Is It Time To Make Bike Helmets Obligatory For All Cyclists?

It has been found that less and less Canadians cycle on the regular despite its many proven benefits to the overall health of a person. Additionally, it has also been found that areas with many cyclists experience less motor vehicle and cyclist collisions, in comparison to areas with less cyclists. This is likely because drivers in an area with more cyclists are used to being more cautious of cyclists, and because the cyclists in these areas are also provided with their own designated infrastructure.

Successful Ways of Preventing Cycling Fatalities

The Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario has conducted a study into the matter and has found that the majority of cycling collisions are the result of neglectful driving on either the cyclist’s or the motor vehicle operator’s part. In most cases, important traffic laws were disobeyed which led to the collision, such as failure to keep a safe distance between the motor vehicle and cyclist, failure to perform a safety shoulder glance before taking a right turn, or a disregard for passersby, before the leaving of a driveway or opening of a door.

While there are some protective measures the cyclists themselves can take, such as wearing reflective or bright clothing or using a secure helmet, the best way to prevent collisions is to add cycling infrastructure to all towns and cities. Adding bike paths and lanes will alert drivers to watch out for cyclists and get them used to sharing the road with more vulnerable parties. It would also be wise to add side guards to all commercial trucks.

On the Topic of Helmets

As previously mentioned, helmets are one of the few safety measures cyclists can take to protect themselves against severe injury in the event of a collision. However, as of now, children and teens under the age of eighteen are the only ones obligated to wear a helmet under Canadian legislation. And it must be a helmet that has been approved.

Experts, especially healthcare professionals, have stated many times that helmets should become obligatory to all cyclists in order to prevent severe, if not fatal, brain and head injuries. However, despite this logically sound and reasonable argument, there are still many who oppose this idea.

Counter arguments include the freedom of choice, the limited protection a helmet offers, and the idea that obligatory helmets may discourage many adults from including cycling into their routine. However, ignoring the safety gear can lead to devastating accidents, wherein the cyclist is usually severely hurt and requires the services of a personal injury lawyer in North Bay. If you or a loved one has been hurt, it is time to call on professional legal assistance.