The Importance of Bike Helmets And Why They Should Be Mandatory

Recent statistics show that less and less people are choosing to opt out of riding bikes, despite their proven health benefits. Additionally, riding a bike has proven to be safer in areas where bicycle traffic is frequent. This is because of the increase in cycling structure, but also because motor vehicle drivers in those areas have become familiar with keeping an eye out for cyclists, and are thus less likely to overlook them.

Prevent Cycling Fatalities

In a vast majority of cases, the cycling collision was caused by negligent behavior on either the cyclists, or the motor vehicle driver’s part. A lack of alertness toward other road users, as well as failure to follow the laws of traffic frequently leads to preventable collisions. Other causes are vehicles driving by a cyclist without leaving reasonable space, car drivers and passengers throwing open doors in a cyclist’s path, and drivers leaving side streets and driveways without checking for passing cyclists.

In all of these cases, it is the cyclist who will take the brunt of the impact. They are the ones who are seriously and frequently injured during these collisions. The best working preventative measures in such cases are expanded cyclist infrastructure, defensive driving from motorists, and installing side guards on commercial trucks, among other things. What the cyclists themselves can do to stay as safe as possible, is to install lights on their bikes, wear reflective gear and light colors, and most importantly: wear a helmet.

The Law

In Ontario, every citizen under the age of 18 years is obligated to wear a helmet when riding a bike. This helmet will need to have been approved and adhere to safety regulation legislation. However, according to medical and health care professionals, this is not enough. They firmly believe that all cyclists should be obligated to wear helmets, regardless of age. And their arguments on this matter are sound.

The number one cause of death for cyclists are head trauma and brain injury, both of which are injuries that could have been reduced drastically, if they had been wearing a helmet. However, as with all matters, there are also opposing arguments, such as personal freedom, minimal protection, and the supposed encouragement of dangerous behavior.

Despite this, studies have shown that children and young adults will be encouraged to wear helmets, if they frequently see adults wearing them as well. Additionally, helmet wearing cyclists have also been found to drive cautiously and take less risks. Thus, next time you or someone you live is going biking, remember to put on the helmet as your safety is in your hands. And if someone has been injured in an accident, call in the injury lawyer in Waterloo.

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