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Helmets make a difference with bicycle accident injuries

As children, it seems that everyone was told while learning to ride a bike that wearing a helmet was a must. For adults, though, these safety devices are often ignored. There are many reasons for this, from a general sense that helmets are uncomfortable and "uncool" to the fact that adults are more confident in their skills as riders.

However, not all accidents can be avoided. When looking at bicycle accidents involving cars, for example, you'll find that the motorists cause many of the crashes. These are often the most dangerous crashes of all, and they are not incidents that even the most skilled riders can completely rule out.

The data for bike accidents over the years shows that helmets make a huge difference in keeping cyclists alive. For example, in 2000, 622 cyclists were killed in accidents while not wearing helmets, meaning that a full 90 percent of those who died did not have them on. In 2006, 95 percent of the cyclists who passed away did not have helmets on.

As this data also shows, helmets are not able to prevent all deaths. Seven percent of the cyclists who died in 2000 and 5 percent of those who died in 2006 had their helmets on. However, when looking at the ratio, it is also clear that the helmets can help.

Since not all accidents can be avoided, you may have a right to seek compensation if someone in your family was killed or injured by a motorist while riding his or her bike, whether or not a helmet was used. Make sure that you know exactly what legal steps you should take in California.

Source: Helmets, "Cyclists killed: helmet use" Dec. 15, 2014

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