traffic laws

Why U.S. Bike Helmet Laws Aren’t Enough To Keep Bicyclists Safe

In an effort to go green, bikes are taking over major metropolitan cities. New York bicyclists are taking it one step further with motorized bikes. Both manual bikes and motorized bikes are subject to state and local helmet laws.

There is no federal law requiring bicyclists to wear a helmet, but there are state and local laws. Currently, twenty-two states have state-wide laws and over 201 cities have local ordinances. Most helmet laws apply only to children under 18, but 49 laws apply to all ages.

While legislators are busy passing, amending, and repealing bike helmet laws, bicyclists wearing them are still being struck and killed by motor vehicles. This protection is important but it is not the complete solution to bicycle safety. 

Bicyclists need to follow traffic laws

A bicyclist’s first source of safety is adhering to traffic laws. They are required to follow the same traffic laws as cars. However, it’s rare to see a bicyclist stop at a red light or stop sign. 

When a bicyclist runs a red light and gets struck by a car, a helmet will protect their brain. However, stopping at the red light would have prevented the accident alltogether.

Bicyclists who don’t follow traffic laws make it harder for drivers to safely maneuver around them. Three riding habits create the most potential danger: riding side-by-side in narrow bike lanes, riding slowly in the middle of the street between cars for no apparent reason, and not stopping at stop signs and red lights.

A bicyclist wearing protection and riding carelessly can still get struck and killed by a car.

Infrastructure is more important than helmets

Gregg Culver, professor at the University of Heidelberg says helmets are being promoted as a singular solution to bike safety rather than designing roads for safer car speeds and building better bike infrastructure.

According to Culver, focusing solely on helmets redistributes the blame. “By constantly reinforcing the need for cyclists to feel responsible for their own safety (akin to the manner in which jaywalking was invented in the early 20th century), this fixation serves to redistribute the blame back onto the victim of vehicular violence.”

The U.S. does need better bike infrastructure. Other countries have built far better bike lanes than the U.S., although the city of San Francisco is starting to build protected bike lanes into the roads. 

There’s no denying that helmets are important and they save lives. Bicyclists who choose not to wear one are more likely to be injured or killed during an accident. Citing bicycle accident stats from 2006, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers say of the 44,000 injuries and 773 deaths, 95% were not wearing helmets (you can see those stats here). However, with or without one, riding on an unsafe road is risking serious injury and death. 

Unenforced helmet laws aren’t effective

Helmet laws make sense but what good does this law do if it’s not consistently and openly enforced? 

Not everyone wants to wear this protection. Some people don’t want to be told what to do by the state. Others don’t want to look like an alien or a fashion disaster. The only way those people would wear one is if the risk of getting a ticket was significant. If nobody’s getting ticketed, they have no reason to wear a helmet. They’ll take the risk.

Helmets can’t protect a bicyclist from broken bones

They can protect a bicyclist from brain injury but it won’t protect them from wrist fractures and other broken bones. Sometimes bicyclists are thrown hundreds of feet into the air and come crashing down onto the pavement. In a crash, broken bones, lacerations, and bruises are inevitable. 

There isn’t one solution to bicycle safety

Bicycle safety requires a combined effort from cyclists, safety equipment, and safe roads. Helmets are important, and so are wide, protected bike lanes. It’s time to recognize that without the proper infrastructure in place, even the safest bicycle riders are at risk.


Benefits of hiring car accident lawyers

A car accident can rip you away from normal life. One can suffer from bad injuries, financial burden, temporary disablement, or even can lose their loved ones. Whenever you stuck into such circumstances, it is always advised to hire a well known and reliable lawyer. In your hard and financial breakdown time, your lawyers can suggest you with some fair compensation and will tell insurers to offer best for the loss that has occurred.

Why should you hire a car accident lawyer?

To prove negligence


To claim the compensation for your injuries it is obligatory to show that the accident has been caused due to other driver negligence. If you feel the burden to prove this, you can take help of car accident lawyer Atlanta. Any skilled lawyer will help you by demonstrating all elements of negligence occurred during the accident.

Gather evidence

Some strong evidence is required to prove that calamity was caused by others negligence.  Your lawyer will give you a proper guideline what evidence is required to support your injury claim. Evidence can include-:

  • Traffic camera recording
  • Witness statement
  • Report prepared by law enforcement officers
  • Medical reports which show your injuries caused in a mishap.

Knowledge of laws that applies to your case


You can face a difficult time in understanding the rule and laws applied to your case if you don’t have good knowledge of the laws. This includes traffic laws negligence which opposite party violated by causing the accident. Your lawyer will surely have years of experience in dealing with such accidental problem.

Determine the value of your claim


It is difficult to claim car accident value as many aspects are involved in it. Initial offer offered by your insurance company may be to low to get fully recover from the loss. Your lawyer can only help you to claim the best value for your injury so that you can cover the cost associated in your injury.

Some facts that are to be considered while calculating the value of your claim

  • Wages loss, because your injury doesn’t allow you to work.
  • Lost earning which you would not be able to earn in the future due to some permanent disability in a body.
  • Replacement and repair cost of the property damage (Vehicle).
  • Medical treatment cost

Handles insurance company for you


If you are thinking to file property damage or injury claim for compensation with the insurer, you have to communicate within the company so that your claim can proceed. This person will never be on your side and will always try to save the company money.  He will surely try to do the things mentioned below

  • Blame that your injuries are pre-existing or are from some other incident
  • Will try to limit your claim at very less value
  • Try to make you the culprit in accident occurrence.

The fault is not clearly described


If police are not filing your report with the facts occurred while accident and in return puts you at fault. At this time your lawyer will help you to determine who is responsible for damages.