With over 20 percent of Davis commuters riding bicycles, one should see a lot of helmets bobbing around early mornings. However, that’s not the case. In California, only around 50 percent of rider report that they wear helmets most of the time.
Studies show that wearing a helmet saves lives and reduces serious head injuries by as much a 70 percent depending on the study. Despite this, California law only requires that those under 18 and operating a bike in public must wear a helmet.
Injuries Common to Bike Accidents Without Helmets
A summary of some of the prominent bicycle helmet studies shows that those who wore helmets when in an accident:
- Have a 63-88 percent reduction of risk of severe head and brain injury when involved in an accident.
- Have a 69 percent reduction in injury when involved in a crash with motor vehicles.
- Have a 68 percent reduction in injury when involved in all other (non-vehicle) crashes.
- Injuries to upper and mid-facial injuries were reduced 65 percent (compared to no reduction to facial areas not covered by the helmet.
It stands to reason then, there are certain injuries that EMT and trauma center workers see when they treat bicycle crash victims. Some of the most common of these are:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Facial Bone Fractures (Helmets do a poor job of protection)
- Severe Concussions
- Wrist Fractures
- Broken Arms/Legs
- Chest Compressions
- Internal Injuries/Bleeding
- Severe Road Rash
Liability and Not Wearing a Helmet
Some cyclists feel that if you get a head injury when in an accident riding a bicycle and weren’t wearing a helmet, you can’t collect from the insurance company. This isn’t the law. In fact, the law says that disobeying traffic and bicycle safety laws do not automatically mean that one is negligent in a civil suit for a personal injury.
However, the insurance company can use the fact that the cyclist wasn’t wearing a helmet to try to put some of the blame on the cyclist in order to reduce the amount of compensation. This is because of California’s comparative fault laws that assign a percentage of blame to each driver in an accident.
Contact a Davis Bicycle Accident Lawyer.
Bay Area Bicycle Law is the only personal injury law firm in Northern California to specialize exclusively in representing injured cyclists. Years of advocacy for bicycle victims have seasoned our attorneys with the necessary skills, knowledge base and familiarity to handle bicycle accident cases with the utmost level of professional expertise.
Contact us today for a free consultation. California cyclists who are injured by negligent drivers are entitled to a wide array of compensation. We will always offer you legal advice which is in your best interest.