Consumer News Helmet Safety Injury Lawsuits
Consumer News Helmet Safety | Lawsuits, Lawyers | Injury, Deaths | Neglect, Biking, Rollerblading, Skateboarding, Protection
PARKER & WAICHMAN, LLP - Consumer Alert August, 2006 HELMET SAFETY
While helmet usage is on the rise, many people –both adults and kids- still neglect to strap one on before climbing aboard a bike, clamping on rollerblades or pushing off on a skateboard.
The bottom line: Leaving your helmet behind is dangerous—and potentially deadly. Head injuries cause three-quarters of the about 800 bicycle deaths each year, according to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute. Another 82,000 people suffer brain injuries each year while playing sports, according to the Brain Injury Association in Alexandria, Va.
Regardless of the sport, helmets cushion the blow of a fall, hit or other impact on the head. Nearly all helmets are made with expanded polystyrene, the same material found in picnic coolers. Style and construction vary by sport, and you need to use the helmet appropriate for the activity.
Here is some guidance on finding the proper helmet for your favorite sport.
Biking and Rollerblading: Although one helmet will work for both biking and rollerblading, serious skaters should consider using a helmet that offers the best protection possible for the back of the head—the most likely area to hit the ground.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission says to wear the helmet low on your forehead, about two finger widths above your eyebrows. Sit the helmet evenly between your ears and flat on your head. Adjust the straps and pads so the helmet is snug and secure and doesn’t move up and down or side to side when the strap is tightened, according to the CPSC.
Make certain any attached mirrors can break away during a fall. Remove visors that can shatter and cut your face.
Skateboarding: Unlike bike helmets, skateboarding helmets are designed to withstand multiple blows. Helmets for this sport are different because crashes are more frequent and less severe, the CPSC reports.
Look for proper fit and a sturdy chin strap. Padding should not restrict circulation and should not be so loose that the helmet can fall off. Also, notice whether the helmet blocks your vision and hearing.
You should also be mindful of when to replace your helmet. Some helmets need to be replaced after you’ve been in a collision. Others, such as for skateboarding, are designed for multiple knocks. Read your helmet’s instruction manual.
Parents need to establish a “helmet habit.” Children are more likely to wear helmets if their parents do and if they’re introduced to them early.
Finally, look for a manufacturer’s sticker citing compliance with the CPSC standard when buying a helmet. You can also look for independent certification by the Snell Memorial Foundation or the Safety Equipment Institute.
For more information visit www.helmets.org or www.cpsc.gov.
The following precautions will help you safely share the road with large trucks:
Beware of blind spots: Approximately 35 percent of truck-related auto fatalities occur in a truck’s blind spots. Tractor trailers have very large blind spots — as much as 30 feet behind the truck. Always try to pass on the left side; the blind spot on the right side is much larger (running the length of the truck and extending out nearly three lanes.)
Stay back: When following a truck, try to maintain a distance of 20 to 25 car lengths. Driving too closely behind a truck gives you little or no time to react to changing conditions.
When passing a truck, do not loiter in the blind spot. Before moving back into the truck’s lane, be sure you can see its headlights in your rearview mirror. Most fully-loaded semi trucks driving at highway speeds need 100 yards — that’s the length of one football field — to come to a safe stop. Leave them plenty of space.
Many car-truck accidents occur during and right after rain storms. During the summer thunderstorm season the National Traffic Safety Board says to remember that when roads become wet you must slow down, turn on your lights, and maintain a safe distance between you and any other vehicle. If your tires start to hydroplane, take your foot off the accelerator (if manual transmission, engage the clutch) and don’t slam on your brakes.
Legal Help For Victims Affected By Helmet Safety
If You or a loved one as been affected by Helmet Safety Neglect please fill out form to the right or call us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).