Alabama: State law requires all cyclists under the age of 16 to wear a helmet on a bicycle. Some places require helmets for all ages. It`s hard to overstate how our unnatural obsession with head protection stifles the growth of our cycling culture. This serves no purpose except to deter the most casual cyclists, who also happen to be the slowest and safest on the road. Missouri: There is no statewide law. St. Louis County requires all cyclists/passengers ages 1-16 to wear a helmet when riding a bike, scooter, skateboard, or in-line skate. (Note: There is an important difference between this law and most others. St. Louis County law does not apply to infants under 1 year of age, so parents can legally ride babies who are not old enough to wear a helmet. To learn more about riding with babies, check out this blog post). Some places in St.
Louis County require helmets for riders of all ages. Columbia requires all cyclists under the age of 16 to wear a helmet on a bike, scooter, skateboard or in-line skate. Saint-Charles requires all cyclists under the age of 16 to wear a helmet on a bicycle. Virginia: There is no statewide law. The following locations require cyclists under the age of 15 to wear a helmet when riding a bike: Albermarle County, Alexandria, Amherst County, Arlington County, Blacksburg, Clarke County, Fairfax County, Falls Church, Floyd County, Front Royal, Hampton, Harrisonburg, James City County, Luray, Manassas, Manassas Park, Newport News, Norfolk, Orange County, Petersburg, Prince William County, Radford, Roanoke, Salem, Stanford County, Vienna, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, Wise, York County. Second, the design of the helmets themselves can increase the likelihood of certain types of injuries when incidents occur. Three separate studies have shown that bicycle helmets can increase the likelihood of certain types of neck injuries. There is evidence that an enlarged piece of plastic and foam on your head increases the likelihood of hitting an object you might avoid in the first place, or that contact with a surface becomes a complete blow if the head is helmeted. The Czech Republic requires helmets for persons under the age of 16. In France, there is a lively discussion about the helmet. The best summary is probably this page on the site Better Getting Around Bicycle. They analyze deaths in Paris and France as a whole and conclude that helmet use is a personal problem, but can save lives.
In 2017, a French law came into force requiring the wearing of helmets for anyone under the age of 12, with a fine of €135 for an adult who carries a child without a helmet on their bike or accompanies a child on a bike without a helmet. In the Netherlands, there is a similar debate, focusing mainly on children and the elderly. Helmet laws would be a big step forward for a country as bike-centric as the Netherlands, where cycling has been made safer by meticulous attention to road facilities, a legal structure that blames a motorist in an accident and a high number of cyclists. A 2020 study published by van den Brand et al. concluded: “In this study, we found that patients with TBI did not wear helmets as often as a comparable control group due to bicycle accidents. This association could not be established in patients who experienced TBI following a collision between a bicycle and a motor vehicle. This study has some limitations, but the results strongly suggest that TBI could be reduced in adult cyclists if cyclists in the Netherlands wore helmets more often. Future research should focus on determining the exact frequency of bicycle helmet use in the Netherlands and find ways to promote helmet use without discouraging cycling. Japan passed a national helmet law in 2008 requiring children under the age of 13 to wear a helmet. This page contains information about this.
An article by Yomiuri Shinbun reported that 76 percent of parents surveyed had purchased helmets for their children ages 1 to 6, but only 54 percent said children were still wearing them. Mexico City briefly passed a mandatory helmet law, but an article on the European Bicycle Federation`s website states that it repealed it in February 2010 to support their joint bike rental program, Ecobici. We have more comments on our page on joint cycling programs. In April 2003, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announced its intention to introduce compulsory helmet use in the professional races it sanctioned. The verdict remained this time (in 1991, a helmet requirement was rejected by drivers). Several high-profile deaths followed, including that of Kazakh driver Andrei Kivilev. Kivilev died of a head injury without a helmet. The momentum for the verdict had also grown since a helmeted rider fell into a bend at an intersection of a rainy Dutch stage of the Tour de France and hit his head on a concrete bollard in the middle of the road, but to the amazement of the crowd, he got up and accelerated. In 2004, the UCI even extended its impact protection requirement to teardrop-shaped “chrono” helmets that riders use in time trials to improve aerodynamics. The rule initially provided for an exception for elite riders on climbs longer than 5 km. The current version is here.
So you have found that your child must wear a helmet in your condition. What else? Large increases in helmet use rates are common under helmet laws.   Not all laws have increased helmet use, and no such increase has been observed among children covered by the North Carolina Bicycle Helmet Act.  In another area, an early increase in helmet use was followed by a decrease from pre-legislated levels.   Both attitudes toward cycling and the level of enforcement effort may be relevant.  Today, cycling requires a helmet because the helmet protects against head and brain injuries.