Bicycle helmets in the United States

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Bicycle helmet laws in the United States.[1][2]
  No laws
  No state law but local laws exist
  Statewide laws requiring some minors to wear helmets

The requirement to wear bicycle helmets in the United States varies by jurisdiction and by age of the cyclist, for example 21 states and the District of Columbia have statewide mandatory helmet laws for children. 29 US states have no statewide law, and 13 of these states have no such laws in any lower-level jurisdiction either.[1]

Importance[edit]

States began to adopt laws on wearing helmets for bicycle riding in 1987.[1] There are a total of 22 state laws for bicycle helmets and 201 local laws.[1] Each year about 2% of motor vehicle crash deaths are bicyclists. In a majority of bicyclist deaths, the most serious injuries are to the head.[3] Helmet use has been estimated to reduce the odds of head injury by 50%, and the odds of head, face, or neck injury by 33%.[3]

Protection[edit]

A helmet law will reduce the fatalities of people in bicycle accidents by about 15% in the long run. There is no evidence that shows these laws and statistics have a spillover effect for adults.[1] Just because more children will be wearing helmets does not mean more adults will wear them. Through 2000, existing helmet laws have saved 130 lives.[4]

Effects[edit]

The state of New York reported that since it had introduced its second helmet law in 1994 for riders under 14, the annual rate of cyclists hospitalized from bicycle-related traumatic brain injuries fell from 464 in 1990 to 209 in 1995.[1]

Helmet recalls[edit]

By law, all helmets sold in the U.S. must meet standards set by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC).[5] There were two helmet recalls in the year 2000.[1] A helmet made by Rand International of Farmingdale, NY was voluntarily recalled and involved 70,000 helmets known as "L.A. Cruisin' Bike Helmets" in child, youth and adult sizes.[1] The CPSC’s press release for the recall was, "These helmets fail impact testing and labeling required under CPSC’s Safety Standard for Bicycle Helmets violating the Consumer Product Safety Act. Riders wearing these helmets are not properly protected from falls and could suffer severe head injuries…"[1] The other helmet was a girl's helmet with decals reading "Hearts and Flowers." It was voluntarily recalled by Cycle Express Inc., of New York, NY, who had sold about 9,000 of them. The CPSC released a similar press release statement, “These helmets fail impact testing and labeling required under CPSC’s Safety Standard for Bicycle Helmets violating the Consumer Product Safety Act. Riders wearing these helmets are not adequately protected from falls and could suffer severe head injuries or death…”[1]

Laws by Jurisdiction[edit]

Laws by Jurisdiction[1]
Jurisdiction Ages Effective
Alabama
State law Under 16 1995
Montevallo All ages 1993
Homewood All ages 1994
Alaska
Anchorage Under 16 2005
Bethel Under 18 2004
Juneau Under 18 2006
Kenai Under 16 2004
Sitka Under 18 2005
Arizona
Flagstaff Under 18 2010
Pima County Under 18 1995
Sierra Vista Under 18 1995
Tucson Under 18 1993
Yuma Under 18 1997
California
State Law Passengers

under 5

1987
State Law Riders

under 18

1994
State Law Under 18

* Scooters, skateboards, inline skates

2003
Bidwell Park, Chico

for off road in middle&upper park

All ages 1991
Connecticut
State Law Under 16 1993/1997
City of Seymour

(Repealed 1998)

All ages 1998
Delaware
State Law Under 18 * 1996
District of Columbia
District Law Under 16 * 2000/04
Florida
State Law Under 16 ** 1997
Georgia
State Law Under 16 1993
Hawaii
State Law Under 16 2001
Illinois
Barrington Under 17 1997
Chicago (messengers) All ages
Cicero Under 16 1997
Inverness Under 16 1999
Libertyville

(Incentives only)

1997
Skokie Under 16 2002
Kansas
Lawrence Under 16 * 2004
Kentucky
Louisville (Parks) Under 18 * 2002
Louisville Extreme Park All ages 2002
Louisiana
State Law Under 12 2002
Maine
State Law Under 16 1999
Maryland
State Law Under 16 * 1995
Allegany County Under 16 1992
Howard County Under 16 1990
Montgomery County Under 18 1991
Sykesville All ages 1995
Massachusetts
State Law Passengers

under 5

1990
State Law Riders

under 17 *

1994/2004
Michigan
Adrian Under 15 1998
E. Grand Rapids Under 18 1995
Farmington Hills Under 16 * 1999
Kensington Metropark All ages 1998
Mississippi
Hernando Under 17 * 2010
Jackson All ages? 2013
Ridgeland ??? 2010
Starkville All ages * 2010
Missouri
St Louis County 1 to 16 * Unincorp.

areas 2002 Countywide 2008

St Louis County municipalities of: - - -
Ballwin Under 17 2006
Bel-Ridge All ages 2002
Bella Villa Under 17 2005
Bellefontaine Neighbors Under 17 2005
Berkeley All ages 2000
Black Jack All ages 2008
Calverton Park All ages 2001
Chesterfield Under 17 2008
Clayton Under 17 2005
Creve Coeur All ages 2000
Ellisville Under 17 2005
Florissant Under 17 2003
Glendale All ages 2008
Grantwood Village All ages 2003
Hanley Hills Under 17 2007
Hazelwood Under 17 2007
Hillsdale
Moline Acres Under 17 2008
Normandy Under 17 2004
Northwoods Under 17 2003
Norwood Court Under 17 2004
Olivette Under 17* 2005
Overland Under 17 2005
Pagedale All ages 2002
Riverview Under 17 2008
Rock Hill Under 17 2003
St. John Under 17 2001
Sycamore Hills All ages 2008
Town & Country All ages 2002
Velda City All ages 2006
Velda Village Hills All ages 2005
Vinita Terrace Under 21 2001
Webster Groves Under 17 2004
Wellston
Wilber Park Under 17 2005
Wildwood Under 17 2005
St Louis Co Parks Under 17 2001
- - - - - - - - -
Municipalities inother counties
Columbia Under 16 * 2003
St Charles Under 16 2006
Montana
Billings Under 16 2001
Nevada
Duckwater

Indian Reservation

Under 17 2001
Reno/Sparks

Indian Colony

Under 17 2002
New Hampshire
State Law Under 16 2006
New Jersey
State Law Under 17 * 1992/05
New Mexico
State Law Under 18 * 2007
Los Alamos County Under 18 1995
New York
State Law Passengers

under 5

1989
State Law Riders

under 14*

1994/2004
Eastchester Under 19 * 2004
Erie County Parks All ages 1993
Greenburgh All ages 1994
Guilderland Under 14 1992
Onondaga County-Syracuse Under 18 2001
Rockland County All ages 1992
Suffolk County 14 to 17 2000
North Carolina
State Law Under 16 2001
Black Mountain All ages 1996
Boone All ages 1995
Carolina Beach Under 16 1994
Carrboro Under 16 1997
Cary Under 16 2001
Chapel Hill Under 16 1992
Charlotte Under 16 * 2002
Cornelius Under 16 * 2001
Greenville Under 16 1998
Matthews Under 16 2001
Ohio
Akron Under 16 2001
Beachwood Under 16 1990
Bexley Under 16 2010
Blue Ash Under 16 2003
Brecksville Under 18 * 1998
Brooklyn Under 14 2001
Centerville Under 18 1999
Cincinnati Under 16 * 2004
Columbus Ages 1-17 * 2009
Dayton Under 13 2004
East Cleveland Under 18 * 2004
Enon Under 16 * 2004
Euclid Under 14 2001
Glendale Under 19 * 2000
Kettering Under 16 * 2004
Lakewood Under 18 1997
Madeira Under 17 * 2002
Marietta Under 16 * 2004
Orange Village Ages 6 to 15 1992
Pepper Pike Under 18 2000
Shaker Heights All ages

over 5 inc. passengers

1997
South Euclid Under 14 2000
Strongsville Under 12 1993
Waynesville Under 17 * 2000
Oklahoma
Norman Under 18 2003
Oklahoma City

(city property)

All ages 1999
Oregon
State Law Under 16 * 1994
Pennsylvania
State Law Riders under 12 1995
Rhode Island
State Law Under 16 * 1996/

1998/ 2007

Tennessee
State Law Under 16 1994/2000
Clarksville Under 16 1993
Texas
Arlington Under 18 1997
Austin Under 18 1996/97
Bedford Under 16 1996
Benbrook Under 17 1996
Coppell Under 15 1997
Dallas Under 18 1996/2014
Fort Worth Under 18 1996
Houston Under 18 1995
Southlake Under 15 1999
Virginia ****
Albemarle County Under 15
Alexandria Under 15 1994
Amherst County Under 15 1993
Arlington County Under 15 1993
Blacksburg Under 15 1994
Clarke County Under 15
Fairfax County Under 15 1993
Fairfax City Under 15 2016
Falls Church Under 15 1993
Floyd County Under 15
Front Royal Under 15 1996
Hampton Under 15 1999
Harrisonburg Under 15
James City County Under 15 1999
Luray Under 15
Manassas Under 15 1995
Manassas Park Under 15 1997
Newport News Under 15 1997
Norfolk Under 15 2001
Orange County Under 15
Petersburg Under 15 2000
Prince William Co. Under 15 1995
Radford Under 15 2000
Roanoke Under 15 2000
Salem Under 15 2000
Stafford County Under 15
Vienna Under 15
Virginia Beach Under 15 1995
Williamsburg Under 15 2001
Wise Under 15
York County Under 15 1994
Washington State
Aberdeen All ages 2001
Auburn All ages 2005
Bainbridge Island All ages 2001
Bellevue All ages 2002
Bremerton All ages 2000
Des Moines All ages 1993
DuPont All ages
Duvall All ages 1993
Eatonville All ages 1996
Enumclaw All ages 1993
Fircrest All ages 1995
Gig Harbor All ages 1996
Hunts Point All ages 1993
Island County

(Recommendation only.)

All ages 1997
Kent All ages 1999
King County All ages 1993
Lakewood All ages 1996
Milton All ages * 1997
Orting Under 17 1997
Pierce County All ages 1994
Port Angeles All ages 1994
Port Orchard All ages 2004
Poulsbo Under 18 1995
Puyallup All ages 1994
Renton All ages 1999
Seatac All ages over 1 yr 1999
Seattle All ages 2003
Snohomish

repealed

All ages 2002
Snohomish skate park only All ages 2002
Snoqualmie All ages 1996
Spokane All ages * 2004
Steilacoom All ages 1995
Tacoma All ages * 1994
University Place All ages 1996
Vancouver All ages 2008
West Virginia
State Law Under 15 1996
Clarksburg Under 18 1993
Morgantown All ages 1993
South Charleston Under 18 1994
St. Albans Under 18 1995
Wisconsin
Port Washington Under 17 1997

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Bicycle Helmet Laws". Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
  2. ^ "Bicycle helmet use". www.iihs.org. Retrieved 2017-01-03.
  3. ^ a b "Pedestrians and bicyclists". IIHS.
  4. ^ Grant, Darren (2004). "The effect of bicycle helmet legislation on bicycling fatalities". Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. 23: 595–611. doi:10.1002/pam.20029.
  5. ^ "How to Choose Bike Helmets". REI.