Monday, June 28, 2010

You and Your Kids Must Wear Bike Helmets, Even on Vacation

I’ve noticed families enjoying bike rides together at the shore. While I applaud this healthy way to spend time together as a family, I am shocked by how many of them aren’t wearing helmets. For starters, it’s the law for kids to wear helmets (check out for the law in your state.)

It’s as if parents believe that because they are on vacation, their children will somehow be protected. I find that nothing is further from the truth. At the beach, cars park far into intersections which makes it harder for cross traffic to see what’s coming. That means they have to jut out further just to see if the road is clear. At the same time, pedestrians are crossing and there is often chaos on the road. In some towns, bike paths are placed between parked cars and the roadway. I have witnessed a person opening his car door just as a biker was riding by.

Here are a few statistics from the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute:
The "typical" bicyclist killed on our roads is a sober male over 16 not wearing a helmet riding on a major road between intersections in an urban area on a summer evening when hit by a car.

About 540,000 bicyclists visit emergency rooms with injuries every year. Of those, about 67,000 have head injuries, and 27,000 have injuries serious enough to be hospitalized.

Non-helmeted riders are 14 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than helmeted riders.

I believe that it is a parent’s responsibility to wear a helmet to teach her children that this is important. Why should a teenager wear a helmet when he’s grown up seeing his parents not wearing one? Lead by example and keep yourself and your children safe.

Happy biking!

No comments:

Post a Comment