• Ann Sheeley

Bike Safety Helmet Program Can Save Lives and Prevent Needless Injuries

Sheeley Law is proud to support the RI Association for Justice’s Bike Safety Helmet Program


Summertime means children playing outdoors and riding their bicycles around the neighborhood with friends. Keeping our kids safe is a top priority for Sheeley Law and we are proud to support the RI Association for Justice’s Bike Safety Helmet Program again this year. Knowing the laws concerning helmet use and stressing the need for head protection is something that all parents and caregivers should do, and we are here to help.

Car Accidents & DUIs are on the Rise

Why is Bicycle Safety So Important?


According to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute,[1] approximately 500,000 bike accidents that require medical treatment occur each year in the U.S., and nearly 900 people die annually from injuries sustained in a bicycle accident. Tragically, the majority of these accidents involve children under the age of 18. Parents may think their children are safe riding around the neighborhood, however, research shows that most bicycle accidents occur on quiet neighborhood streets. This is especially true in accidents involving young children.


Riding your bicycle on a roadway creates heightened risks. More than 40,000 bike-car collisions are reported each year. The leading causes are distracted driving, failing to yield at intersections and swerving to avoid being hit or being struck by a car/car door. Without proper protection, your child could suffer serious injuries in an accident, including broken bones, head, neck and back injuries, and spinal cord damage.


How Can Helmets Help?


The brain needs protection as even mild injuries like a concussion can cause serious problems. Head injury is by far the greatest risk posed to bicyclists, comprising one‐third of emergency department visits, two‐thirds of hospital admissions, and three‐fourths of deaths. There is no arguing that helmets can reduce head and facial injuries stemming from all types of bicycle crashes, including those involving motor vehicles. In fact, researchers say helmets reduce serious head injuries by up to 88 percent and save many lives each year.


Do You Know Rhode Island’s Helmet Law?


If safety was enough reason to wear a helmet, you should also know it’s the law in Rhode Island (§ 31-19-2.1):[2]

  • “Helmets are required on bicycle operators, bicycle passengers, skateboarders, rollerskaters, inline skaters, and scooter riders ages fifteen (15) and younger;

  • Any person fifteen (15) years of age or younger who is operating or who is a passenger on a bicycle or who is using or operating a skateboard, rollerskates, scooter or inline skates on a public highway, bicycle trail or path, shared use path, park and/or recreational area, school property or on any other public right of way shall wear a helmet;

  • The helmet shall fit the person's head and shall be secured to the person's head by straps while the person is operating the bicycle, skateboard, scooter, rollerskates or inline skates.”

  • “The helmet shall meet the standards for helmets established by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or subsequent standards.”

We at Sheeley Law encourage you to have fun but ride with caution this summer. If you or a loved one are involved in a bicycle accident, remember the acronym C.R.A.S.H.


Check for injuries – Following a crash, you will likely be in shock, which may cause you to assume everything is fine. It is important that you check yourself thoroughly for injuries.

Request medical assistance - If you believe you are injured, seek medical treatment. Even minor injuries can worsen over time, so it is important that you have a doctor examine you after an accident.

Ask for information – If your accident involved a motor vehicle, it is important that you call the police and file a report as soon as possible while details are still fresh in your mind. You (or the police) should get the driver’s name, contact information and license plate number. If there are witnesses, also request their contact information. If you are able, take photos and video of the accident scene.

Save the bicycle - Your damaged bike can be important evidence in reconstructing the scene to determine what happened and who is at fault.

Hire an attorney. If you are injured due to someone else’s negligence, you need an experienced personal injury attorney to deal with the insurance companies and protect your rights, as well as ensure you are receiving the proper medical care.

Rhode Island Personal Injury Attorney Ann Sheeley has more than 25 years of experience representing clients involved in car, truck, bicycle, motorcycle and pedestrian accidents and obtaining maximum compensation for their injuries, losses and pain and suffering. For more information and a free consultation, contact us at 401-619-5555 or asheeley@sheeleylaw.com.


[1] https://helmets.org/manual.htm [2] https://www.helmets.org/rhodelaw.htm