Jason Stephens | June 10, 2022 | Motorcycle Accidents
Driving a motorcycle has a lot of great benefits. Motorcycle drivers often appreciate the feel of an open road, the wind in their face, with the ability to navigate their bike from one place to another.
Motorcycles are often less expensive than cars to maintain, and drivers benefit from better gas mileage. However, despite the advantages of driving a motorcycle, there can be serious repercussions in the event of an accident.
Motorcycle Fatality and Helmet Statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that motorcyclist fatalities occur 28 times more frequently than passenger car occupant deaths in traffic crashes.
In states without helmet laws, 57% of motorcyclists killed in an accident were not wearing helmets. In comparison, states with helmet laws found that 11% of motorcyclists were killed in accidents.
In one study, the NHTSA found that motorcycle helmets are 37% effective in preventing rider deaths and 41% effective for preventing passenger deaths. Another study found that helmets can reduce the risk of head injury by 69%.
What Are the Laws Regarding Motorcycle Helmets in Texas?
Texas does not have a universal law requiring riders and passengers to wear helmets while on a motorcycle.
Motorcycle riders and passengers do not have to use a helmet if they meet specific qualifications:
- Over 21 years of age
- Have a health insurance policy that covers medical bills in the event of a motorcycle accident
- Completed an approved motorcycle safety course
Furthermore, police are not allowed to pull motorcyclists over just because they are not wearing a helmet. There must be some other reason to do so, such as speeding or otherwise unsafe driving.
Why Don’t All Motorcyclists Wear Helmets?
With the overwhelming evidence proving that wearing a helmet can prevent serious injury and even death, some people wonder why motorcyclists resist the use of helmets.
Advocates for motorcyclists who choose not to wear helmets believe that they should be allowed to decide whether they use a helmet since the only potentially impacted person is the rider. Some choose not to wear a helmet because they find it heavy or uncomfortable.
While a helmet may be uncomfortable, it can significantly protect against a brain injury in the event of an accident.
Commonly sustained injuries that motorcyclists experience in an accident include road rash, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries. While a helmet can’t protect against all injuries, the likelihood of fatality is much less for riders who choose to use a helmet.
What Are the Benefits of Wearing a Helmet?
There are a few advantages to riders who opt to wear a helmet. These include:
Protection from Traumatic Brain Injuries
Since a motorcycle rider has no protection from the ground should they experience an accident, a helmet becomes even more important for protecting against brain injuries.
Individuals who experience an impact on their skull due to an accident are more likely to sustain serious traumatic brain injuries. These injuries can shake up their quality of life, leading to lifelong rehabilitation and loss of the ability to work. In some cases, a traumatic brain injury is fatal.
Better Visibility and Protection from Outdoor Elements
A helmet can provide a motorcycle rider with more protection from the elements, such as rain, dust, wind, and debris. The helmet’s shield covers the face and protects the rider’s eyes and nose.
Anyone who has ever experienced getting debris in their eyes knows that the initial reaction is to rub them. For someone driving at high speeds on a bike, this reaction can result in a distraction and potentially an accident. The use of a helmet can provide a rider with greater visibility, reducing the risk of a wreck.
Contact Our Motorcycle Accident Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth motorcycle accident lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.
Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 406
Fort Worth, TX 76107