The Importance of Wearing Motorcycle Helmets
Motorcycles are a source of transportation for thousands of Florida residents. Unfortunately, motorcyclists are at a higher risk of injury than are other motorists who have the benefit of seat belts, airbags, and thousands of pounds of steel to protect them from the road. In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) estimates that as many as one out of every five motorcycle accidents results in a head or neck injury. However, there are steps that motorcyclists can take to help protect them in the event of an accident. For instance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published data indicating that wearing a helmet can reduce a rider’s risk of death by as much as 37 percent and the risk of sustaining a head injury by 69 percent.
The Potential Consequences of Failing to Wear a Helmet
Although motorcycle helmets are often viewed as an annoyance, there is an overwhelming amount of evidence demonstrating that states with no mandatory helmet laws have a higher rate of head injuries amongst motorcyclists. In fact, one 2012 study revealed that when Michigan repealed its helmet law, hospitals experienced a substantial increase in the number of motorcyclists who required treatment for head injuries. Tragically, as many as ten percent of the motorcyclists who failed to wear a helmet passed away from their injuries. In comparison, only three percent of those who had been wearing helmets at the time of the crash lost their lives.
Motorcyclists are especially at-risk of sustaining serious, and often permanently disabling, injuries. This is in large part due to the fact that they are relatively unprotected both from other vehicles and the road itself. For this reason, even relatively minor collisions that leave motorists completely unharmed can result in serious injuries for motorcyclists, such as:
- Mild to severe concussions;
- Compound bone fractures;
- Road rash;
- Lacerations from flying glass and debris;
- Facial fractures;
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs);
- Spinal cord damage;
- Burns; and
- Organ damage and internal bleeding.
Treating injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident can quickly drive a victim and his or her family into debt because they often require surgery, physical therapy, medication, and long hospital stays. Fortunately, injured parties who can establish that another person’s negligence caused the crash may be able to collect compensation for their losses, which could include:
- Past and future medical expenses;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of future income;
- Property damage; and
- Pain and suffering.
Failing to wear a motorcycle helmet does not necessarily meant that an injured motorcyclist will not be able to collect compensation for his or her losses. However, it can make it more difficult to establish that the injuries sustained were completely the fault of another motorist.
Contact us Today to Speak With an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, please contact Boone & Davis in Fort Lauderdale to speak with one of our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys today.