Neuroscience for Kids says that up to 88 percent of head injuries could be prevented by wearing bicycle helmets. More than 30 percent of injuries to children are head injuries. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says there are as many as 500,000 bicycle-related injuries each year in the United States.
Some states or cities allow children younger than 12 to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk. When this is the case, they are considered pedestrians and follow the sames rules as pedestrians.
In addition to helmets, mirrors on handlebars are also recommended, as well as front and back lights if riding in low-light conditions. Bright clothing is also recommended to make children more visible to motorists.
Twenty-two states require children to wear helmets when cycling. Cities in some states that have no helmet law have their own rules about helmets. The federal government does not make rules for bicycle transportation.
Opponents of helmet laws say the helmets give a false sense of security and are not all that effective in bad accidents. They advocate more education programs and safe-riding classes instead.
When cyclists are on a roadway, they are considered a vehicle and have the same rights and responsibilities that automobiles have. Bicycles are to ride as far to the right as practical, but in most states they legally can occupy an entire lane of traffic when needed.
Article Written By James Jordan
James Jordan has been a writer and photographer since 1980. He has worked for newspapers in Arkansas, Tennessee, South Carolina and Kansas, winning state press association awards for writing, photography and page design. In 1995 he received his master's in Christian education and completed two years of Ancient Greek at the graduate level. Jordan holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism.