CHILDREN’S BICYCLE RELATED ACCIDENTS
Aside from motor vehicle accidents, more Virginia children are injured each year by bicycle related accidents than any other consumer related product. The National Fire Protection Association found that in 2007 more than 230,000 children were injured nationwide in accidents relating to bicycles.
Most injuries that children sustain on bikes involve brain injuries, which is the leading cause of death from bicycle accidents. In many of these cases, a safety helmet would have prevented the severity of the injuries– it has been found that the use of helmets decreases the risk of serious head injuries by 85%. Although the state of Virginia does not have a bicycle helmet law, there are several jurisdictions which do require helmet use for children under the age of 14.
Approximately 90% of all bicycle deaths involve motor vehicles, where the collision increases the danger of severe injury or head injury. In 1995, there were more than 250 children who died from bicycle accidents– of these, 230 deaths involved motor vehicles.
WHEN AND WHERE BICYCLE ACCIDENTS TAKE PLACE
The risk of injury or death during low light times is almost four times more than during the daytime.
The months of May to August, between 3:00pm and 6:00pm is when most bicycle related deaths occur.
Bicycle deaths are more likely to take place at non-intersection locations.
More than 80% of bicycle deaths under the age of 14 are related to the rider’s behavior, such as turning into traffic, failing to stop at a stop sign or red light, traveling into the street, or riding the bicycle against the flow of regular traffic.
PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN FROM BICYCLE ACCIDENTS
There are several measures that parents can take to ensure the safety of children as they ride their bikes. The most important precaution is to teach the children the importance of always using a safety helmet, even on short rides. The risk of long term damage from head injuries is too important to ignore. Children should also be educated regarding proper bicycle riding habits, such as being mindful about their surroundings and always following the rules of the road. Your child’s bicycle should be outfitted with reflectors and lights, and they should always wear light colored clothing if they are riding in low light times.
CONTACT WHITEHEAD & CHIOCCA FOR HELP WITH YOUR CHILD INJURY CASE
If your child has been seriously injured in a bicycle related accident, contact the skilled attorneys at Whitehead & Chiocca for a complimentary review of your case. Our lawyers are familiar with the complications surrounding accidents of this type, the necessary medical care, and ongoing treatments that may be necessary following a serious injury.