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Do I have to Wear a Helmet? Ontario Bicycle Helmet Laws

Do I Need to Wear a Helmet? 

Cycling can be great exercise and an easy mode of transportation for adults and children. We believe there are a number of safety precautions every level of rider should keep in mind before enjoying the open road.

Wearing a bike helmet in Ontario is compulsory for those under the age of 18. That means anyone under the age of 18 who rides any type of bicycle on Ontario roads, such as a tricycle, a bike, a tandem, or in a children’s bicycle seat, must wear an approved bicycle helmet.

Bike Helmet Laws in Ontario

Because of the high potential risk for head injury to cyclists, the province of Ontario passed a mandatory bike helmet law for all cyclists under the age of 18. The law states:

“if you are under the age of 18 you are required by law to wear a bicycle helmet when travelling on any public road”. Cyclists over 18 are encouraged to wear helmets for their own safety, but are not required to by law.

Do I have to wear a bike helmet?

When a car and a bicycle collide on the road the physical risk of injury to passengers in the motor vehicle is relatively low compared to those on bicycles. Cyclists run the risk of severe head injuries, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and multiple orthopaedic injuries when involved in a car crash.

When this type of accident takes place, the road to recovery can be a long one and may require the assistance of a personal injury lawyer to gain compensation for costs associated with traumatic injuries.

The introduction of the mandatory bike helmet law is one step in keeping Ontario’s youngest cyclists safe, but it is still the responsibility of motorists and cyclists to take further steps to prevent serious physical injuries and head injuries.

Bicycle Safety Tips from Ontario’s Injury Lawyers

It has been recognized that proper use of a bicycle helmet can reduce the chance of suffering head injury or brain injury while cycling. To protect yourself from serious injury to your head or face ensure that your helmet fits properly. This video from Livestrong.com offers helpful advice on how to choose a bike helmet.

Some additional precautions cyclists can take to prevent injury include:

  • Obey all traffic controls (signs, traffic lights, road hazard warnings)
  • Ride your bicycle near the right-hand edge of the road
  • Never carry another person on your bicycle
  • Always use hand signals when turning or stopping
  • Look out for cars when crossing streets, driveways, and parking areas
  • Give pedestrians the right-of-way
  • Keep your bicycle in good condition
  • Always be aware of other vehicles on the road
  • Make sure small children are always under supervision while riding their bikes, and that they are wearing properly fitting, approved helmets.

Unfortunately, having the helmet law in place cannot prevent accidents of this type all together. If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident while cycling, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Our Ontario injury lawyers can answer questions and offer a free no obligation consultation to accident victims.


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