19 states and the District of Columbia have laws in place requiring all motorcyclists to wear helmets, and additional states have laws requiring certain motorcycle operators or passengers to wear helmets. Furthermore, 21 states and the District of Columbia require certain young bicyclists to wear a helmet. Overall, helmet laws are increasing across the United States.
One of the most common, and most dangerous, injuries resulting from a motorcycle or bicycle accident is traumatic brain injury. Brain injuries can range from a mild concussion to permanent paralysis, bleeding on your brain, or death, and the easiest way to avoid or minimize such injuries is to make sure to always wear a helmet, whether your state has a relevant law or not. Also, if you are riding a motorcycle or bicycle and are injured in an accident with a motor vehicle, contact a Gwinnett County accident lawyer to recover for your personal injury.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, helmet use has increased from 48% in 2005 to 67% in 2009, and motorcycle helmets saved over 1,800 lives in 2008 alone. Though they may admit that helmets reduce injury, many riders who oppose helmet laws claim that helmets increase the risk of an accident in the first place by interfering with their hearing or vision. However, the NHTSA conducted a recent study in which they had motorcyclists drive practice routes with and without helmets. Overall, the study found that neither partial helmets nor full coverage helmets have a significant effect on vision or hearing.
Georgia law requires all motorcycle riders to wear helmets, and requires helmets for bicyclists under the age of 15. However, you should not wear helmets simply because it is the law, but because wearing a helmet increases your chance of survival in a serious auto accident by 29%, and significantly reduces the risk of traumatic brain injury for survivors. Lowering your risk of death or serious injury should be enough to encourage helmet use nationwide.
If you have been injured in an auto accident, call the Law Offices of Shane Smith at (770) 487-8999 to discuss your case. An experienced auto accident attorney is waiting to help you.