Do You Have to Wear A Helmet While Riding A Bike?

Posted on

Missouri does not have a statewide bicycle helmet law. Neither does Arkansas or Illinois. However, individual municipalities may pass bicycle safety laws. For example, St. Louis County requires riders under 16 to wear helmets.

Standard bicycle helmets usually protect bike riders from injury if they accidentally fall off their bikes. However, a helmet can’t fully protect a bicyclist in a collision with an oncoming car. Bicycle victims are likely to sustain severe injuries and unexpected expenses. A St. Louis bicycle accident lawyer can help injured victims of bike accidents obtain compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, loss of work income, and the cost of ongoing treatment.

Do Helmets Help or Hurt Riders?

Overall, there’s no doubt that helmets protect bicyclists, especially from falls. Additionally, many bicycle helmets improve rider visibility for other drivers on the road.

Some evidence suggests that bicycle helmets might make riding more hazardous. Subconsciously, when drivers see helmeted riders, they take more chances, reasoning that the rider is more likely to survive if there is a collision. It is essential to follow your local traffic laws to protect the cyclist that share the road.

Missouri State Bike Laws

Safe Passing Laws: Missouri requires that the operator of a motor vehicle overtake a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on the roadway shall leave a safe distance when passing the bicycle and maintain clearance until safely past the overtaken bicycle.

Source: Mo. Rev. Stat. §300.411

Helmet Law: Missouri has no helmet law. It is legal for all ages to operate a bicycle without wearing a helmet unless otherwise provided by a municipal regulation.

Treatment as a Vehicle: In Missouri, bicycles are not vehicles according to the statute that defines vehicles, but a person riding a bicycle has all of the rights and duties of the driver of a car in Chapter 304 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, except for specific enumerated regulations and as to those provisions which by their nature can have no application.

Source: Mo. Rev. Stat. §§300.010(41); 307.188

Arkansas State Bike Laws

Safe Passing Laws: Arkansas requires that the driver of a motor vehicle overtaking a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on a roadway shall exercise due care and pass to the left at a safe distance of not less than three feet and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken bicycle.

Source: Ark. Code Ann. §27-51-311

Helmet Law: Arkansas has no helmet law. It is legal for all ages to operate a bicycle without wearing a helmet unless otherwise provided by a municipal regulation.

Treatment as a Vehicle: In Arkansas, bicycles are not vehicles according to the statute that defines vehicles, but a person riding a bicycle has all of the rights and duties of the driver of a car.

Source: Ark. Code Ann. §§27-49-219; 27-49-111

Illinois State Bike Laws

Safe Passing Laws: Illinois requires that the operator of a motor vehicle overtaking a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on a highway shall leave a safe distance, but not less than 3 feet, when passing the bicycle and shall maintain that distance until safely past the overtaken bicycle.

Source: 625 Ill. Comp. Stat. §11-703(d)

Helmet Law: Illinois has no helmet law. It is legal for all ages to operate a bicycle without wearing a helmet unless otherwise provided by a municipal regulation.

Treatment as a Vehicle: In Illinois, bicycles are not vehicles according to the statute that defines vehicles, but a person riding a bicycle has all of the rights and duties of the driver of a car as provided in the Illinois Vehicle Code, except as to those provisions which by their nature can have no application.

Source: 625 Ill. Comp. Stat. §§1-217; 11-1502

Bicycle Accidents Caused by Speeding

To obtain fair personal injury compensation, attorneys usually use the ordinary negligence doctrine or the negligence per se shortcut. Ordinary negligence is a lack of care, and negligence per se is a violation of safety law.

Speeding factors delineates the difference between these two principles between ordinary negligence and negligence per se. If the negligent driver is traveling above the posted limit, s/he could be liable for damages as a matter of law because of the failure per se rule. In this case, a safety law was the posted speed limit, establishing the standard of care.

However, in many cases, speed could cause a wreck, even if the driver is traveling below the limit. For example, in many residential neighborhoods, cars parked on the street limit driver visibility. Arguably, these motorists must slow down and look more carefully, especially during after-school hours or summer days.

Helmet or not, bicyclists often suffer severe injuries in vehicle collisions. When you’re injured, you need a lawyer with a reputation and experience to handle the insurance companies so that you can focus on recovering. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Arkansas, contact Schultz & Myers, Personal Injury Attorneys. We do not charge upfront legal fees for personal injury cases, and your fee is paid as a result of your settlement. To get help now, call (314) 444-4444.

FAQs

Do helmets protect bicycle riders?

Helmets usually protect riders from accidental falls. But they offer little protection in a high-speed collision.

Why are there so many bicycle accidents?

Lack of rider visibility contributes to many bicycle accidents. Drivers simply aren’t actively watching out for these riders.

What compensation is available?

Bike crash victims usually receive economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Truck Accident Lawyers

Claim Your Free Books

Schultz & Myers have released three must-read books online for FREE.
Click below to download your copy today.
Legal Paper Icon

Risk Free
Fee Guarantee

We work on a contingency fee basis, so you pay only if we win your case.

No Win No Fee
Balance Icon

Missouri's
Winningest Law Firm

Named by Missouri Lawyer's Weekly based upon most reported trial wins. View our recent case results.

Results That Matter
Avatar Icon

The Schultz &
Myers Experience

We put our clients needs first. Learn more about the Schultz & Myers experience.

We Can Help
Schultz & Myers Logo

Get in touch with us today to get started with your FREE case review. We’re only a call, click, or short drive away.