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Reducing Ottawa Bicycle Accidents ? Helmets Mandatory? Less Personal Injury? I'm for that..

Ottawa Bicycle Accident Lawyer , Ontario Cycling Accidents Lawyer, Ottawa Pedestrian Accident Lawyer David Hollingsworth. The personal injuries resulting from bicycle accidents can be devasting and life threatening.  Wearing a bicycle helmet can not only reduce risks of a head injury  or brain injury, it can save lives. A new study is calling on provincial governments to pass laws that force cyclists to wear helmets.

The study was published this month in the journal Injury Prevention and was conducted by researchers at the University of Manitoba and the University of Ottawa. The study suggests cyclists are much more likely to wear helmets and avoid pesonal injury  if they live in a province with a mandatory helmet law. There is little consistency across Canada in terms of helmet use legislation. British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick all have mandatory helmet legislation for people of all ages.

A handful of other provinces have adopted bicycle helmet laws that apply only to those under the age of 18.

‘It’s atrocious that in 2010, every province does not have some sort of helmet legislation.’—Ryan Zarychanski, study co-leader

Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Quebec have no bicycle helmet laws at all. Manitoba Liberals have been pushing for a helmet law for years but the NDP government has refused. The province’s medical association has also called for a helmet law. Manitoba has instead opted to keep helmet use optional, and has tried to encourage helmet use through promotional campaigns and by offering subsidized helmets that cost as little as $10.

“Clearly, helmet legislation works and clearly it reduces serious head injury and facial lacerations.” stated Zarychanski.  The researchers used data collected from the Canadian Community Health Survey, which relies on information collected from the long-form census.

They compared 2005 helmet use figures involving more than 4,600 respondents in 3 provinces with very different rules for cyclists. Helmets were worn by 73.2 % of respondents in Nova Scotia, where helmet use is mandatory for everyone. The rate was just 40.6 % in Ontario, where helmets are mandatory for young people only, and a mere 26.9 % in Saskatchewan.

Critics of helmet laws have argued that making helmets mandatory might discourage people from cycling. But the study found that cycling reamined constant in Alberta and PEI after those provinces adopted helmet laws in 2002 and 2003 respectively. “Contrary to popular belief, provincial helmet legislation does not cause people to cycle less, but it does result in increased helmet use, which has been shown to prevent serious head injury,” Zarychanski said.

Victims who suffer serious personal injury in Ottawa bicycle accidents and Ontario bicycle accidents need to protect their rights to compensation with the help of an Ottawa personal injury lawyer or Ontario personal injury lawyer  that understands the laws regarding bicycle accidents in Ontario and who  specializes in personal injury and driver negligence and can help you get back to your life as best possible.

Ottawa Ontario Bicycle Accident Lawyer David Hollingsworth helps those injured in bicycle and pedestrian accidents. If you were hit by a car while cycling or walking, you have a right to obtain accident benefits from the driver’s insurance policy. You may also be able to obtain financial compensation for damages through a personal injury claim. To arrange a free initial consultation about your bicycle or pedestrian accident, please contact our office by e-mail david@ottawainjury.ca or call 613 978-9549 or 613 237-4922 ext 203. 

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RL, Ottawa Ontario