California Bicycle Helmet Laws

-Posted On March 7, 2022 In Bicycle Accident-

Helmets provide important protection while riding a bicycle. These devices cushion our skull from impact in the event of an accident, protecting the brain inside. Without a helmet, the skull and the brain can be vulnerable to serious damage.

California requires children to wear a helmet while riding a bike. However, adults are not required to abide by this law. Despite these requirements, it is always important to wear a helmet while cycling.

California Bicycle Helmet Requirements

In California, cyclists are required to wear a helmet if they are under the age of 18. Adults are not required to wear a helmet in most places. However, local governments may require helmet use in certain areas. It is important to check your local rules before going for a ride.

The following helmet requirements also apply.

  • All passengers on a bike must wear a helmet if they are under the age of 5.
  • Any children under the age of 18 must wear a helmet while riding a scooter, skateboard, roller skates, or in-line skates.
  • Children must always wear a helmet while cycling on a street, sidewalk, public bike path, or bikeway.

If a minor rides a bike without a helmet despite these laws, he or she could face a $25 fine. The youth helmet law applies to all people under the age of 18, regardless of religious beliefs.

How Helmet Use Impacts a Bicycle Accident Claim

While adults are not required to wear a helmet in California, wearing one could save a life. These protective devices significantly reduce the risk of serious injuries and death. In fact, researchers have found that bicycle helmets reduce serious head injuries by 60% and traumatic brain injury by 53%.

Helmet use could also impact a bicycle accident claim. In California, injured cyclists have the right to pursue an insurance claim or lawsuit against the driver responsible for their collisions. If you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, you could struggle to recover the compensation that you deserve.

If you were under the age of 18, the insurance company may determine that you were also responsible for your injuries and deny or reduce your claim as a result. In the courtroom, California’s comparative negligence rules will apply, and the court will reduce your settlement by the percentage of liability that you share.

Even though adult cyclists do not need to wear a helmet, failure to do so could negatively impact your claim. The at-fault driver’s insurance company may argue that you should be liable for a percentage of the accident because of this fact.

This is an unfair assumption. The driver’s actions likely contributed more to the accident than a failure to wear a helmet. In these situations, it is important to have an attorney on your side who can defend you against accusations of fault and prove the motorist’s liability.

Speak to a San Francisco Bicycle Accident Attorney

Bicycle accident claims can be challenging to navigate, especially if helmet use is a factor. A San Francisco bicycle accident lawyer can guide you through the litigation process and advocate aggressively for your right to compensation.

As soon as possible following your accident, seek medical attention and save all records related to your injuries. Then, contact an attorney to discuss your case and strategize your next steps.

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