Do I Have to Wear a Helmet when Cycling in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, anyone 16 and under must wear a helmet when riding a bike in public, and this includes anyone being towed by another person on a bicycle. (NJS 39:4-10.1). The helmet must be secured and fit the rider’s head properly and meet the federal standards developed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
New Jersey cyclists 17 and older have the option of wearing a helmet, but most studies regarding helmet use say that wearing a helmet can protect the rider’s head and reduce injuries by as much as 65 percent. Some cyclists refute the studies and even suggest it’s safer to ride without a helmet.
The penalty for not wearing a helmet in New Jersey for those 16 and under is a $25 ticket payable by a parent or guardian of the rider.
Liability for Accident While not Wearing a Helmet
If you get into an accident on your bicycle, the insurance company for the at-fault driver might tell you that if you suffered a head injury and weren’t wearing your helmet, you can’t collect compensation. Under New Jersey law, this is not true.
New Jersey law requires that any driver who is negligent and injures another person must pay the victim compensation for their injuries and other damages, and not wearing a helmet will not be a sufficient reason to deny the victim compensation.
New Jersey has a comparative negligence statute that divides the fault between the two parties, and each party pays their share of the damages. The driver can’t get out of paying unless the cyclist’s fault is greater than 50 percent, which rarely, if at all, happens for the sole reason of not wearing a helmet.
Contact a South Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer.
After any accident involving a serious injury, contact a South Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer such as Edith Pearce. Unlike the huge firms with dozens of attorneys and many different attorneys handling different aspects of your case, Edith Pearce is personally involved in every case that we handle. She genuinely cares about her clients and you will not be treated like just another case or file.