The children’s product liability lawyers at Kherkher Garcia are aware of numerous injuries related to the Woom bicycles. We are here to help parents understand the risks, and their legal rights if their child is injured by a defective product.
Woom Bicycle Recall Information
The bicycle recall includes all models of Woom Original 2018-2021 model bicycles. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the bolt and stem on Woom bicycle handlebars can come lose, causing the rider to lose control. There are 77 reports of the handlebar stem loosening or detaching. Furthermore, there are 19 reports of injuries including:
Consumers who have these bicycles should stop using them immediately and contact Woom Bikes USA for information on repairs. Parents can identify the bicycles included in this bicycle recall by the following:
- Woom Original versions 1-6
- Woom 1 Plus
- “Woom” is printed on the sides of the downtube
- “Woom” is printed in metallic on the headtube
- #woombikes appears on the chain stay and wheel size
These Woom bicycles were sold on the Woom website, on Amazon, and at select bicycle stores.
What are Some Hazards that Cause Bicycles to Lose Control
The exhilaration of cycling comes with inherent risks. Whether due to distractions, road conditions, or mechanical failures, losing control of a bicycle can have devastating consequences. Below, we explore the hazards associated with losing control while cycling and highlight the importance of safety measures to mitigate these risks.
Mechanical failure is what is causing the injuries associated with the Woom bicycles. Sadly, these injuries were likely preventable had the manufacturer more carefully tested their products before selling to consumers. Mechanical failures can be due to the manufacturer or due to improper maintenance or use.
Neglecting routine bicycle maintenance can lead to mechanical failures, such as brake malfunctions or tire blowouts. When a component unexpectedly fails during a ride, it can significantly impact the rider’s ability to control the bicycle. Regular check-ups and maintenance are crucial to minimize the risk of accidents caused by mechanical failures.
One of the leading causes of bicycle accidents is encountering road hazards that impede control. Uneven surfaces, potholes, gravel, debris, and slippery road conditions can destabilize a cyclist, leading to loss of control. When riders unexpectedly hit these obstacles, they may swerve or fall, often resulting in serious injuries or collisions with other vehicles. These risks are especially concerning if there are defects on the bicycle that could affect handling, steering, and control.
Speed and Braking
Cycling at high speeds can amplify the hazards of losing control. The faster a bicycle travels, the more difficult it becomes to handle unexpected situations. Panic braking, for instance, can cause skidding and result in loss of control. Novice cyclists or those unfamiliar with the appropriate braking techniques may find themselves in perilous situations.
In today’s technology-driven world, the temptation to use smartphones or other electronic devices while cycling can be strong. However, distracted riding can significantly impair a cyclist’s control and reaction time. Taking eyes off the road, even for a few seconds, can lead to dire consequences. It is essential to prioritize safety and avoid distractions while cycling.
Inadequate Safety Gear
Wearing appropriate safety gear is paramount to reducing the severity of injuries in the event of a bicycle accident. Helmets, gloves, knee and elbow pads, and reflective clothing all play a vital role in safeguarding cyclists. Without proper gear, a rider is more susceptible to injuries, especially in situations where control is lost.
Neglecting Traffic Rules
Cyclists are often required to share the road with motor vehicles. Ignoring traffic rules, such as running red lights, failing to yield, or not signaling turns, increases the risk of accidents. Losing control in the presence of moving vehicles can lead to catastrophic collisions, underscoring the importance of adhering to traffic regulations.
Adverse Weather Conditions
Rain, fog, snow, and other adverse weather conditions create hazardous riding conditions. Reduced visibility and slippery roads can make maintaining control more challenging, even for experienced cyclists. It is crucial to adjust cycling behavior and slow down when riding in inclement weather.
All of the risks above are even more concerning if the bicycle has defects. In the case of the Woom bicycle recall, the bolts and handlebars could be loose or come detached, which could cause loss of control even in normal circumstances. With hazards like those above, such a defect could lead to serious injuries.
Common Injuries in Bicycle Crashes
Bicycle crashes can result in a wide range of injuries, varying in severity depending on factors such as the speed of the collision, the presence of protective gear, the terrain, and the involvement of other vehicles. Children are at the greatest risk of serious injuries from bicycle crashes.
Some of the common injuries sustained in bicycle crashes include:
Head injuries are among the most severe and potentially life-threatening consequences of bicycle crashes. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can occur when the head impacts the ground, a vehicle, or another object. Wearing a helmet significantly reduces the risk of head injuries.
Cyclists often suffer fractures in crashes, particularly to the arms, wrists, collarbones, and legs. The force of impact and the cyclist’s instinctive reaction to protect themselves with their arms can lead to these injuries.
When a cyclist falls or is thrown from their bicycle, they may skid across the road surface, causing abrasions commonly known as road rash. Road rash injuries can vary from minor scrapes to more severe, deep wounds that require medical attention.
Cuts and Lacerations
Broken glass or sharp objects on the road can cause cuts and lacerations to the skin. Additionally, accidents involving other vehicles may result in cuts due to contact with the vehicle’s surfaces or debris.
Sprains and Strains
Sudden impact or awkward falls can lead to sprains or strains in various parts of the body, such as the ankles, wrists, knees, or back.
In more severe crashes, internal injuries can occur, including damage to organs, internal bleeding, or injuries to the chest or abdomen.
A crash can cause facial injuries, including damage to the teeth and jaw if a cyclist sustains an impact to the face.
Even with a helmet, a cyclist involved in a crash may still suffer a concussion—a mild traumatic brain injury—due to the force of impact or sudden deceleration.
High-energy collisions can result in joint dislocations, commonly seen in the shoulders, fingers, and hips.
Being involved in a bicycle crash can have lasting psychological effects, including anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and a fear of cycling again.
How Can Bicyclists Prevent Crashes and Injuries?
Prevention is essential to reducing the occurrence and severity of bicycle crash injuries. Consumers cannot control the circumstances that lead to defects like the Woom bicycles. However, there are some general ways that parents can reduce the risk of crashes or serious injuries.
Here are some tips on how to prevent crashes and injuries:
- Wear a helmet. This is the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself in a bicycle crash. Helmets can reduce the risk of head injury by up to 85%.
- Obey traffic laws. This includes riding on the right side of the road, stopping at stop signs, and yielding to pedestrians.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to other vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists. Be especially aware of blind spots and cars that are turning.
- Ride defensively. Be prepared for the unexpected and avoid riding in dangerous situations. This includes riding in the gutter, riding too close to parked cars, and riding at night without lights.
- Use hand signals. Let other road users know what you are going to do by using hand signals to indicate your turns and stops.
- Be visible. Wear bright clothing and reflective gear, especially when riding at night. You can also add lights to your bike to make yourself more visible.
- Maintain your bike. Make sure your bike is in good working order and that the brakes are working properly.
- Take a cycling safety course. This can help you learn the rules of the road and how to ride safely.
By following these tips, you can help to keep yourself and/or your children safe while riding a bicycle. Of course, even the most conscientious parent cannot prevent defects like those in the Woom bicycle recall. When such incidents occur, it is important for parents to explore their rights and options for holding the manufacturer accountable.
Learn More about Children’s Product Liability
If your child is injured due to a defective product, a children’s product liability lawyer can help you understand your rights and options. Manufacturers have a duty to design, manufacture, and sell products that are safe for consumers. If a product has hazards, they must also disclose them.
In the case of the Woom bicycle recall, tens of thousands of bicycles were sold to unsuspecting families. Families have the right to explore their options for pursuing justice and compensation for injuries their child suffers. The children’s product liability lawyers at Kherkher Garcia can help.
Learn more about product liability laws and your rights by contacting us for a free consultation. Call us at 713-333-1030 to get started.
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