05 Jan Motorcycle Helmets Save Lives
“Don’t forget your helmet!”- every mother ever.
Few words were ever as critical as these growing up, learning to ride a bike, a razor scooter, or skateboard and everything in between. And now, even as an adult, if you’re a motorcyclist, there is hardly any better word of advice. Simply put, motorcycle helmets and laws that require their use to save lives.
California is one of only 19 states and the District of Columbia to require all motorcyclists and their passengers to wear a helmet. However, it is clear that this critical law, called the Universal Helmet Law, should be enacted everywhere. Such laws have proven effective in helmet use and, ultimately, in saving lives.
The purpose of universal helmet laws:
When it comes to motorcycles, there are hardly any “minor” accidents. Even a simple fender-bender could result in catastrophic injury or death. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 80 percent of crashes involving a motorcycle result in death or severe injury of the driver or passenger. Additionally, in a study of all motorcycle accidents over ten years, concluded that helmets saved more than 7,400 lives. Plus, it was found that another 6,300 perished in accidents likely because they were not wearing a helmet. Such numbers point to the clear necessity of helmets for both motorcycle drivers and passengers
In California, their helmet law intended to incentivize safety precautions among motorcyclists and passengers. A helmeted driver may still be subject to a ticket under this law if their passenger doesn’t also have a helmet securely fastened. When this law was passed in 1992, the following year saw a 37 percent decrease in the number of motorcycle-related deaths as well as motorcyclists’ risk of suffering a head injury in California.
Motorcycle Helmets save lives:
These statistics regarding motorcycle helmet laws demonstrate the value of helmets. It is overwhelmingly evident that with their increased use, more lives are spared in accidents. And these numbers are so drastic because motorcycles are the most dangerous form of motor vehicle transportation. Without the protective surrounding that’s available in passenger vehicles, motorcyclists are far more vulnerable to a devastating injury. In 2017, 5,172 motorcyclists were killed, and an additional 88,000 were injured in 2015. (These are the most recent statistics available.) However, the NHTSA estimates that helmets saved the lives of 1,870 motorcyclists in 2017 and that the use of a helmet would have saved 750 more lives.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, we extend our deepest sympathy for this challenging time. And if the collision occurred at the fault of another or was made worse by a mishap in helmet design, please do not hesitate to seek legal help. We at The Law Offices of William D. Shapiro are here to address your legal concerns with compassion and legal expertise. Call on us today for advocacy in this extraordinarily difficult time.