Bicycles account for about 2 percent of motor vehicle crashes here in the U.S., but this number is on the rise. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), the most common serious injuries are to the head, which is a clear reminder of why it is so important for riders to wear helmets. While Pennsylvania does not require adults to wear helmets, riders under 12 years of age must use one if they are on pedal cycle. If there is a helmet law, however, riders are four times more likely to use a helmet than if there is no law.
Helmets save lives and prevent injury
According to the IIHS, helmets effectively reduce the seriousness of injuries for riders of all ages, including in the following ways:
- Helmets reduce the number of head injuries by about 50 percent
- Helmets reduce the odds of head, face or neck injury by 33 percent
- Recent years reveal that no more than 17 percent of fatalities were wearing helmets
- Fatalities among bicyclists under 20 have decreased by 87 percent
Eight-hundred-and-thirty-five bicyclists were killed in crashes involving motor vehicles in 2016, the most recent year with statistics. The number of fatalities involving males in all age groups was much higher than females in all age groups. While fatal crashes involving bikers are down since 1975, there has been 34 percent surge upwards since the lowest fatalities numbers in 2010.
Pittsburg is not immune to this national trend, either. Much has been written about the dangers of biking here in our community, including one story that pointed out that there is a 12 percent increase in fatalities here in River City.
Obviously, a helmet is a key piece of safety gear for all riders. Nonetheless, riders and families of riders involved in accidents would be wise to seek legal guidance after beginning their medical care. A personal injury attorney with experience with bike accidents involving cars is a tremendous asset in protecting the rights of victims. They can help make sure that the proper amount of compensation is made to cover medical expenses, loss of income and other financial concerns.