HELMET LAWS FOR BICYCLE RIDERS


sea of bike helmets

Some believe helmets should be mandatory for anyone riding a bicycle. I am not here to discuss or argue this matter one way or the other. I will just say this … I do believe in freedom. I personally choose to wear a bike helmet while riding a two wheel vehicle being it a bicycle or motorcycle. On my tadpole trike I rarely wear a helmet and feel quite safe without wearing one. I also believe that anyone who chooses not to wear a helmet should not be eligible to receive any monetary (medical) help from taxpayers.

bicycle helmets mother & child

Legislators often make laws making it mandatory for children to wear helmets and in some places they have also included adults.

helmet construction

Certainly there are statistics supporting the use of helmets … “In the United States, 300 children are killed each year in bicycle-related accidents.
About 400,000 children are injured in bike-related accidents each year that require emergency room treatment.
Eighty percent of fatal bike injuries or 75 percent of disabling injuries could be prevented with a helmet.
Studies have shown that helmets reduce the risk of bike-related injuries by 85 percent.”

kids wearing helmets

This information is from the Johns Hopkins Injury Prevention Center …
“Each year in the United States, more than 900 cyclists are killed.
Bicyclists hospitalized with head injuries are 20 times as likely to die as those without.
Bicycle death rates per 100,000 are highest at age 10 -14.
Bicycle injury rates per million trips are highest at age 5-15.
Fifty-six percent of fatally injured cyclists are 20 or older.
Bicycle death rates per million trips are highest above 50.
Head injuries in cyclists are noted in 65,000 emergency room cases and 7,700 hospital admissions annually.”

DSC00010

The rider who was wearing this helmet lived to ride another day. Photo courtesy of Tom Remington/Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute.

HERE are the States which have mandatory helmet laws … New Mexico was the first to include tricycle riders.

states with helmet laws

The green states are states with state-wide bike helmet laws.
The red states are states with some local helmet laws.
The black states have no known state helmet laws.

And HERE are the U.S. Military Regs on Bicycle Helmets.

British soldiers wearing helmets

These are British soldiers. I could not find any pictures of U.S. military personnel riding bicycles and wearing helmets.

Some of us travel around and ride in various locations. We need to know what the laws are concerning the use of helmets, especially if we are among those who normally don’t wear a helmet on our trikes. Hopefully this information resource will be helpful to you. Be safe, enjoy the ride and …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

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About Steve Newbauer

I have a few current blogs (tadpolerider1, navysight, and truthtoponder) so I am keeping busy. I hope you the reader will find these blogs interesting and enjoy your time here. Feel free to email me at stevenewbauer at outlook.com

Posted on May 16, 2016, in safety, tadpole trikes and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. If it’s worth protecting , protect it !

  2. armadillozack

    Although I am riding now without a helmet, I do plan to buy one, and make every effort to wear it as I ride, but I to feel very safe on my recumbent to ride without one,but is this a false sense of security, Well I’m not sure, but i do feel somewhat guilty when passing, or meeting other riders who do wear their helmets.. I think an measure to keep you alive, or uninjured longer is good enough reason to wear one, so I will make every effort to wear one soon as I buy one but they are not cheap….!
    Armadillo Zack

    • I don’t understand your comment Zach. Free is pretty cheap. (They are free here in my community.) And even if you can’t find a free helmet where you are at they start at a very low price and all helmets have to meet a minimum safety standard. As far as the protection helmets offer there is practically no difference between a $4.09 helmet ($7.28 w/ shipping)(the cheapest I found just now in a Google search)(http://goo.gl/rvTWPv) and a $400 helmet. So I can’t agree with you concerning the cost.

  3. Hey Zack, you mention, “not Cheap”. What price would you pay for good health ? Quit screwing around and take care of yourself. A good life and a healthy future is worth it.

  4. You can make statistics show just about anything. Interestingly enough helmets do seem to save lives but how many of those figures would change if recumbents & trikes in particular were studied? My bet is that the majority of those killed in the U.S. figures were over the handlebar injuries head first into a vehicle or object. On a recumbent or Trike this type of head injury is nearly impossible. Sure you can still hit your head on a vehicles bumper, on a street sign, car door or just the pavement but the sheer leverage of having your front wheel suddenly stopped & then catapulting the rider forward head first is most likely what killed them. That & the 30% of those killed had a blood alcohol level over .08. Since most of Europe has not seen a significant increase in deaths despite the fact that helmet use is not mandatory one has to wonder if maybe the cause in North America is more driver attitude related due to our societal lack of patience.

  5. Although Canada only has about 10% population of the U.S. the statistics do not verify that helmets make a significant contribution to saving lives since the factors causing the accident would result in similar injuries regardless of wearing the helmet. i.e. alcohol use, rider error, riding without lighting etc. – Ontario Government Statistics – Who do you believe? –

    It is apparent that mass helmet use is not contributing to the reduction in cyclist fatalities, at least not in any measurable way. The results suggest that traffic authorities should refocus to put their efforts into other proven measures. Programs aimed at motorist behaviour over the past 30 or so years have been effective in reducing fatalities among all road user groups, including pedestrians and cyclists. Pressure on aggressive drivers to change their habits should continue. However, targeting the behaviour of only one of the parties would be short sighted. Cyclist-specific measures are also needed. There are two important factors in cycling fatalities which currently get insufficient attention – cyclist behaviour and night lighting equipment. The vast majority of cycling accidents involve cyclist error or inappropriate practices. That includes collisions with motor vehicles [5]. Educational efforts to improve cyclists’ skills should be accorded a high priority. School age children are the obvious target group. Responsible behaviour patterns need to be adopted at an early age.

    The corollary is stricter enforcement of bicycle night lighting laws. Over 90% of bicycles involved in night time fatalities have inadequate lighting [6]. Violaters increase their risks of being fatality statistics by a factor of four [7]. Data from Ontario show 20% to 30% of fatalities occur at dusk or during the hours of darkness [7-9]. Transport Canada in 2011 indicated over one third cyclist fatalities occur in the hours of darkness.