Many bicyclists wonder if wearing a helmet really protects you from injury if you are involved in an accident. A recent study found that they have a significant impact on reducing traumatic brain injuries. Another concluded they help prevent fatalities and serious injuries. Still, injuries are possible. If you have been injured in a bike accident, our New Jersey bicycle accidents attorney can help.
The Benefits of a Bike Helmet
Countless Americans ride bicycles, but many do not wear bicycle helmets. Per CDC data, only 19 percent of adults and 15 percent of children use helmets all or most of the time while cycling. Sadly, the CDC estimates that if people wore helmets regularly, there would be at least 135 fewer deaths and significantly fewer head injuries every year.
Although they may not be comfortable or fashionable, there are reasons in favor of wearing helmets:
- There is a lower likelihood of brain surgery being needed if you suffer a head injury
- Helmets make you more visible to others on the road
- Protection from the elements, which may make it easier for you to maneuver in bad weather
- It is required by law in New Jersey for anyone under 17, whether they are a passenger or rider of the bike
New Jersey law proscribes fines for breaking the New Jersey helmet law. Fines start at $25 for a first offense and can be up to $100 for each violation after. No one wants a bike helmet ticket or to spend time in court dealing with this.
Common Bike Accidents
Bike accidents are unfortunately not uncommon in New Jersey. Many involve collisions with cars. In these types of accidents, why risk a more severe head injury if you can take precautions? Common examples of bike accidents are:
- One or more riders/drivers fail to stop or yield coming out of a driveway or parking lot
- Failure to completely stop at a red light or stop sign
- Merging into a bike lane
- Passing other cars recklessly
- Failing to signal while turning a corner or merging
- Driving too close
- Poor weather
- Bad road conditions
A helmet is one of the best options available to lessen head injuries and possible death. But, bikers can take other safety measures too.
Many additional safety precautions can help a biker stay safe on the road. Some of the easiest include not riding while wearing headphones, riding with traffic, following traffic rules, installing pedal and rear reflectors, a bell, rearview mirror, and headlights.
Speak With an Attorney Promptly
There are, of course, some things you cannot control, and you may find yourself injured in a bike accident. If this happens to you, you should speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. The time frame for bringing a personal injury claim in New Jersey is two years, with some exceptions. Contact our office today for a free consultation about your case.