Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is one of the leading dangers for teenage bike riders in South Florida. The National Bicycle Safety Network (NBSN) reports that the failure to wear a helmet is the direct cause of most head and brain injuries in bicycle accidents. According to the NBSN, well over half of those killed in bicycle accidents in recent years were not wearing helmets. Wearing a helmet can reduce your risk for major injury and/or death by up to 88%.
In the state of Florida, the law requires bicycle riders under the age of 16 to wear helmets, although all riders are strongly encouraged to wear protective gear. The enforcement of the bicycle helmet law has helped to reduce the number of fatalities in South Florida since its inception in 1997. According to a June 29, 2010 report released by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), bicyclist fatalities decreased 15% between 2008 and 2009 from 118 to 100.
Safeguarding Teens Against Injury
Most bicycle accidents involve careless drivers who fail to yield to bike riders. Sadly, a bicycle is simply no match for a 5,000-pound vehicle, and the results can often be devastating. Here are some helpful tips to stay safe on the roads this summer:
– Wear reflective clothing or attach reflective strips to your backpack, jacket or vest to allow drivers and pedestrians to see you at all times.
– Check your bicycle and equipment regularly for maintenance/repair. Check that all nuts and bolts are secure and that your tires are properly inflated and free of punctures.
– While riding, stay alert at all times. Ride on the right hand side of the road with traffic and always obey stop signs and traffic signals.
No matter how careful you are, though, some car drivers on four wheels simply aren’t as careful when it comes to looking out for those on two wheels. If you are injured while riding your bicycle, a personal injury lawyer in Florida may be able to help you recover damages for your injuries.