Thursday, November 7, 2019

Federal Board Recommends Mandatory Bike Helmet Laws in All States

The following chart shows the main reasons that bicyclists are dying in increasing numbers on American roadways (up from 806 in 2017 to 857 in 2018). Bike fatality rates have risen steadily since 2009.

Recently, the federal safety board issued a recommendation for mandatory bike helmet laws in all 50 states. The National Transportation Safety Board voted 3-0 to recommend helmet laws even as staff members reminded panelists that such laws may reduce overall cycling, and lead to the “unintended consequence” of more road fatalities because fewer cyclists will mean less pressure on local officials to build the kind of protected infrastructure that is said to improve cyclist safety.

Numerous studies show that helmet use reduces the likelihood of injuries by 48 percent, reduces serious injuries by 60 percent, and reduces traumatic injuries by 53 percent. In fact, between 2014 and 2017 a disturbing 62 percent of bike-related fatalities were from head injuries, and there were 541,000 head injuries to cyclists overall between 2014 and 2017.

The next step is for the Federal Highway Administration to act on the recommendation that mandatory bicycle helmet laws be enacted in all 50 states.

Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso