California Bike Helmet Laws
California Helmet Laws, Accidents, Injuries, and Insurance Claims
Whether you’re cruising down the trailways or enjoying the breeze at a local park, many Californians have taken to the healthy trend of bicycling. With the popularity of bike share systems such as Metro and Jump, it is becoming easier for pedestrians to travel by bicycle. However, when combined with the city’s already aggressive traffic, many do not realize how much danger they’re actually in.
Unfortunately, many bicycle accidents are caused by negligent drivers. Victims of a bicycle accident are welcomed to contact our qualified bicycle accident attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers. We will help strengthen your claim and negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you get a fair settlement offer.
Adults Do Not Have to Wear a Helmet
Though it is greatly encouraged, there is not a single state that requires adults to wear a helmet on a bicycle. While motorcycle law differs, California bicycle law has remained consistent across the board. Smaller communities such as Bidwell Park, Chino, and El Cerrito do require bikers to wear helmets, although this is not enforced by California law.
There are some cyclists who speak up against helmet laws, but not wearing a helmet can expose you to serious injury, such as brain damage, spinal cord injury, or even death.
Minors Must Wear a Helmet
In California, it is required for those who are under the age of 18 to wear a helmet not only when riding a bike, but also on skateboards and scooters. Under California Vehicle Code 21212(a), the helmet must fit correctly and meet the standards of either the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
California Helmet Standards
In accordance with California Vehicle 21212(a), all helmets need to meet a set of qualifications in order to be sold. Helmets must go through specific requirements before being approved to sell to consumers. Listed below are a few of the conditions addressed by the law.
Consumer Product Safety Commission. The CPSC states that a helmet must not have any blinders and cannot block the rider’s view in any way. It also mentions how the helmet should be attached securely to the head, especially during a fall.
American Society for Testing Materials. This association tests the products for impact, strength, and stability.
Snell. This foundation has been in business since 1976 and is known for having the strictest requirements for helmet structure.
In California, selling helmets that are not up to industry standards is illegal. Wearing an unapproved helmet is not only unsafe, but will expose a company to product liability.
Liability, Insurance, and Financial Compensation
Determining who is at-fault can be a lengthy and complicated process, which is why it would be ideal to hire a bicycle accident attorney to assist you. If you are riding your bicycle without a helmet and are struck by a vehicle, then you are at risk of receiving a low financial reward. Insurance companies may attempt to convince the court that you were negligent by not wearing proper safety gear.
A cyclist may also suffer penalties if it is determined that the driver was subject to uncontrollable circumstances. Many factors may contribute to this type of situation, such as the negligence of a bicyclist, road conditions, lack of light on the street, or any other outside interference. Bicyclists are always encouraged to wear proper safety gear in order to protect themselves from bicycle-related injuries or fatal collisions.
West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help
If you have sustained injuries as a result of a bicycle accident, you have the right to hold the guilty party accountable. Our skilled bicycle accident attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers can help you recover compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering from your injury.
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