Tennessee Bicycle Helmet Laws

In Tennessee, if you are under the age of 16 and riding a bicycle, you are required by law to wear a helmet. While this is the state law, many cities and towns have additional bicycle helmet laws that extend this age. In some municipalities, everyone regardless of age is required by law to wear a helmet.

The reason for these state and local laws is based on safety. According to the CDC, 800 bicyclists were killed in 2010 and over 500,000 others needed emergency room care after accidents. Half of those injured were under the age of 20; and, 26,000 of these bicycle accidents caused traumatic brain injury.

Traumatic brain injury is a serious, potentially life-altering event. The Mayo Clinic lists the following conditions that could occur: coma, vegetative state, brain death, locked-in syndrome (aware of surroundings but cannot communicate), seizures, infections, nerve damage, blind spots, trouble speaking, walking or understanding others...and the lists goes on.

From a legal standpoint, cyclists who are not wearing a helmet and suffer a head injury in a bicycle accident may face difficulty receiving compensation - even if another party is at fault.

Unfortunately, a CDC survey found that only 48% of children between the ages of 5 and 14 wear bicycle helmets when riding. Riding without a helmet is against the law in Tennessee (for those under 16 years-old), and presents a grave danger to the health and well-being of children.

The solution is simple: Follow rider safety rules (LINK) and wear a helmet.

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