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Important Springtime Bicycle Safety Tips

Donna M. Di Donato

Now that spring has officially sprung, many of us will be participating in outdoor activities. As much as we all want to be outside and active, we must keep our children’s safety in mind when they participate in any sport, including outdoor sports, such as bike riding. Wearing a helmet is the critical component of reducing the risk of a head injury. As a patient safety advocate working on behalf of its clients, a high priority for our law firm is educating the public in accident prevention.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that in the majority of bicyclist deaths, head injuries are the most serious injury. Helmet use has been estimated to reduce head injury risk by 85 percent.

Here are some helpful bicycle safety tips for adults and kids to keep in mind this season:

  • Wear a Helmet While Bicycling – What could be better to relieve the stresses of your day than going for a bike ride? Whenever you ride your bike, put on your helmet. As an adult riding with younger riders, you will be conveying the proper safety example by wearing a helmet. Also, make sure your child’s bicycle is in working order and the tires are inflated.
  • Check the Bike Helmet Age Requirement in Your State – In our state, Rhode Island helmet law requires that anyone fifteen (15) years or younger who is riding a bike – whether the operator or passenger – shall wear a helmet (RIGL 31-19-2.1). To find out the age requirement in your state, click here.
  • Choose the Helmet That’s Right for You & Your Child – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) sets the standard for bicycle safety helmets; only buy those which comply with the CPSC’s safety standard and have the CPSC sticker. For more information on bike helmet safety, click here.
  • Bike Helmet Safety Program – Check out the bike helmet safety program in your neighborhood. In our area, the Rhode Island Association for Justice (RIAJ) donates helmets to elementary students in 4th and 5th grades across the state of RI. This program not only provides helmets, but it also educates young bicyclists of the law requiring helmet use and how a helmet reduces the risk of serious head injuries. Decof, Barry, Mega & Quinn, P.C. will continue to participate in this worthwhile bicycle safety program sponsored by the RIAJ this spring.
  • Bike Paths – A great way to explore and experience all that your neighborhood has to offer is to ride on a local bike path. This allows bike riders to stay off the streets and, potentially, reduce the risk of accidents with motor vehicles.