Tony Hawk Recall and the Importance of Helmets for Cyclists

Tony Hawk Recall and the Importance of Helmets for CyclistsFans of skateboarder Tony Hawk – or just anyone with children interested in outdoor sports like cycling or skateboarding – may have heard about a recent recall on a Tony Hawk-branded helmet. The Tony Hawk Silver Signature Series Helmet has been recalled by Edison, NJ-based manufacturer Sakar International, saying they “do not comply with the positional stability and retention system requirements of the U.S. CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) federal safety standard for bicycle helmets.”

The manufacturer did not provide any further information; however, in June 2022 Consumer Reports rated the helmet “Don’t Buy: Safety Risk,” citing incidents of the chin strap buckle breaking during routine tests. Additionally, Consumer Reports says a spokesperson from the U.S. CPSC stated that the agency had noted the helmet “did not meet multiple requirements of the regulation.” While Sakar International has not reported any injuries related to the helmets, owners should replace them with another brand as soon as possible.

Owners of the helmet would have obtained it from one of two ways:

  1. Purchased from Walmart, where the helmet is exclusively sold
  2. As a replacement from Sakar International for another recently recalled helmet they manufactured

These owners should be contacted by either Walmart or Sakar International with information on receiving a Walmart gift card as compensation for the recalled helmet. If you own this helmet and have not heard from either company, you should reach out to Sakar for further information. The silver helmets have black straps and a Tony Hawk signature printed on the side, and list Item Number AGE2515STH-SIL on the white warning label inside the helmet.

If your child is currently using the helmet, you should immediately purchase a replacement. In the meantime, Consumer Reports says to continue using the helmet until you can obtain a replacement, as your child is still more safe using it than he or she would be without any helmet at all.

Why are helmets so important?

At least 21 states have helmet laws on the books for cyclists – New Jersey is one of those states. And there’s a very important reason for this – helmets save lives, and can prevent serious head injuries when a person riding a bicycle is in an accident. New Jersey’s state helmet laws, though, only apply to children under the age 17, and while no one would argue helmets are important for children, they are also vital to the health of adults who choose to ride bicycles in traffic.

The CDC reports that nearly 1,000 people die every year in bicycle accidents in the United States, and another 130,000 are injured every year. And while adolescents, teens, and young adults have the highest emergency department visits (one-third of bicycle-related injuries fall into this age group), adults aged 55-69 actually have the highest number of deaths due to bicycle accidents. Wearing a helmet can have a significant impact on a rider’s chances of avoiding death and serious injury.

In 2018, researcher Alena Høye performed a meta-analysis of 55 studies of the effects of wearing a helmet and found that helmet use reduced head injury by 48% and serious head injury by 60%; she also found that the positive effects of wearing helmets is no different between adults and children.

What should I look for in a helmet?

While wearing any helmet is better than none at all, for the best protection you need to be sure you’re using the right helmet for your sport and that it fits properly. According to Rush University Health System, a helmet fits correctly when it:

  • Fits comfortably but not snug
  • Sits evenly on your head (not tilted back or pulled too low over your forehead)
  • Doesn’t move in any direction, up or down or side to side
  • Has a secure buckle that keeps it firmly in place in the event of a crash
  • Is easy to adjust and fits properly without a lot of adjustments

An additional consideration for toddlers and young children is that the buckle holds firmly but releases after five seconds of steady pull “to avoid potential strangulation.” Be sure to replace a child’s helmet every few years as the child grows, and change the removable fitting pads inside as needed over the helmet’s lifetime. A helmet also needs replacing after a crash or any hard impact, or after five years of use for a teen or adult.

What should I do if I’m injured in a New Jersey bike crash?

Bicycle accidents happen regularly, and while helmets and other safety precautions can reduce the severity of injuries, a person can still be significantly affected by a bicycle crash. A victim of a bicycle accident may have medical expenses or lost work time due to injury and, especially if the crash was a hit and run, worry about how they will be able to pay back their debts.

Victims of bicycle accidents that happened due to another’s negligence are protected under New Jersey personal injury laws, and an experienced personal injury lawyer is vital to pursuing financial compensation. Because bicycles are considered vehicles while on the road, riders must follow all traffic laws and a victim will need to prove the other party was at fault for their injuries.

These laws and cases can quickly become complicated, and an experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer will be able to review the facts of the accident and navigate the applicable laws in order to arrive at the best possible outcome for your case. Call the attorneys at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP at 732-777-0100, or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our team today. We operate offices in Edison, Red Bank, and Toms River to better serve our clients.