million children in states with mandatory bike helmet laws.

Approximately seventy percent of kids between the ages of 5 and 14 ride bicycles according to the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics. The journal also indicates that kids are even less likely to wear cycling helmets than adults. According to the authors, estimates of bicycle helmet use among kids in the U.S. range between 15-25 percent. This relatively limited level of use is especially tragic because of the effectiveness of bike helmet at preventing head injuries. The journal discusses a study that concluded bike helmets can reduce the acceleration experienced by the skull by 87 percent in a collision and aid the skull in resisting up to 470 pounds of force in a crush incident. Our Georgia bicycle accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates are committed to promoting practices and requirements that keep our kids safe. We implore parents to insist that their kids always strap on a bicycle helmet to reduce the risk of avoidable traumatic brain injuries and fatalities

If you or your child have been injured in an Atlanta bicycle accident, our Georgia bicycle accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to those throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

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