Pediatricians Call to Make Bicycle Helmets Mandatory
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(Photo credit: TACLUDA/RGBstock

Wearing a bicycle helmet is known to help prevent serious head injuries, which is especially important if you’re sharing the road with motor vehicles.

In Ontario, only minors are required to wear helmets, but the Canadian Pediatric Society hopes legislation will extend to adults as well. They propose that bike helmet requirements should be extended in all provinces and territories.

Bike helmet legislation across Canada differs province to province. In British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, helmets are required to be worn by all ages. While in Alberta and Manitoba, along with Ontario, they’re required to be worn by only minors. Saskatchewan, Quebec, Newfound and Labrador, Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut have no bike helmet legislation.

Unfortunately, head injuries account for 20 to 40 per cent of bicycle-related injuries that appear in emergency rooms, according to the Canadian Pediatric Society. Helmets can reduce the chances of head injuries during a bicycle ride by 74 to 85 per cent, along with reducing the chances of nose and upper face injuries by about 65 per cent.

Though some critics are afraid that mandatory legislation could deter people from riding.

With bicycle riding gaining popularity as a form of commute in North America and bicycle-sharing programs gaining ground as well, it’s also important to stay safe while riding on the roads. More than 600,000 people ride their bicycles each day in Ontario, according to Share the Road Coalition, a non-profit cycling coalition.

While injuries are usually related with high speeds, according to a study done by the University of Washington School of Medicine, the most serious injuries and fatalities are usually a result of a collision with a motor vehicle. Head injuries are the most common reason for long-term disabilities or a cyclist’s death.

Most injuries related to bicycles are on the upper and lower parts of the body, which can be a result of dooring. Some common less harmful cycling injuries include road rash, cuts, scrapes, strains, fractures or dislocations. They might experience some overuse injuries, such as neck aches and back aches that come about when the rider rides regularly or when the bicycle isn’t adjusted appropriately.

If you were involved in an accident between a bicycle and a motor vehicle, “reverse onus” applies on Ontario. This means that it’s the driver’s responsibility to prove that they were not negligent in their driving.

The personal injury and accident lawyers at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers have been handling personal injury claims for clients throughout Ontario for more than 45 years. We know how to get you the compensation you need. Call us at 416-920-4242 to set up a free consultation. Come chat with us!

Greg Neinstein

Greg Neinstein

Greg Neinstein, B.A. LLB., is the Managing Partner at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers LLP. His practice focuses on serious injury and complex insurance claims, including motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall injuries, long-term disability claims and insurance claims. Greg has extensive mediation and trial experience and has a reputation among his colleagues as a skillful negotiator.
Greg Neinstein

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