Recently, some states across the US have started to adopt mandatory bicycle helmet laws. As we discussed in our previous post, Indiana is not a state that requires bikers to wear helmets while riding. However, many Indiana bicycle enthusiasts are advocating for Indiana lawmakers to require the use of helmets for purposes of encouraging safety and protecting lives. Still, news reports are being released questioning whether these mandatory bike helmet laws actually serve the purpose of saving lives and “cushioning” serious injuries.
One study released by the BMJ compared the number of bicycle-related injuries in Canada both before and after certain provinces passed laws making it a requirement to wear helmets. This data set spanned accidents that occurred between 1994 and 2008. The study indicated that the frequency in head injury incidents was “not appreciably altered by helmet legislation.” To make matters confusing, a study published in the Journal of Pediatrics took into account the death and injury rates of cyclists aged 16 or below in US states with mandatory bicycle helmet laws and compared those rates to states without such laws. This study found that injury and death rates were approximately 20% lower in states that require riders to wear helmets. With this, it is important to note that many states do not require all bicyclists to wear helmets, but instead just those riders who are below the age of 16.
Either way, the two studies revealed completely different results, which leaves bicycle riders like ourselves wondering what to do with all this information. We have heard people hypothesize that when bicyclists are wearing helmets, motor vehicles are less precautious when driving near them like they would be if the rider was not wearing a helmet. This may or may not be the case, but we have seen firsthand the lifelong consequences of bike accident victims not wearing a helmet. The bicycle lawyers at Caress Law Group tend to agree with William Meehan, a director at Boston Children’s Hospital, who said “No one would argue that helmets don’t decrease the risk of injury.”
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle crash, whether wearing a helmet or not, we would be privileged in getting you back on your feet and making sure you are properly compensated for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and all pain and suffering you experience as a result. Keep in mind that calling us at 317-255-5400 is FREE and easy, and we always have time to listen to your unique set of circumstances. As bicyclists ourselves, the Indiana bicycle lawyers at Caress Law Group take great pride in dedicating our practice to assisting injured cyclists. We advise riders to always ride safe – and enjoy your next ride!