Auto Accident Lawyer Deer Park, TX
There are a number of misconceptions when it comes to wearing a motorcycle helmet. However, when faced with an accident, wearing a helmet can mitigate injuries and even save lives. Riding a motorcycle can be risky. Why not protect yourself in every way possible? In many cases, some riders make a conscious decision to forgo a motorcycle helmet. There are a variety of reasons a rider may choose to avoid wearing a motorcycle helmet. Many reasons are not worth the risk of riding without a helmet. Common myths riders common have included:
They Don’t Help
Some riders believe that wearing a helmet won’t actually make a difference when faced with a crash. Riding a motorcycle doesn’t come without a significant amount of risk. However, by wearing a helmet, you can possibly mitigate a more serious injury. In fact, the CDC reports that, wearing a helmet can prevent the risk of a brain injury by 67% and the risk of fatality by 37%.
They Make an Injury Worse
Some worry that should a rider experience an accident, a helmet can worsen neck and spinal injuries. This myth is just that, a myth. In fact, choosing a helmet approved by the Department of Transportation will actually absorb shock when faced with an accident. A rider with a helmet on is far less likely to experience the same level of injuries than someone who has chosen to ride the road unprotected.
They Impact Your Vision
A study conducted by the NHTSA found that helmets do not impact hearing nor vision. Although wearing a helmet can take some getting used to, there is very minimal negative impact to wearing one. The reality is that the benefits far exceed any reasoning to forgo a helmet when riding a motorcycle.
I’m Not Traveling Very Far
Forgoing a motorcycle helmet because you aren’t traveling a long distance may be a huge mistake. Even a minor accident without a helmet can lead to a fatality. Whether you are running to the grocery store or traveling across town, a motorcycle is a key piece of safety equipment.
Riders Who Wear Helmets are More Careless
Although this is far from true, some believe that motorcyclists may be less careful when wearing a helmet. There is no evidence that supports this widely believed myth. The reality is, even when taking every possible safety measure, there is still a possibility that someone else can drive carelessly. This ultimately can result in an accident that is beyond your control.
Have you recently been injured in a motorcycle accident? In the event you were wearing a motorcycle helmet, it’s possible that by doing so you potentially circumvented more serious or fatal injuries. If you experienced injuries from an accident, and was not wearing a helmet, you may be wondering if the compensation you are entitled to could be at stake. Your compensation may not be affected in states where motorcycle helmets aren’t required. However, this may not stop an insurance company from attempting to hold you accountable. An auto accident lawyer Deer Park, TX relies on may be able to assist you when it comes to managing your motorcycle accident claim, and negotiating with insurance companies.
Contact John K. Zaid & Associates for their insight into personal injury claims and myths about motorcycle helmets.
Texas offers motorcycle riders miles and miles of open road and beautiful countryside. However, a string of deadly Texas motorcycle accidents in July of 2011 serve as a reminder of the dangers of riding a motorcycle and the need for all riders to take precautions to ensure the safest possible ride.
According to news reports of the July accidents, many of the riders died, while one lived; however, the rider that survived suffered severe head injuries. While riding a motorcycle is still safe, if a motorcycle crash does occur, the injuries may be traumatic, ranging from road rash and broken bones to head/brain injuries and even death.
Safe Motorcycle Riding Tips
With motorcycles lacking the basic safety features that are provided by other vehicles — seatbelts, airbags, enclosed passenger compartment, etc. — it is important that motorcyclists take it upon themselves to ride as safely as possible. The Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) offers motorcycle riders the following safe-riding tips:
- Do not drink and ride
- Take a professionally-taught motorcycle safety course — they are good for both beginners and experienced riders
- Always wear protective gear such as a helmet and protective eye-wear
- Drive defensively
- Do not speed
By following the TxDPS safety tips, ensuring that motorcycles are in safe working condition and obeying traffic laws, riding can be safe and enjoyable. While many of the TxDPS safe riding tips are only suggestions, understanding the risks involved in riding motorcycles can help riders make the best and safest possible decisions for them, including whether to wear a helmet while riding.
Texas Motorcycle Helmet Law
Prior to 1997, the federal government tied funding for transportation to states implementing mandatory helmet laws. When the federal policy was reversed, Texas modified its mandatory helmet law. Now, only riders under the age of 21 are required to wear a helmet when they ride.
The choice for older riders to not wear a helmet while riding is not absolute, however. Those that choose to ride without a helmet must meet two conditions:
The rider must be at least 21-years-old; and
The rider must successfully complete a motorcycle safety course OR the rider must purchase and have proof of a health insurance policy that covers motorcycle-related injuries.
Risks of Riding Without a Helmet
For riders that meet the provisions of the law, riding without a helmet is a personal choice. But to make an informed decision to wear a helmet or not, riders should understand the risks involved.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of motorcycle deaths increased annually from 1997 to 2008, with a total of 5,290 people dying in motorcycle crashes in 2008. The CDC estimates that helmets prevent 37 percent of fatal motorcycle accident injuries, and reduce the risk of head injury by 69 percent. Further, the CDC estimates that 1,800 lives were saved in 2008 because of helmets, and another 800 lives could have been saved if the riders were wearing helmets.
The TxDPS reports that there were 323 motorcycle accident fatalities in 2003. Of those fatalities, 207 riders were not wearing a helmet. The Southern Medical Journal published a study showing that from 1997 (when Texas modified the helmet law) to 2003, there was a 15.2 percent increase in motorcycle rider fatalities. As reported by Lawyer Shop, based on statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) claims there was a 32 percent increase in motorcycle fatalities from 2004 to 2008; although it is not indicated if this is directly related to helmet use.
Making the Safe Choice
With statistics showing that there has been an uptick in motorcycle rider fatalities in Texas in recent years, it is incumbent on riders to take their safety into their own hands. The decision to wear a helmet is solely up to riders over the age of 21, but the numbers show that wearing a helmet is one of the best ways for riders to protect their safety.
Injuries from a motorcycle accident can be devastating. After an accident, it is important to speak with an experienced Texas personal injury attorney about your rights and the possibility of receiving compensation for the injuries that you suffer. An attorney can help you seek compensation for medical bills, long-term care, repair costs, pain and suffering, and lost wages.