Riding a bicycle is fun and healthy. For kids, there’s nothing like a day spent with their friends biking around the neighborhood. Unfortunately, bicycle accidents happen.
In April 2010, TJ Floyd, from Oldham County, suffered from a brain injury after falling off his bike and hitting his head on the concrete. Today, after seven surgeries, TJ is still coping with brain damage. TJ’s mother says she can’t help but feel that she holds some responsibility for the incident. This is because TJ was not wearing a helmet.
TJ’s case caught the attention of Kentucky lawmakers. A bill, namesake of TJ, was recently filed in Frankfort, Kentucky. When passed by the legislature, all Kentucky kids under age 12 will be required to wear a bicycle helmet when riding on public roadways.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 1% of all trips taken in the U.S. are by bicycle. However, cyclists are at a higher risk of crash-related injuries and deaths than motor vehicle occupants. This can be very dangerous as injuries can result in life-long disabilities or worse, brain damage.
In 2013, as per a report published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), kids under 15 accounted for 11% of injuries and 7% of deaths among cyclists. A total of 4,000 male and female kids, ages 10 to 14, were injured from cycling. The total number of fatalities was 32 for this age group.
In Kentucky, bicycle incidents are the fourth leading cause of traumatic brain injuries for kids ages 5 to 14. The simple habit of wearing helmets can help reduce the risk of head and brain injuries during a crash. You want to make sure the helmet fits properly and is approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT).
Kids may be reluctant to wear helmets. However, don’t give up and continue encouraging them to wear their helmet. Make the habit of wearing a bicycle helmet fun for them by letting them choose the design and color they want. Most importantly, take the lead and always wear a helmet when cycling with them. Show them wearing a helmet is fun and cool, too.
As a Kentucky Bicycle Accident Attorney, I’ve witnessed how devastating bicycle crashes can be, especially when they involve kids. That’s why I support road safety procedures like this bill. It’s designed to protect us and our loved ones. Riding a bicycle is fun, but it’s a lot better when safety is prioritized. Please train your kids to always wear their helmet before riding, even if they’re only traveling a short distance. Wearing a helmet is definitely easier compared to the consequences of not wearing one and being in a crash. Remember to always properly wear your helmet.