As temperatures rise and winter snow melts, more Minnesotans will enjoy outdoor activities like bicycling with their families. In fact, Bicycle Friendly State℠ ranked Minnesota the second most bicycle-friendly state in the U.S. While Minnesota has made significant strides in reducing the annual rate of bike crashes by adopting strategies such as adding more bike lanes to roads, there is still work that needs to be done, particularly for child safety.
Bicycle Helmets Help Prevent Brain Injuries
U.S. emergency rooms treated more than 2.2 million children ages 5-17 for bicycle-related injuries from 2006-2015. Traumatic brain injuries accounted for 11% of these injuries. Although studies show that wearing a helmet can help protect against serious brain injuries, less than half of the U.S. states have bike helmet laws. Minnesota is among the states that do not.
The CDC recently released a new tool called MV PICCS 3.0 (Motor Vehicle Prioritizing Interventions and Cost Calculator for States). The purpose of this tool is to help lawmakers save lives by implementing strategies to help prevent motor vehicle injuries. MV PICCS lists bike helmet laws for children as a strategy that could help reduce motor vehicle injuries in Minnesota.
What Can I Do to Protect My Kids?
Wearing a bike helmet that fits properly is the best way to help prevent head injuries. Researchers say kids are more likely to wear a helmet if they see their parents wearing one. When it comes time to buy a new helmet, let your child choose a style they like, and they will be more likely to wear it for every ride. When buying a helmet, look for the label that reads, “Complies with U.S. CPSC Safety Standards for Bicycle Helmets.” BikeMN recommends that children under 10 ride on the sidewalk with adult supervision.
“After you meet kids with brain injuries and talk to their families like we have, you would never ever let your kids ride a bike without a helmet. At my house, we work really hard to make helmets a habit, and anything that can be done to increase helmet use across Minnesota, should be done.”Bike Accident Lawyer Brendan Flaherty
Bike Accident Lawyers with Experience
The bicycle accident attorneys at Pritzker Hageman help victims and their families get justice and compensation in bicycle accident lawsuits in Minnesota. As cyclists themselves, our lawyers advocate for bike safety and understand the types of injuries that can occur on the road. Our legal team has recovered millions of dollars for our bike crash clients. One of our clients, whom we represented in a wrongful death lawsuit, designed a bumper stick called “LOOK” to honor his wife, who was killed by a semi-trailer truck.