What You Need to Know About Bike Helmet Law in New York

What You Need to Know About Bike Helmet Law in New York
What You Need to Know About Bike Helmet Law in New York

Riding a bicycle is a good way to take care of the environment, stay physically active, and get from A to B in a reasonable time. Wearing a protective bike helmet is a way to protect your head from a potential injury. Although there are no federal traffic or helmet laws relevant to bicyclists, cyclists are subject to the same traffic laws as motorists, state status, and local laws.

If you were involved in a bicycle accident (with another motor vehicle) get medical help and seek legal help from a New York bicycle accident attorney.

Bicycle Safety and Helmets

Approximately 700 cyclists are killed in bicycle accidents every year, according to the National HighwayTraffic Safety Administration. Bicyclists are part of nearly 2% of all traffic fatalities, so bicycling is considered a dangerous method of transportation than motorcycling.

According to the Pedestrian Bicycle and Information Center, there’s no reliable source of bicyclist crash exposure data. They state that the fatalities and the severe injuries are putting a shadow over the health benefits of this method of transportation.

To reduce the risk of fatal outcomes and severe head injuries, NHTSA states that everyone, no matter their age or cycling experience, should wear a bike helmet.

Wearing a bike helmet may save your life. Cyclists who wear helmets have three times bigger chances to survive the accident, compared to those who don’t.

The helmet can protect you from severe brain injuries in 88% of serious bicycle accidents.

Although the law requires you to wear a bike helmet, less than half of bicycle riders wear it. Teenagers rarely wear one. People state the helmets are uncomfortable and believe that they’re careful and experienced enough to wear a helmet. Some cyclists say that a helmet is interfering with their hearing. They state that the wind makes noise through the helmet which reduces the ability to hear vehicles coming from behind.

Bicycle Helmet Laws

The state of New York requires you to wear a helmet (under the age of 14). Check with your city plan to learn if there are helmet requirements.

Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia require riders to wear helmets. This is mandatory for riders under the age of 18 (and in some states under 16, or 14, as is the case with New York).

Brain Injuries

Usually, concussions aren’t caused by the impact. The concussion occurs even from a low impact to the head. It could cause blood clots or rotation of the brain. If it’s severe, the rotation can destroy the axons of the brain leading to diffuse axonal injury. This is the principal cause of death in bicycle accidents. Even if you have a mild concussion, make sure you get a medical exam and treatment. You’re risking getting a second injury which can be debilitating or fatal.

Here are the symptoms of traumatic brain injury:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache (slight to intense)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of coordination
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Depression
  • Mood swings

Obtaining a Helmet

Before buying a bicycle helmet, be sure to research and find a buying guide that would help you pick a suitable model. If you have young children, make sure you get them a suitable size.

In case you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you should seek medical help immediately, no matter if you wore a helmet, or not. Even if you feel well and there are no visible injuries, make sure you get a medical exam.

Many people refuse to see a doctor after they were involved in a bicycle accident because they feel well. Don’t let this happen; many internal injuries and brain injuries don’t show up until a few days later. Refusing medical help may affect your case.

You might have to get medical treatments and medications. Without a medical exam, the insurance company may deny the settlement, claiming that you got your injuries in another accident.

However, if you have issues with this subject, or simply want to have assistance from a skilled and experienced attorney by your side, you should seek legal help after the accident.

New York is a no-fault state. This means that no matter whose fault it was insureds will be compensated by their insurance company for damages and injuries.

Our team at Cellino Law will review your case free of charge. We make sure that our clients get their deserved compensation. Let a team of professionals do their job, while you’re recovering at home.


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