Importance of Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet

December 27, 2023 Posted In Motorcycle Accidents

Wearing a motorcycle helmet is more than a legal requirement; it is fundamental for preserving riders’ lives and minimizing the impact of accidents. However, the use of DOT-compliant motorcycle helmets was only 66.5 % in 2022. 

importance of wearing a motorcycle helmet

Increased Risk of Injury and Death

Motorcyclists not only face a higher likelihood of being involved in accidents compared to other motor vehicle drivers but are also at a significantly elevated risk of severe injuries or death. The statistics reveal that motorcyclists are approximately four times more likely to suffer injuries and 29 times more likely to be killed. This risk only intensifies when riding without a helmet, as these riders are reported to be three times more likely to experience a brain injury in an accident. Moreover, a study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons found that riders without helmets are at a 22 percent higher risk of suffering cervical spine injuries, which can lead to paralysis.

Motorcycle Helmet Statistics

A helmet alone will not keep motorcyclists safe, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that wearing one can reduce the risk of being killed in an accident. Those percentages are 37% for operators and nearly 41% for motorcycle passengers. Other key findings from the NHTSA include: 

  • In states that do not have universal helmet laws, 55% of the motorcyclists killed in 2021 did not have helmets. Compared to the 9% in states that enforce universal helmet laws. 
  • 1,872 motorcyclist’s lives were estimated to have been saved because of helmets in 2017. Additionally, approximately 749 lives could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets.
  • Results from the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS) found that the overall rate of DOT-compliant motorcycle helmet use in states requiring all to wear helmets was 86.1% in 2021, compared to 53.4% in other states. 

The Impact of Helmets on Accident Liability

California mandates helmet use for all motorcycle operators and passengers, and failure to adhere to this legal requirement can influence how liability is determined. In the event of an accident, if a motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet, the other party involved may argue that the motorcyclist’s failure to use protective gear contributed to the severity of their injuries. As a result, this argument could potentially impact the degree of liability assigned and, therefore, reduce a motorcyclist’s settlement or award. On the contrary, if a rider was wearing a helmet and sustained severe injuries, their commitment to safety measures may strengthen their case in asserting the liability of other parties. 

Discuss Your Case With a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

A Riverside Motorcycle Accident Attorney can be a crucial ally in navigating the complex aftermath of a motorcycle crash. They will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident scene, gather critical evidence, interview witnesses, and more to ensure you have a strong claim. They will also handle all negotiations with insurance companies on your behalf. Additionally, should the case proceed to litigation, a motorcycle accident lawyer possesses the knowledge and no experience to represent you in court. Ultimately, their role extends beyond legal proceedings, as they will serve as an advocate for your rights and well-being, offering guidance and support throughout the entire legal process.

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