NTSB Urges Legislators to Pass Helmet LawsDecember 4, 2019
The debate over whether cyclists should be required to wear helmets has been a very heated one for as long as cyclists and motor vehicles had to share the road. While many believe that wearing a helmet protects cyclists from suffering devastating head and brain injuries, others argue that there are other issues at play, including motorist behavior. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) believes that all cyclists should wear helmets and is calling on legislators to pass laws making it mandatory for all cyclists to wear helmets when riding a bike.
According to an NTSB Chairman, the NTSB is taking urgent action to prevent fatal bicycle accidents. Passing strict helmet laws will help prevent serious head injuries and fatalities. In its first bicycle safety study since 1972, the NTSB said that in order to address the rise in fatal bicycle crashes, safety officials and lawmakers will need to make major changes. This would include making improvements to roadway designs, enhancing technology so that cyclists are more visible, and increasing helmet use. The chairman believes that too many fatal accidents are preventable, and that these changes will be effective at reducing the number of serious and fatal bicycle accidents.
The NTSB found that 25 percent of fatal bicycle accidents occurred on roadways between intersections. While researchers found that these were the most frequent types of crashes, collisions involving a motorist overtaking a bicyclist were more likely to be fatal because the vehicle involved was traveling at a faster speed. Improved roadway infrastructures, including separated bike lanes, would put a safe distance between bicyclists and motor vehicles.
Sixty-five percent of collisions occurred at intersections. To reduce the number of serious crashes that occur at intersections, investigators suggested road treatments, such as improved signage, medians, signals, and pavement markings to make it clear where cyclists have the right-of-way. To help prevent accidents involving a motorist who did not see the bicyclist, the NTSB recommended improvements to collision avoidance systems and other vehicle technologies to improve the visibility of bicyclists. Other crash risks that motorists can control include the use of adaptive headlights and obeying speed limits.
While investigators focused primarily on accident avoidance, they did find that helmets were the most effective way to reduce the risk of a serious head injury in an accident. Unfortunately, because over half of all bicyclists do not wear helmets, head injuries were the leading cause of cyclist fatalities. The NTSB believes that passing a law for cyclists to wear helmets will reduce the number of serious head injuries and fatalities.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Bicycle Accidents
If you were seriously injured in a bicycle accident, you are urged to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We will investigate the details of the accident and determine who is responsible for your injuries. Our skilled legal team will protect your rights and secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
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