Motorcycle Helmets

It’s a proven fact. Motorcycles are a more dangerous mode of transportation than almost any other form of travel. In fact, studies conducted by the federal government indicate that motorcycle accidents are 37 times more likely to result in death than accidents involving vehicles. In 2008, the number of motorcycle fatalities was the highest of any year since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration started collecting statistical information.

One of the main contributors to these statistics is the lack of enclosure around the motorcyclist. This is one reason motorcycle helmets are such a vital part of any motorcyclist’s attire. The motorcycle helmet is the single most important piece of safety equipment a motorcyclist can put on to protect themselves against life threatening head injury and death.

In analyses conducted by the NHTSA, the use of motorcycle helmets decrease the likelihood of the risk of death or severe head injury by up to 37%. In fact, helmets have been shown to be highly effective in reducing the number of deaths and crash related brain injuries resulting in lifelong disability. It has been shown that riders that regularly wear helmets are three times less likely to suffer from traumatic head injuries.

Though real-world studies are lacking when it comes to the efficacy of non-DOT approved helmets, or novelty helmets, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has suggested that they do not provide the same beneficial effects as DOT approved helmets. They do, however, provide more protection than riding without a helmet.

In some cases, helmets have been implicated in causing neck injury and contribute to reduced peripheral sight and hearing, though no credible study has been conducted to prove this theory. As a matter of fact, a study conducted in 1994 seemed to prove just the opposite. The study indicated that wearing a helmet neither reduced the ability of the rider to hear horn signals nor prevented the cyclist from seeing vehicles in adjacent lanes prior to changing lanes.

Contrary to popular belief, most motorcycle enthusiasts support mandatory helmet laws. Although the preponderance of support comes from both non-motorcycle riders and motorcyclists in states that require their use, 75% of individuals polled in states that do not require helmet use also support mandatory helmet laws.

One Response

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