Mandatory Bicycle Helmet Laws Lead to Lower Death Rates for Children

Earlier this week, the American Academy of Pediatrics made a press release about the results of a study regarding the effectiveness of laws that require bicyclists to wear helmets.The data revealed that fewer deaths occurred among youths who were involved in bicycle-motor vehicle crash within those states that had mandatory helmet laws in place.

Researchers set out to determine the efficacy of mandatory bicycle helmet laws in reducing injuries and death rates nationwide by analyzing data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System for all U.S. bicyclists. They looked at data for all accidents involving children under the age of sixteen who were either severely injured or died during the period of January 1999 until December 2009. They compared data for states with mandatory laws versus those without.

During the relevant period, a total of 2,451 children suffered incapacitating injuries or died in bicycle-motor vehicle crashes. States with mandatory helmet laws had a lower rate of incapacitating injuries or death at approximately 2 per 1 million, versus 2.5 per 1 million. The associated lower rates held true even after adjusting for certain relevant factors.

Maryland is one of the 21 states that requires bicyclists to wear helmets, which could have a direct impact on residents who bicycle in the DC area.

Children are often the victims of bicycle car accident because of their inability to anticipate cars, less experience at handling bicycles, and most obviously the fact that due to their size, they are less visible to drivers. However, drivers have the responsibility of operating their motor vehicle in a reasonable manner, and following all of the relevant traffic laws. Additionally, car accidents that end up injuring children are not limited to those that happen on the roadways. Many children are hurt as cars pull in and out of driveways and parking lots, or disobey traffic signals, such as stop signs or stoplights.

If your child has been injured in a car accident, you may be able to file a claim against the driver who caused the injury. If an individual’s negligent driving was responsible for hurting your child, you may be entitled to recover for your child’s injuries. You may also be able to recover for the child’s accompanying pain and suffering. If your child is old enough to be employed or was employed at the time of the accident, you may also be able to recover for his or her lost wages as well.

If your child has been hurt or killed in a car accident, you should consult an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation for your child’s medical expenses, pain and suffering, and funeral expenses if appropriate. The committed personal injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen have several years of experience advocating for the rights of people in the Washington, DC area who have been victims of injuries and wrongful death. Get in touch with our team of hardworking attorneys today in order to schedule a free confidential consultation. You can contact us through our website, or by calling us at (800) 654-1949.

More Blog Posts:

Federal Court Hears Oral Argument on NFL Concussion Litigation Motion to Dismiss, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, published April 30, 2013
Despite Fewer Recalls, Defective Children’s Products Cause Increased Number of Injuries and Deaths in 2012, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, published April 23, 2013

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