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Bicycle helmet safety tips for kids

Learn the proper fit, position and regulations for helmets — and tips to prevent traumatic brain injury when bike accidents occur

As a parent, I know how difficult it can be to convince your kids to wear that bicycle helmet. Sometimes kids don’t think the helmets look “cool,” or they don’t think they’re comfortable. But I ran across a great video that you can share with your children that might convince them otherwise.

This video is geared toward kids in middle and high school. Students in the video actually demonstrate how wearing a bicycle helmet can protect them from serious injuries like traumatic brain injuriy (TBI) and death. Think a bowl of Jello to illustrate how the impact from a fall can cause TBI.

The video also explains how to correctly fit and position a bicycle helmet and select a helmet that meets Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standards. This is a PSA by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), so the standards are on point.

Here are some bicycle safety tips you can use.

I’d like to remind drivers to always look out for bicyclists and give them the right of way.
On June 26, 2012 a woman riding a bicycle died after being hit by a car in Dexter Township, according to the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office. The woman was wearing a bicycle helmet and was hit by a car as she re-entered the roadway against traffic. We send our sincere condolences to this woman’s family.

I was also recently contacted by a Michigan triathlete who was hit by a truck. He had surgery, but luckily seems to have escaped catastrophic consequences. Both happened in the same week, and the point is that drivers aren’t always looking for bikers, and often don’t “see” a biker who is there to be seen. You can be the safest bicyclist or triathlete in the world, but it doesn’t help you when the other driver doesn’t stop.

Wear that helmet.

Some good news: bicycle accident deaths in Michigan were down 17 percent in 2011, from 29 to 24, according to a story in The Oakland Press, Michigan traffic deaths fall 5 percent in 2011.

– Steven M. Gursten is an attorney handling auto and bicycle accidents. He is head of Michigan Auto Law and president of the Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association. He frequently writes and speaks on bicycle safety and teaching personal injury lawyers how to handle bicycle accident lawsuits. On weekends, very early before the kids wake up, you can often see Steve on his bike at Kensington.

– Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by mikbaird

Related information:

What happens if I’m injured in a bicycle accident in Michigan?

Michigan Auto Law is the largest law firm exclusively handling car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Sterling Heights. Call (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation with one of our bike accident lawyers.

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