Posted by: ashleygarner | December 1, 2010

Let’s create some change!

I wanted to comment about a post, a couple times ago, about the power that people can have to change their community. This post was about celebrating National Helmet Awareness Day. What a great opportunity to get involved? and make a difference! Think about it! So often we can be the change in our community. Each community is unique and has it own needs, different from other communities. When we live locally, when we strengthen our own communities, we are able to further change to more distant goals and reach out to others.

I very frequently have  had the conversation of how to best create change in the world. For me, the most important thing, although I am a huge fan of service projects and immediate relief efforts, is to change policy, to focus on changing the minds of the politicians who shape and govern our communities.

I ask you then, do you believe that you, as an individual can make a difference? I argue that you do and you can! Without those little changes, nothing else will happen. We have to start small and grow big!

Check out How to create change! or these other articles;

Sustainability begins at home

Challenge yourself to accomplish your dreams

Posted by: ashleygarner | December 1, 2010

Current US motorcycle and bicycle helmet laws

State Motorcycle helmets Does the motorcycle helmet law cover all low-power cycles? Bicycle helmets
Alabama all riders yes

Alabama
all low-power cycles covered by the motorcycle helmet law

15 and younger
Alaska 17 and younger1 yes

Alaska
all low-power cycles covered by the motorcycle helmet law

no law
Arizona 17 and younger some

Arizona
all low-power cycles with an engine displacement greater than 50cc, brake horsepower greater than 1 1/2, or can attain speeds greater than 25 mph are covered by the motorcycle helmet law

no law
Arkansas 20 and younger yes

Arkansas
all low-power cycles covered by the motorcycle helmet law

no law
California all riders yes

California
all low-power cycles covered by the motorcycle helmet law

17 and younger
Colorado 17 and younger and passengers 17 and younger yes

Colorado
all low-power cycles covered by the motorcycle helmet law

no law
Connecticut 17 and younger yes

Connecticut
all low-power cycles covered by the motorcycle helmet law

15 and younger
Delaware 18 and younger some

Delaware
all low-power cycles except motorized scooters are covered by the motorcycle helmet law; bicycle helmet acceptable for motorized scooter

17 and younger
District of Columbia all riders some

District of Columbia
all low-power cycles with an engine displacement greater than 50cc, brake horsepower greater than 1 1/2, or can attain speeds greater than 35 mph are covered by the motorcycle helmet law

15 and younger
Florida 20 and younger2 some

Florida
all low-power cycles with an engine displacement greater than 50cc, brake horsepower greater than 2, or can attain speeds greater than 30 mph and all low-power cycles operated by those 15 and younger are covered by the motorcycle helmet law

15 and younger
Georgia all riders some

Georgia
all low-power cycles are covered by the motorcycle helmet law except bicycle helmets are acceptable for electric assisted bicycles

15 and younger
Hawaii 17 and younger some

Hawaii
all low-power cycles with an engine displacement greater than 50cc, brake horsepower greater than 2, or can attain speeds greater than 30 mph are covered by the motorcycle helmet law

15 and younger
Idaho 17 and younger some

Idaho
all low-power cycles with an engine displacement greater than 50cc, brake horsepower greater than 5, or can attain speeds greater than 30 mph are covered by the motorcycle helmet law

no law
Illinois no law no law

Illinois
no law

no law
Indiana 17 and younger yes

Indiana
all low-power cycles covered by the motorcycle helmet law

no law
Iowa no law no law

Iowa
no law

no law
Kansas 17 and younger some

Kansas
all low-power cycles except electric assisted bicycles are covered by the motorcycle helmet law

no law
Kentucky 20 and younger3 some

Kentucky
all low-power cycles with an engine displacement greater than 50cc, brake horsepower greater than 2, or can attain speeds greater than 30 mph are covered by the motorcycle helmet law

no law
Louisiana all riders yes

Louisiana
all low-power cycles covered by the motorcycle helmet law

11 and younger
Maine 17 and younger4 some

Maine
all low-power cycles with an engine displacement greater than 50cc or more than 1,500 watts are covered by the motorcycle helmet law

15 and younger
Maryland all riders some

Maryland
all low-power cycles designed to travel at speeds exceeding 35 mph, scooters with with engine displacement greater than 50cc or brake horsepower greater than 2.7 and mopeds with an engine displacement greater than 50cc or brake horsepower greater than 1.5 are covered by the motorcycle helmet law

15 and younger
Massachusetts all riders yes

Massachusetts
all low-power cycles covered by the motorcycle helmet law

1–16 (riding with children younger than 1 prohibited)
Michigan all riders some

Michigan
all low-power cycles with an engine displacement greater than 50cc, brake horsepower greater than 2, or can attain speeds greater than 30 mph and all low-power cycles operated by those 18 and younger are covered by the motorcycle helmet law

no law
Minnesota 17 and younger5 yes

Minnesota
all low-power cycles covered by the motorcycle helmet law

no law
Mississippi all riders yes

Mississippi
all low-power cycles covered by the motorcycle helmet law

no law
Missouri all riders some

Missouri
all low-power cycles with an engine displacement greater than 50cc, brake horsepower greater than 3, or can attain speeds greater than 30 mph are covered by the motorcycle helmet law

no law
Montana 17 and younger some

Montana
all low-power cycles with an engine displacement greater than 50cc, brake horsepower greater than 2, or can attain speeds greater than 30 mph are covered by the motorcycle helmet law

no law
Nebraska all riders yes

Nebraska
all low-power cycles covered by the motorcycle helmet law

no law
Nevada all riders some

Nevada
all low-power cycles with an engine displacement greater than 50cc, brake horsepower greater than 2, or can attain speeds greater than 30 mph are covered by the motorcycle helmet law

no law
New Hampshire no law no law

New Hampshire
no law

15 and younger
New Jersey all riders yes

New Jersey
all low-power cycles covered by the motorcycle helmet law

16 and younger
New Mexico 17 and younger some

New Mexico
all low-power cycles with an engine displacement greater than 50cc or can attain speeds greater than 30 mph are covered by the motorcycle helmet law

17 and younger
New York all riders some

New York
all low-power cycles designed to travel at speeds of 20 mph or greater are covered by the motorcycle helmet law

1–13 (riding with children younger than 1 prohibited)
North Carolina all riders yes

North Carolina
all low-power cycles covered by the motorcycle helmet law

15 and younger
North Dakota 17 and younger6 yes

North Dakota
all low-power cycles covered by the motorcycle helmet law

no law
Ohio 17 and younger7 yes

Ohio
all low-power cycles covered by the motorcycle helmet law

no law
Oklahoma 17 and younger some

Oklahoma
all low-power cycles are covered by the motorcycle helmet law except bicycle helmets are acceptable for electric assisted bicycles operated by those 18 and younger

no law
Oregon all riders yes

Oregon
all low-power cycles covered by the motorcycle helmet law

15 and younger
Pennsylvania 20 and younger8 some

Pennsylvania
all low-power cycles with an engine displacement greater than 50cc, brake horsepower greater than 1 1/2, or can attain speeds greater than 25 mph are covered by the motorcycle helmet law

11 and younger
Rhode Island 20 and younger9 some

Rhode Island
all low-power cycles with an engine displacement greater than 50cc, brake horsepower greater than 4.9 or can attain speeds greater than 30 mph are covered by the motorcycle helmet law

15 and younger
South Carolina 20 and younger yes

South Carolina
all low-power cycles covered by the motorcycle helmet law

no law
South Dakota 17 and younger yes

South Dakota
all low-power cycles covered by the motorcycle helmet law

no law
Tennessee all riders yes

Tennessee
all low-power cycles covered by the motorcycle helmet law

15 and younger
Texas 20 and younger10 some

Texas
all low-power cycles, except motor assisted scooters with an engine displacement less than than 40cc, are covered by the motorcycle helmet law

no law
Utah 17 and younger yes

Utah
all low-power cycles covered by the motorcycle helmet law

no law
Vermont all riders some

Vermont
all low-power cycles with an engine displacement greater than 50cc, brake horsepower greater than 2, or can attain speeds greater than 30 mph are covered by the motorcycle helmet law

no law
Virginia all riders some

Virginia
all low-power cycles operated at speeds greater than 35 mph or with an engine displacement greater than 50cc are covered by the motorcycle helmet law

no law
Washington all riders yes

Washington
all low-power cycles covered by the motorcycle helmet law

no law
West Virginia all riders some

West Virginia
all low-power cycles with an engine displacement greater than 50cc, brake horsepower greater than 2, or can attain speeds greater than 30 mph are covered by the motorcycle helmet law

14 and younger
Wisconsin 17 and younger11 some

Wisconsin
all low-power cycles designed to travel at speeds exceeding 30 mph or a Type 1 motorcycle with an automatic transmission with an engine displacement greater than 50cc are covered by the motorcycle helmet law

no law
Wyoming 17 and younger some

Wyoming
all low-power cycles with an engine displacement greater than 50cc, brake horsepower greater than 2, or can attain speeds greater than 30 mph are covered by the motorcycle helmet law

no law

Information provided by the Highway Safety Research and Communications

Posted by: ashleygarner | November 30, 2010

Help celebrate National Helmet Awareness Day

Did you know there is a day set aside to help raise awareness about the importance of wearing helmets? Well, there is!!!  For 2010, National Helmet Awareness Day was Saturday July 10th. There were many events held that day throughout the US raising money for helmet awareness, brain injury foundations and for special helmet sales. The event was organized by the Organization riders4helmets, operated by helmet advocate Jeri Bryant.

To learn more about how to become involved, check out last year’s celebrations and fundraising. The events were originally geared towards horseback riders and helmet safety, however, the campaign has been broadening to include their focus on bicycle riding and helmet safety. What a fantastic oppertunitiy to push bike and helmet safety! MARK  your calenders!!! Let’s make this day go behind the equestrians and allow for all types of riders to control of their lives and protect their heads.

 

 

Cheap helmets and expensive helmets perform equally in impacts

December 3, 2009

BHSI submitted samples of six helmet models to a leading U.S. test lab: three in the $150+ range and three under $20. The impact test results were virtually identical. There were very few differences in performance among the helmets. Our conclusion: when you pay more for a helmet you may get an easier fit, more vents and snazzier graphics. But the basic impact protection of the cheap helmets tested equaled the expensive ones.

The results are a testimony to the effectiveness of our legally-required CPSC helmet standard. Although our sample was small, the testing indicates that the consumer can shop for a bicycle helmet in the US market without undue concern about the impact performance of the various models on sale, whatever the price level. The most important advice is to find a helmet that fits you well so that it will be positioned correctly when you hit.

For more information, please visit the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institue

We have a page up with more details.

Summary:  To conduct the study, they submitted three helmets in the $150+ range and three under $20 and all helmets essentiall preformed at the same functioning level. Moral of the story, when you pay more, you may be purchasing a helmet that is easier to fit. However, cheap helmets are equal. Just look for a helmet that fits you well.

Bicycle Skills Rodeo

  • Bicycle Skills Rodeo packet – demonstrates 14 different bicycle skills safety stations that can be used for a bicycle rodeo course.

What is a bicycle rodeo?

A bicycle rodeo is a clinic that teaches children the importance of riding a bicycle safely and what skills and precautions they need to develop to have a safe time on their bicycles.

What takes place at a bicycle rodeo?

Bicycle rodeos are designed for children 4-13 years of age. Each rodeo usually begins with a short lecture on bicycle safety and a safety check for both the rider and bicycle. Bicycle rodeos also have some type of a road course to teach children how to handle riding their bikes in real life situations such as traffic lights, stop signs, pedestrians crossing the streets, and road intersections.

Why is it important to teach children how to ride bicycles safely?

Some adults may think that teaching bicycling skills is not necessary, since they as kids never had any formal bicycle training. Today however, roadways are a lot more crowded. There are increasingly more motor vehicles on the road which can make roadways very intimidating to bicyclists. It is important that bicyclists learn how to safely “drive” a bicycle.  A bicycle is more than just a toy – it is a vehicle. Bicyclists can ride safely ridden on the road but the rules of the road must be followed and safety skills learned.

How do I conduct a bicycle rodeo in my community?

The Utah Department of Health has two bicycle rodeo trailers that contain all the necessary equipment for conducting a bicycle rodeo. These trailers can be used by the public free of charge. To reserve the bicycle rodeo trailer, or for more information on conducting a bicycle rodeo, contact Keri Gibson at 801-243-7571 or kgibson@utah.gov.

You can also download the Bicycle Skills Rodeo Packet which demonstrates 14 different bicycle skills safety stations that can be used for a bicycle rodeo course.

 

***Information and resources provided by the Utah Deparment of Health

Posted by: ashleygarner | November 30, 2010

Bicycle Safety Tips from the Utah Department of Health

Bicycle Safety Tips Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists. As road users, bicyclists must obey all traffic laws. When you as a bicyclist fail to obey the law, you lose the support of drivers. Remember, “same roads, same rules, same rights.”

1. Obey all traffic laws, stop signs and signals, traffic lights, and other traffic controls. Bike riders must obey the same laws as motor vehicles. If you want the respect of motorists, you must show respect for traffic laws.

2. Always wear a properly fitted helmet – it could save your life. No matter how safely you ride, crashes can still happen.

3. Ride predictably in a straight line. Do not jump back and forth from the sidewalk and the roadway. Do not weave in and out of parked or stopped cars.

4. Ride on the right side of the road, riding in the same direction as the flow of traffic.

5. Be visible. Wear bright clothing – and retro reflective clothing if possible – that increases your visibility to motorists.

6. When riding a bike at night, your bike must have a headlight, a rear red reflector or taillight, and side reflectors. Utah law requires that these be visible from 500 feet.

7. Follow lane markings. Do not turn left from the right lane and do not ride straight through a right turn-only lane.

8. Use hand signals to let other road users know what you are doing and where you are planning to go.

9. Do not ride in a driver’s blind spot. If a car is slowing down, do not pass it on the right side – the driver may be turning right and may not see you.

10. Ride single file in traffic except when passing another bicyclist.

11. Yield to pedestrians when riding on a sidewalk.

12. Be respectful of other road users. Courtesy is contagious.

Find additional links on how bicyclists and motorists can safely Share the Road.

For more information

How to Fit a Bicycle Helmet

Time invested in fitting a helmet pays
big safety and comfort dividends!

Your objective: Snug, Level, Stable

You want the helmet to be comfortably touching the head all the way around, level and stable enough to resist even violent shakes or hard blows and stay in place. It should be as low on the head as possible to maximize side coverage, and held level on the head with the strap comfortably snug.

Be Prepared for the Worst

Heads come in many sizes and shapes. You should be prepared for the possibility that the helmet you are trying to fit may not be compatible with this particular head. And unfortunately, you should expect to spend ten to fifteen minutes to get your helmet properly fitted.

1. Adjust the fit pads or ring

Helmets that fit with pads come with at least one set of foam fitting pads, and if you got a second set of thicker pads it can be used to customize the shape. For starters, you can often remove the top pad entirely or use the thinnest ones. This lowers the helmet on the head, bringing its protection down further on the sides. It may reduce the flow of cooling air slightly, but probably not enough to notice.

Adjust the side fit pads by using thicker pads if your head is narrow and there is a space, or add thicker pads in the back for shorter heads. You may also move pads around, particularly on the “corners” in the front and rear. Leaving some gaps will improve air flow. The pads should touch your head evenly all the way around, without making the fit too tight. The pads may compress slightly over time, but not much, so do not count on that to loosen the fit. The helmet should sit level on the head, with the front just above the eyebrows, or if the rider uses glasses, just above the frame of the glasses. If you walk into a wall, the helmet should hit before your nose does!

There are also helmets on the market that use a fitting ring rather than side pads for adjustment. With these one-size-fits-all models you begin by adjusting the size of the ring. Some of them may require the ring so tight for real stability on your head that they feel binding, but loosening the ring can produce a sloppy fit, indicating that the helmet is not for you.

2. Adjust the straps

Now put the helmet on and fasten the buckle. Be sure the front is in front! You want to adjust it to the “Eye-Ear-Mouth” test developed by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine:

  • When you look upward the front rim should be barely visible to your eye
  • The Y of the side straps should meet just below your ear
  • The chin strap should be snug against the chin so that when you open your mouth very wide you feel the helmet pull down a little bit.

With the helmet in position on your head, adjust the length of the rear straps, then the length of the front straps, to locate the Y fitting where the straps come together just under your ear. That may involve sliding the straps across the top of the helmet to get the length even on both sides. Then adjust the length of the chin strap so it is comfortably snug. If it cuts into the chin and is not comfortable, it is too tight. Now pay attention to the rear stabilizer if the helmet has one. It can keep the helmet from jiggling in normal use and make it feel more stable, but only a well-adjusted strap can keep it on in a crash.

When you think the straps are about right, shake your head around violently. Then put your palm under the front edge and push up and back. Can you move the helmet more than an inch or so from level, exposing your bare forehead? Then you need to tighten the strap in front of your ear, and perhaps loosen the rear strap behind your ear. Again, the two straps should meet just below your ear. Now reach back and grab the back edge. Pull up. Can you move the helmet more than an inch? If so, tighten the rear strap.

For a final check, look in a mirror or look at the wearer whose helmet you are fitting. Move the helmet side to side and front to back, watching the skin around the eyebrows. It should move slightly with the helmet. If it does not, the fit pads are probably too thin in front or back.

When you are done, your helmet should be level, feel solid on your head and be comfortable. It should not bump on your glasses (if it does, tighten the nape strap). It should pass the eye-ear-mouth test. You should forget you are wearing it most of the time, just like a seat belt or a good pair of shoes. If it still does not fit that way, keep working with the straps and pads, or try another helmet.

Note: with a helmet that fits this well on a child, you must be sure the child removes the helmet before climbing trees and playing on playground equipment. Otherwise there is a risk of catching the helmet and being strangled! That doesn’t happen in normal bike riding, even in crashes, but it can happen while climbing trees or monkey bars. Here is a page with details on that problem.

Finally, you want the straps to stay adjusted. Some helmets–even expensive ones–do not have locking pieces on the side where the straps come together under your ear. If you can move the side buckle with your hand, it will migrate in use. We call that “strap creep,” and it is a major problem. If your helmet has non-locking side pieces, that means you have to either put on a rubber band and snug it up under the side buckle, or you will need to sew the straps when you have the fit just right. If you use heavy thread you only need five or six stiches to hold it. It’s an extra chore, but worth it.

Posted by: ashleygarner | November 29, 2010

Do helmet laws really make a difference?

When considering new legislation, one has to ask, “What is the point?” Will requiring people to do something really make a difference? The NHTSA argues that in states that either reinstated or enacted universal motorcycle helmet laws, helmet use increased dramatically, and motorcyclist deaths and injuries decreased. In states that repealed or weakened their universal helmet laws, helmet use declined sharply, and motorcyclist deaths and injuries rose.

The NHTSA continues to support this argument be evaluating 2 previous studies from 2007 and 2008, analyzing motorcyclists fatality rates. Death rates were lowest in states with helmet laws that cover all riders. Rates in states with helmet laws that cover only some riders were lower than those in states with no helmet law, but not as low as rates in states with helmet laws that cover all riders. These results, they suggest, “held for all three types of rates considered: deaths per 10,000 registered motorcycles, deaths per 100,000 population, and deaths per 10 billion vehicle miles traveled.”

Some examples of helmet laws and their effect on helmet use and death and injury rates:
  • California’s helmet use law covering all riders took effect on January 1, 1992. Helmet use jumped to 99 percent from about 50 percent before the law. During the same period, the number of motorcyclist fatalities in California decreased 37 percent to 327 in 1992 from 523 in 1991.
  • Nebraska reinstated a helmet law on January 1, 1989, after repealing an earlier law in 1977. The state then saw a 22 percent reduction in motorcyclist serious head injuries.
  • From 1968 to 1977, Texas had a universal helmet use law estimated to have saved 650 lives, but the law was amended in 1977 to apply only to riders younger than 18. The weakened law coincided with a 35 percent increase in motorcyclist fatalities. Texas reinstated its helmet law for all motorcyclists in September 1989. The month before the law took effect, the helmet use rate was 41 percent. The rate jumped to 90 percent during the first month of the law and had risen to 98 percent by June 1990. Serious injury crashes per registered motorcycle decreased 11 percent. But in September 1997, Texas again weakened its helmet law, requiring helmets only for riders younger than 21. Helmet use in Texas dropped to 66 percent by May 1998, and operator fatalities increased 31 percent in the first full year following the repeal.
  • Kentucky repealed its universal helmet law in 1998, followed by Louisiana in 1999. These actions resulted in lower helmet use, and quickly increased motorcyclist deaths in these states by 50 percent and 100 percent, respectively.
  • In 2000, Florida’s universal helmet law was weakened to exempt riders 21 and older who have at least $10,000 of medical insurance coverage. An Institute study found that the motorcyclist death rate in Florida increased by about 25 percent after the state weakened its helmet law. The death rate rose from 31 fatalities per 1,000 crash involvements before the law change (1998-99) to 39 fatalities per 1,000 crash involvements after (2001-2002). An estimated 117 deaths could have been prevented during 2001-02 if the law had not been changed.  An evaluation of the Florida law change by NHTSA found a similar effect; motorcyclist deaths per 10,000 motorcycle registrations increased 21 percent during the two years after the law was changed compared with the two years before.

For more information, click here.

 

Reflecting back on one of the original reasons why this topic interested me so much, why I decided to make this blog,  that forming some kind of policy to make helmet use required for all riders would make a difference is because of the success the state of Oregon had in requiring people to wear seat belts,  seat belt usage dramatically increased and lives were saved! It can work!!!

For more information about Oregon seat belt laws and their success story, click here.

Posted by: ashleygarner | November 29, 2010

Helmets are not required under Utah law for Motorcyclists

KSL News
Motorcycle crash puts hospital in awkward position over helmet use
May 17th, 2010 @ 4:20pm
By John Hollenhorst

 

“In 2008 motorcycle helmets saved 1,829 lives. NHTSA says that if all motorcyclists had worn helmets, 823 more lives would have been saved. ” – Insurance information Institute

SALT LAKE CITY — Three motorcyclists are expected to recover from head injuries suffered in a charity bike ride Sunday, but the crash has put Shriners Hospital in an awkward position over the issue of helmets.

The 15th annual Kids Benefit Ride resulted in a crash near Park City was not sponsored or organized by Shriners Hospital, but Shriners is the beneficiary of the charity ride, organized by Wright’s Motorcycle Parts and Accessories.

Nearly 300 motorcycles were traveling in the charity ride. The Utah Highway Patrol says one bike was following too closely and collided with another one when it slowed down. None of the three motorcycle riders involved was wearing a helmet; all three were injured.

“Helmets are estimated to be 37 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries for motorcycle riders (operators) and 41 percent effective for motorcycle passengers.” – Insurance Information Institute

The Utah Safety Council says Utah riders are 84 percent more likely to die in a crash if they are not wearing a helmet.

“Drivers and passengers on motorcycles are virtually unprotected. They’re not protected by 3,000 pounds of steel, as is the case in a motor vehicle,” says Bob Parenti, president of the Utah Safety Council.

But helmets are not required under Utah law, except for motorcyclists under age 18. Many riders don’t like helmets, considering them an infringement on comfort, hearing and their sense of physical freedom. They consider it a matter of personal choice.

Shriners issued a written statement Monday expressing gratitude for the charity ride and concern for the injured, without taking a position on whether the riders should wear helmets.

The hospital statement said, in part: “We are meeting with event organizers to ensure every safety precaution is taken to minimize the risk of future accidents.” [CLICK HERE to read the entire statement from Shriners Hospital]

 

CHECK OUT THE VIDEO REPORT

Did you know …
Helmets decrease the severity of head injuries, the likelihood of death, and the overall cost of medical care. They are designed to cushion and protect riders’ heads from the impact of a crash. NHTSA estimates that motorcycle helmets reduce the likelihood of crash fatality by 37 percent. Helmets are highly effective in preventing brain injuries, which often require extensive treatment and may result in lifelong disability. In the event of a crash, unhelmeted motorcyclists are three times more likely than helmeted riders to suffer traumatic brain injuries.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Wright Motorcycle also issued a statement, saying it is re-evaluating the annual event: “As Utah is a helmet choice state, it is unfortunate that the riders were not wearing helmets.” [CLICK HERE to read the entire statement form Wright Motorcycle]

Wright Motorcycle said it hopes the concern about helmets does not overshadow the good the ride has done. Over the years, it has raised many thousands of dollars to benefit Shriners Hospital.

Posted by: ashleygarner | November 3, 2010

Biking in Utah

In an average year in the State of Utah, 6 bicyclists are killed and around 850 are involved in crashes with motor vehicles. Nearly 60% of these are younger than 20 years of age and almost 4/5 ths are male. For several years, Utah held records at being the 15th highest bicycle fatality rate in the nation (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

Head injury is the most common serious injury among bicycle-motor crash victims. Bicycle helmets, comments the State’s Injury and Prevention Program, can help to reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85% (New England Journal of Medicine). In 2007, a study was completed to show that 23% of elementary school-age bicyclists wear helmets, 14% of secondary school-age bicyclists, and 58% of adult bicylclists wear bicycle helmets.

With such a proven importance towards the prevention of serious head trauma, we have to ask ourselves why there is no law that requires our children or any Utah citizen for that matter to protect their head. Utah is one of the 14 states with no state or local bicycle helmet law.  In general, those states that do have some kind of helmet-safety laws have significantly higher usuage rates than those states who do not. This shows that simply making the law can save heads and can save lives.

state laws

Bicycle crashes cost victims and communities millions of dollars each year. In 2005, costs to treat bicyclists injured in crashes with motor vehicles at emergency departments and admitted to the hospital exceeded $6.8 million (Center for health Data, UDOH).

Check out Bicycle Helmet Use in Utah for more information.

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