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Florida Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney: Helmets Best Head Protection for Bicyclists

A teenager in Weston recently suffered serious head injuries when the bicycle he was riding on his way to school was struck by a car while crossing the intersection of Bonaventure Boulevard and Orchard Road. Authorities reported the student was not wearing a bicycle helmet at the time of the collision – something long-time traumatic brain injury attorney Dean Freeman has stressed for years as an imperative for bicycle safety. It’s necessary to point out that while F.S. 316.2065(3)(d) requires bicycle passengers under 16 to wear a properly-fitted, federally-approved safety helmet, state law expressly forbids using one’s failure to do so as evidence of negligence or contributory negligence. 

Local ABC-10 News reported the car driver remained at the scene of the crash (something unfortunately not all do, though required by law, as bicycling accidents are commonly associated with hit-and-run drivers). Investigators did not indicate whether the woman would be cited for failure-to-yield to the injured teen bicyclists, who was airlifted to a hospital in Hollywood and later upgraded to fair condition.

Fort Lauderdale Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney Underscores Florida Bicycle Safety

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in just one recent year alone, more than 1,000 bicyclists died and nearly 467,000 were injured as a result of bicycle-related injuries, many of those involving some type of traumatic brain injury. Florida leads the pack.

The Florida Department of Transportation revealed last year that Florida ranked No. 1 for bicyclist deaths – 139 in all representing roughly 20 percent of the national total. The FDOT’s analysis focused on reviewing and summarizing existing bicycle safety literature, identifying causes and patterns of Florida bicycle crashes and identifying and analyzing hot spots for crash causes and possible counter measures.

In all, more than 26,000 Florida bicycle crashes over a four-year stretch were analyzed. What they discovered was:

  • Most Florida bicycle accidents occurred on urban roads;
  • Bike crashes at night were statistically more deadly than those occurring during the day;
  • Crashes involving bicyclists using helmets or protective pads were markedly less severe than those involving bicyclists wore only reflective clothing and lighting;
  • Bicycle collisions with medium to heavy trucks resulted in greater severity of injuries compared to those involving passenger cars, with 14.5 percent of all bicycle vs. truck accidents proving fatal.

Broward County traumatic brain injury attorneys recognize that while bicycle helmets aren’t required of adults and won’t factor as a contributory negligence factor in bike crashes, we’d always rather see cases involving reduced severity. Even if the bicyclist does everything else right, it won’t necessarily prevent a crash because the fact of the matter is: Drivers aren’t watching for bicyclists. Riding defensively is critical, as is ensuring you have the proper head gear protection.

Head Injury Attorney Details How Bike Helmets Help

Traumatic brain injury attorneys know that unlike occupants of trucks or passenger vehicles, who have the benefit of airbags, seat belts, car frames and windshields, there is nothing to separate the body of the bicyclist from the pavement or other hard objects. The Cleveland Clinic reports roughly two-thirds of all bicycle crash deaths and one-third of all bike accident injuries involve the head and face. Wearing a bicycle helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent.

Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights after a serious bicycle accident with head injuries. Now serving Orlando, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Fort Lauderdale.

Additional Resources:

Teen struck by car while riding bike to school in Weston, authorities say, Oct. 16, 2018, By Amanda Batchelor, ABC-10 News

More Blog Entries:

Average Claim for Auto Insurance in Palm Beach Crash Cases, Oct. 12, 2018, Fort Lauderdale Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney Blog

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