A lot of people in Redmond ride a bicycle for exercise, transportation or simple recreational enjoyment. Some even know Redmond as the “Bicycle Capital of the Northwest.” But bicyclists should always take the proper safety precautions to reduce the risk of injury. Unfortunately, not enough people wear helmets when riding.
A survey conducted between 2001 and 2003 and published in 2010 in the Journal of Safety Research found that only 48 percent of children ages 5 through 14 wear a bike helmet while riding. Older children may be even less likely to wear a helmet. So why wear a bike helmet? Read on for eight good reasons.
1. Head Injuries are a Major Cause of Injury for Bicyclists
About 26,000 children and adolescents each year suffer traumatic brain injuries that require emergency department treatment in bicycle accidents. A 1989 study in Seattle published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that use of a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by 74 to 85 percent. Not wearing a helmet could put you at risk of injury.
2. Wearing a Helmet Increases Visibility
Not only can a helmet protect your head in the event of an accident, but a helmet also can reduce the risk of an accident by making cyclists more visible to motorists on the road. When choosing a helmet, opt for a bright color that’s easy to see. Some come with reflective material.
3. Helmet Use is the Law in Redmond
While there is no state law that requires helmet use in Washington, many cities and counties have passed laws requiring the use of a helmet while bicycling. King County – which includes Redmond – requires bicyclists of all ages to wear a helmet.
4. Helmets Can Provide Sun Protection
A helmet with a visor can provide protection from the sun’s harmful rays. By keeping the sun out of your face and eyes, you can reduce your risk of sunburn and improve your ability to see what’s happening around you.
5. Wearing a Helmet Sets an Example for Others
Wearing a helmet yourself is a good way to encourage helmet use by your children, as well as others who might see your example. Some children might rebel if they’re the only ones required to wear the helmet when going for a ride.
6. A Helmet Can be a Fashion Statement
Helmets these days can be custom made to come in just about every color, pattern and design imaginable. If a boring black or white helmet doesn’t really excite you, choose a helmet that better fits your personality or have one customized with your favorite graphic or image. But always make sure it meets safety standards.
7. A Helmet Offers Weather Protection
At the very least, a helmet can improve your comfort when poor weather strikes. In rain, snow or hail, a helmet can help to keep your head dry and assist in keeping moisture off of your face and out of your eyes, especially if it has a visor. If you ride in the winter, you can even purchase a helmet manufactured to help keep you warm.
8. A Head Injury Can Change Your Life
Head injuries can result in complications including impaired cognitive function, communication problems and problems with physical functions, such as fine motor skills and coordination. If you want to protect your brain and your future, wear a helmet. If that doesn’t answer the question, "Why wear a helmet?" nothing will.
If you’ve been in a bicycle accident that another party caused, seek the help of an attorney. At Max Meyers Law, PLLC, our attorneys provide the legal help you need to recover damages. Contact us today at to get started.