Bicycle Helmet Safety Awareness
July 17th, 2013
Experienced Attorneys Protecting Kids Injured in Bicycle Accidents across RI and MA
Bicycle safety is a great public safety concern that affects nearly everyone. According to the Centers for Disease Control, hospitals treat more than 500,000 people across the country annually, and more than 700 people die from of bicycle-related injuries each year. Children account for the majority of injuries that result from bicycle accidents. In 2001, children under 16 accounted for 59% of all bicycle-related injuries seen in the United States.
Many people don’t know that state law mandates the use of bicycle helmets for children. RI Gen. Laws Section 31-19-2.1 states that
any person fifteen (15) years of age or younger who is operating or who is a passenger on a bicycle or who is using or operating a skateboard, rollerskates, scooter or inline skates on a public highway, bicycle trail or path, shared use path, park and/or recreational area, school property or on any other public right of way shall wear a helmet. The helmet shall fit the person’s head and shall be secured to the person’s head by straps while the person is operating the bicycle, skateboard, scooter, rollerskates or inline skates. The helmet shall meet the standards for helmets established by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or subsequent standards. In no event shall failure to wear a helmet be considered as contributory or comparative negligence, nor shall the failure to wear a helmet be admissible as evidence in the trial of any civil action.
The law is based in part on the research conducted by public agencies, for example, the National Bicycle Safety Network, which are charged with the development of national strategies for advancing bicycle safety to eliminate the incidence of traffic related bicycle accidents.
Every year, the RI Association for Justice offers a bike helmet safety program that aims to reduce and prevent injuries from bicycle accidents. The program is overseen by local RI personal injury lawyers who donate bike helmets to young children to help them understand the importance of bike safety and preventing traumatic head injuries. Mike Bottaro, as a RI bike accident lawyer and founder of the Bottaro Law Firm, has been active in this and other public service programs for many years. See The Bottaro Law Firm Facebook page for detailed information about the success of this year’s helmet safety program.