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Should I Wear a Helmet? Bicycle Law and Safety in Wisconsin

Posted on in Bicycle Accidents

Milwaukee bicycle accident attorneys, Wisconsin bicycle lawThough it is not the law in Wisconsin, wearing a helmet provides a substantial amount of protection in the instance of a bicycle accident. In fact, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, wearing a helmet can prevent approximately 85 percent of head injuries in bicyclists. Head injuries can result in multiple types of complications that affect thought processes, coordination, personality, and mobility.

Wisconsin Bicycle Law

Wisconsin law considers bicycles to be the same as motor vehicles. Bicyclists, like drivers, must ride in the same direction as traffic and follow all other traffic laws. Likewise, bicycles are to be treated as an equal user on the road.

Wisconsin law does not require helmets to be worn on adults or children riding bicycles. The only exception is within the city of Port Washington, where riders age 16 and under are required to wear a helmet.

Common Errors that Lead to Bicycle Accidents

According to the most recent data available from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, 617 reported bicycle crashes were reported in 2013. Of these, nine were fatal, 55 solely involved property damage, and 553 resulted in injury.

Operator error by a bicyclist, motorist, or pedestrian is the cause of 90 percent of accidents involving bicycles. In 60 percent of adult bike accidents, a motorist is at fault.

Common situations that lead to bicycle accidents include the following:

  • A motorist makes a left-hand turn into the path of an oncoming bicycle;
  • A bicyclist rides the wrong way in traffic. This error is seen in one-third of all bicycle-car accidents.
  • A bicyclist does not obey stop signs or does not yield to right-of-way; and
  • A bicyclist makes a sudden swerve in front of a car.

Contact a Milwaukee, WI, Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Bicyclists are more vulnerable to injury than motor vehicle occupants. Moreover, cyclists’ injuries tend to be serious and can result in the need for expensive medical procedures, multiple surgeries, and extensive rehabilitation. If an injured rider sustains a brain injury, a full recovery from a medical standpoint may not be possible. 

If you were injured while riding your bicycle and do not believe you were at fault, you should be compensated for your injuries. Your injuries not only result in medical bills but also pain and suffering.

Bicycle accident cases can be complex. Our team of attorneys will see to it that your claim is properly handled in order for you to fully recover. The knowledgeable Milwaukee bicycle accident attorneys at Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP can be reached at 414-271-1440.

Sources:

http://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/safety/education/bike/default.aspx

http://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/safety/education/bike/crash.aspx

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