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Bicycle Helmet Laws in New York

If you've been injured in an accident or on the job, the attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP have the knowledge, skills, and experience required to hold the party responsible for your injury accountable.

Last Updated: 01-10-2024
Written by: Michael A. Rose and Gregory Hach

Riding a bicycle in the city is one of the best ways to get around. It’s free, it’s good exercise, and it gives you a close-up look at your surroundings. However, the lack of a protective barrier usually provided by a car necessitates extra safety precautions. Additionally, there are bicycle helmet laws in New York for children.

Children Under 14 Must Wear a Helmet

In New York State, everyone under 14 is legally required to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle, even as a passenger. Children younger than one year are not allowed to ride as passengers on a bicycle. No explicit laws require adults to wear helmets while riding a bike in New York State. But some counties like Rockland and Erie counties have passed laws requiring anyone riding within the county to wear a helmet.

Adults Not Required to Wear a Helmet

Even though no law specifically requires adults to wear a helmet while bike riding, a helmet could be the difference between life and death in a serious accident. According to a report from CBS 2, helmets reduce the risk of serious injury in a bicycle accident by up to 85%. Likewise, a report from 2008 found that 91% of bike riders killed in accidents that year were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. No state in America requires adults over 17 to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle. But it’s important to wear one for public safety.

According to the New York Police Department, 693 cyclists were injured in New York City in September 2020, and six cyclists died. Experts suggest that wearing a helmet could save your life in a collision.

Still, children under 14 are required by state law to wear a helmet any time they are riding a bike. Parents could be fined up to $50 if their child rides without one. Helmets can reduce the risk of sustaining a traumatic brain injury by 88% in the event of an accident.

Selecting a Bicycle Helmet

When shopping for a helmet, there are a few factors to consider. The New York Health Department recommends looking for the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) sticker on the helmet. This ensures that the helmet meets safety standards. The helmet should sit on your head evenly and snugly, not tipping forward or backward. There should be about two finger widths distance between the front of the helmet and your eyebrows. Always keep the helmet buckled under your chin while riding.

Contact a New York Accident Attorney

If you were injured in a bicycle accident, you might be entitled to compensation, even if you were partly at fault. The New York accident attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP can build your case and help you win maximum compensation for your injuries. Call our office today at (212) 779-0057 to schedule your free consultation.

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