Do You Have to Wear a Bicycle Helmet in Georgia?
Georgia personal injury lawyers are sometimes asked if it’s the law to wear a bicycle helmet in the state. The answer is no unless you are under 16. However, there are sound personal safety reasons to wear one
Georgia bicycle statues require riders who are under 16 to wear an ANSI compliant cycling helmet. The ANSI is the American National Standards Institute. It sets standards for a wide range of equipment.
If you are over 16, it’s not mandatory to wear a bicycle helmet in Georgia.
Although teens and children under 16 are required to wear a cycling helmet, there is no framework for criminal enforcement. No fines or other criminal sanction is available for people under 16 for this infraction, although it’s possible that a parent could be charged with a misdemeanor for failing to equip a child with a bicycle helmet.
The law in Georgia related to cycling helmets is in contrast with that for motorcycle helmets which must be worn by all riders.
The effectiveness or otherwise of cycling helmets is a matter of debate, but some studies suggest helmets dramatically cut the risk of serious head injuries if you are involved in a cycling accident.
A study in 1999 suggest helmets may reduce the risk of head injuries to cyclists by more than 80 percent.
The study found bicycle helmets provide a 63 to 88 percent reduction in the risk of head, brain and traumatic brain injury for bicyclists of all ages. Helmets provide equal levels of protection for cyclists who are involved in crashes with motor vehicles and from all other causes.
The authors concluding wearing a helmet reduces the severity of injuries to the upper and mid facial areas by about 65 percent.
The study stated about 900 bicyclists die from injuries due to cycling and more than 500,000 cyclists are treated in emergency departments. Head injuries are the most serious risk posed to cyclists of all ages, accounting for a third of emergency department visits, two-thirds of hospital admissions, and three-quarters of deaths of cyclists.
Georgia has some specific laws to benefit cyclists but drivers don’t always abide by them. If you or a family member has been hurt in a cycling accident please contact our Georgia injury lawyers at (404) 913-1529.