How Important Are Bike Helmets in North Carolina Bike Accidents?

With the warmer weather soon arriving in North Carolina, cycling enthusiasts will soon be hitting the roads. As healthy and good for the environment as cycling is, it can also be dangerous for the person riding the bike.

Every year, about 20 people are killed in bike accidents in the state of North Carolina. Hundreds of more victims are fortunate enough to survive their accidents, but many are left with serious to severe injuries. One of the most important pieces of safety equipment a cyclist can wear is a bike helmet. In North Carolina, any rider who is 16 years or younger are required by law to wear a helmet. Although adults are not required by law to wear them, statistics show that wearing a helmet can dramatically decrease the risk of serious head injury in the event of a bike accident.

Data compiled by the National Institutes of Health show that the use of bike helmets reduces the overall risk of head injuries in a bike accident by almost 50 percent and reduces serious head injuries by 60 percent. Another study found that using a bike helmet reduces the rate of brain injury by more than 50 percent and reduces death by almost 35 percent.

What Type of Bike Helmet Is the Safest?

When purchasing a bike helmet, it is important to choose a bike that is certified, uses concussion-reducing technology, and fits comfortably on your head. A helmet that doesn’t fit properly could actually be more dangerous in the event of a crash. It also helps if you like the helmet, which will make it more likely you will use it every time you ride. Anytime you don’t have your helmet on, you are risking brain, head, and facial injuries should you get hit by a vehicle and knocked off your bike.

Bike Accident Injuries

Unfortunately, no matter how many safety precautions a cyclist takes and what type of personal protective equipment they wear, there is always that chance that a vehicle driver will not see them and ending up crashing into them. Because there is nothing to protect the cyclist from the impact of a 4,000-pound vehicle slamming into them, many cyclists suffer serious injuries. There is also the risk of falling from the bike or crashing into another object if the cyclist swerves to avoid being hit by a vehicle. The following are the most common types of injuries bike accident victims suffer, ranging from minor to catastrophic:

  • Back and spinal cord injuries
  • Brain injuries
  • Bruises, bumps, cuts, scrapes
  • Face injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Pulled muscles
  • Road rash
  • Shoulder  
  • Simple and compound fractures
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Torn muscles

Any victim injured in a bike accident caused by another party should contact a North Carolina bike accident attorney to find out what damages they may be able to recover for the losses their injuries have caused them. These damages can include medical expenses, loss of income if they are unable to work while they recover, pain and suffering, mental anguish, scarring, disfigurement, permanent disability, and more. An attorney can evaluate a victim’s case and determine the amount of financial compensation they may be entitled to and then help the victim recover that compensation from the at-fault party.

Contact Our Personal Injury Firm Today

If you were injured in a bicycle or any other type of motor vehicle accident, it is critical not to delay contacting a North Carolina bicycle accident attorney from Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn right away. North Carolina injury laws have strict rules regarding how long you have to file your personal injury claim. If the statute of limitations expires, you will be unable to collect financial damages for any of the losses you may be entitled to.

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Randall E. Appleton
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia