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Brain Injury Awareness Day: New York Lawyers Call For More States To Adopt Bicycle Helmet Laws

Bicycle Helmet Law in the USA (Map)

Bicycle Helmet Law in the USA (Map)

Michael V. Kaplen

Michael V. Kaplen

Shana De Caro

Shana De Caro

We urge national and state lawmakers to prioritize public safety over popularity, and step up to the plate to protect our cyclists.”
— Michael V. Kaplen
PLEASANTVILLE, NEW YORK, USA, March 4, 2020 / -- On National Brain Injury Awareness day, New York brain injury lawyers De Caro & Kaplen, LLP, urge State lawmakers across the US to adopt tougher bicycle helmet laws.

The US currently has no federal laws governing helmet use, with provisions left to the discretion of each State.

Michael V. Kaplen, a partner in the firm, who served as Chair of the Motor Vehicle and Highway Liability Section of the American Association for Justice, highlighted several statistics to support the firm’s calls, “In 2016, a large study of over 64,000 Australian cyclists concluded that wearing a helmet reduces the risk of fatal head injury by 65%. This is supported by data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which shows that at least 4 out of every 5 cyclists killed on American roads between 1994 and 2018 were not wearing a helmet.”

But according to Kaplen, the majority of American cyclists choose not to wear a helmet, “A 2012 study found that just 29% of adults, and 42% of children in the USA always wear a helmet while cycling.”

21 States currently have state-wide laws requiring helmets to be worn while cycling. However, in each of these states provisions do not apply to adults, with cut off points ranging from 12 to 18 years old.

Of the remaining States, 16 have individual localities with local ordinances in place, while 13 States currently have no state-wide, or local helmet laws.

In Washington DC, cyclists under the age of 16 are prohibited from riding without a helmet.

Kaplen rejects arguments that enforcing helmet use would impinge on individual liberty and freedom of choice, “When nationwide seatbelt laws were introduced in the 80s, there was grumbling, there was pushback, but now we don’t think twice about it. Putting on a helmet when we’re cycling should be exactly the same. The data clearly shows that fatalities from head injury would be reduced if more Americans chose to protect their heads with helmets. We urge national and state lawmakers to prioritize public safety over popularity, and step up to the plate to protect our cyclists.”

To highlight the issue, De Caro & Kaplen have launched a new webpage, which includes a map of bicycle helmet laws at State and local levels, and statistics on the effectiveness of helmet use.

On Wednesday, De Caro & Kaplen, LLP partners Shana De Caro and Michael Kaplen will join representatives of the Brain Injury Association of America and its state affiliates to mark Brain Injury Awareness Day. In addition to calling for legislators to review helmet laws, they will press for limits on tackling in youth football, and urge continuation of the Federal TBI State Grant Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention TBI Programs, and brain injury research conducted by the TBI Model Systems. Firm partner, Shana De Caro serves as vice-chair of the Brain Injury Association of America.

The brain injury law firm has also announced later in March they will launch the third video in their series highlighting the experiences of individuals with traumatic brain injury, and the impact on their families. The new video, provisionally titled “The Little Bird Who Forgot How To Fly”, will focus on telling the story of parents of children with traumatic brain injury.

Brain Injury Awareness Day is part of Brain Injury Awareness Month — an annual public awareness campaign led by the Brain Injury Association of America to educate the public about the incidence of brain injury, and the needs of those with brain injuries and their families, and advocate on their behalf with our legislators.

De Caro & Kaplen’s page on bicycle helmet laws is available on their website at

Michael V. Kaplen
De Caro & Kaplen, LLP
(914) 747 4410
email us here