A motorcycle helmet is essential apparel that motorcycle riders must wear for their safety. Under Maryland universal helmet law, motorcyclists must wear a headcover when riding the two-wheeled drive. In addition, the approved helmet must have a neck or chin strap, and the rider must fasten it when riding.
However, several motorcycle riders fail to wear a helmet when riding, leaving them open to several injuries when an accident occurs. This article looks at the dangers of not wearing a motorcycle helmet when on the road. However, if you wear one and still get into an accident, you can get legal help if the crash is not your fault.
In such an instance, you should speak with a Maryland motorcycle accident lawyer. At Pinder Plotkin, LLC, we have the best attorneys available every day to listen to you. So contact us immediately after a motorcycle crash.
Do Motorcycle Helmets Protect Riders?
According to the United States Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle accidents claimed 5,014 lives in 2019. Below are some key findings:
- In 2019, motorcycle accident deaths accounted for 14 percent of traffic fatalities.
- The number of motorcyclist fatalities in 2019 decreased from 2018. It went from 5,038 to 5,014.
- An estimated 84,000 motorcyclists were injured in 2019, a 2-percent increase from 82,000 motorcyclists injured in 2018.
- Per vehicle miles traveled in 2019, motorcyclist fatalities occurred nearly 29 times more frequently than passenger car occupant fatalities in traffic crashes.
- Thirty percent of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes in 2019 were riding without valid motorcycle licenses.
- In states without universal helmet laws, 57% of motorcyclists killed in 2019 were not wearing helmets, as compared to 9 percent in states with universal helmet laws.
The data above shows the importance of helmets. Motorcycle helmets protect riders in the following ways:
- The outer shell is sturdy but designed to compress when it strikes a hard surface. As a result, it lessens the force before it reaches the rider’s head.
- The liner is impact-absorbing, and it serves to cushion and absorb force when a rider hits an object.
- The soft foam and cloth layer padding close to the rider’s head makes it snug and comfortable at the impact time.
- The chin strap or retention system keeps the helmet on the rider’s head. The strap is connected to each side of the shell.
What Dangers Do You Face When You Fail to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet?
Motorcycle riders and their passengers must always wear a helmet. Aside from reducing the risk of dying, helmets prevent various types of head injuries. One common injury prevented by safety headgear is a traumatic brain injury.
According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a blow, bump or jolt to the head, the head suddenly and violently hitting an object or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue. When an accident happens, especially in auto-motorcycle collisions, the impact always ejects the motorcyclist from the bike.
When this happens, the body has no cover and would certainly land on the roadway. It’s not uncommon for the head to hit the ground with force in such an instance. Aside from a TBI injury, a motorcyclist who fails to wear a helmet increases their risk of a cervical spine injury (CSI). This is because helmets are effective in preventing a fracture of the cervical vertebrae (neck).
Furthermore, when riders fail to use motorcycle helmets, they suffer facial fractures, dental injuries (loss of teeth). Motorcyclists are also in danger of ear and eye damage, disfigurement, and scarring. In conclusion, helmets work in keeping motorcycle riders and passengers safe and are a better option than going without one.
What Type of Helmet Should You Wear?
The NHTSA recommends wearing a helmet with a valid U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) label. The label means the helmet meets the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. It is also known as the FMVSS 218 standard. Novelty helmets without this label may not meet the same standard and will not provide adequate protection in a crash.
Let Pinder Plotkin, LLC, Help You!
A motorcycle helmet only protects the head, meaning you can sustain injuries to other body parts. Maryland law allows you to get compensation if this happens, and our Maryland motorcycle accident attorneys at Pinder Plotkin, LLC, are here to help. We have combined years of experience and legal expertise and have helped several clients win claims. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.