New York City bicyclists: Wear helmets to prevent head injuries

New York City bicyclists: Wear helmets to prevent head injuries

  • February 22, 2014
  • Antin, Ehrlich & Epstein, LLP
  • No comments

The Citi Bike share program is now officially underway in New York City.

If you have not heard of Citi Bike, it is a new program in NYC to encourage biking in an effort to reduce congestion and pollution, and encourage healthful activities.  Members are free to use any of 6,000 blue bikes found at 300 stations across the city.  Participants can buy an annual, monthly or daily pass to use a Citi Bike. Annual passes come in at $95, and allow bicyclists 45 minutes to get from one station to another. Those looking for a one-day pass pay just around $10 and have 30 minutes between stations.

Already, Citi Bike has caught on, and residents are beginning to travel.  With the expected large increase in the number of New Yorkers commuting by bicycle, there is a concern that a corresponding rise in the number of accidents involving bicyclists and motor vehicles will take place.

In New York,

Head injuries common for bicyclists

As the number of bicyclists on the road in New York City increases, special precautions need to be taken both by those bicyclists and by motorists on the road to ensure their safety.

Bicyclists should always wear helmets when riding in New York City. According to a report compiled by local government offices, of all the bicycle accidents that resulted in a fatality, 75 percent of the fatally injured bicyclists were not wearing a helmet at the time of the collision. In 2009, approximately 90 percent of the bicyclists across the country who died in fatal collisions with a motor vehicle were not wearing a helmet. Nationally, 677 bicyclists were killed in accidents with motor vehicles during 2011. In addition, approximately 48,000 bicyclists sustained personal injuries due to auto accidents that year.

In fact, head injuries are reportedly more common in cycling than in any other sport, including football. In 2009, 86,000 bicyclists required emergency medical care due to a head injury, based on information from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Children are also two times more likely to sustain a head injury from a bicycle accident than from playing football.

In an effort to ensure that all New Yorkers are able to safely participate in the Citi Bike share program, the Transportation Department is providing a limited number of helmets for free. The free helmet fittings generally take place in front of Housing Authority properties and are meant for low-income residents.

If you have sustained an injury while riding a bike due to a collision with a motor vehicle, you may be entitled to damages to cover the current and future harm caused. You should immediately seek the advice of a skilled personal injury attorney to ensure that your rights are protected.

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