The Importance of Wearing a Bicycle HelmetSeattle bicycle accident lawyers know the important role helmets play in preventing head injuries in many types of crashes. There is currently no state law requiring helmet use in Washington. Many cities and counties, including King County and Seattle, have enacted helmet laws for all bicyclists. It is unclear why Washington lawmakers have not made a statewide helmet law yet because the numbers clearly show that wearing a helmet can greatly increase your chances of surviving a crash and prevent catastrophic head injuries.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), helmet use reduces the risk of head injuries by 85 percent. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that by wearing a bike helmet you reduce your risk of brain injury by 88 percent and your chances of suffering facial injuries by 65 percent. The IIHS further reports that of the 616 cyclists killed in the year 2010, 429 were not wearing helmets and 94 were wearing helmets. It is not clear if the remaining 93 were properly helmeted. Therefore, the vast majority of cyclists who were fatally injured were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
It is a common theory that only children should be required to wear a bicycle helmet. After all, the CDC reports that 140,000 children are treated in emergency departments for bicycle-related head injuries in the United States each year. That does not, however, mean that they are the only riders who need protection. In fact, the IIHS reports that 89 percent of bicycle fatalities involve persons age 16 and older. So, adults need to be protected as well.
Suffering a head injury in a Washington bicycle accident can often be debilitating and life changing. Some head injury victims struggle with emotional and physical disabilities that never fully heal. By wearing a helmet, you are decreasing your chances of suffering a long-term injury that affects every aspect of your life.
If you have been hurt in a Washington bicycle accident, please call the law offices of Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. at (888) 228-3860. We have a long history of protecting the rights of Washington bicycle accident victims.