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Effectiveness of Motorcycle Helmets in Reducing Injury

Man with a Helmet The laws governing whether or not motorcyclists are required to wear motorcycle helmets are different from one state to the next. While some people believe that motorcycle helmets can significantly reduce the likelihood of the motorcyclist being injured in the head or face in the event that he or she is involved in an accident, others feel that the motorcycle helmet doesn’t really provide that much protection against such events. A 2016 study conducted by the Injury Epidemiology put each theory to the test by gathering data pertaining to the amount of facial and head injuries sustained by motorcyclists who wore their helmets more than those who didn’t.

Motorcycle Helmet Safety Study

The study gathered data from 11 states, 5 of which were universal law states and 6 of which were partial law states. Universal law states (like California), as it pertains to this study, refers to the states that require all motorcyclists to wear helmets, whereas partial law states were those states that only required certain groups of people to wear motorcycle helmets. After evaluating the costs of injuries to the head and face, including traumatic brain injuries, in both universal and partial law states, the study found that the costs of injuries were lower in states that required all motorcyclists to wear helmets than they were in states where only certain groups of people were required to wear helmets. However, the effectiveness of the helmets had a lower rate in the universal law states than it did in partial law states. Still, though, helmets were overall proven effective at reducing the number of injuries in both universal and partial law states, which can lead one to conclude that wearing a motorcycle helmet can help protect the motorcyclist from facial and head injuries.

Of all the motorcycle injuries reported in the study, the majority of the injuries were injuries to the extremities followed by head and neck ones as the second-most common. Most of the head and neck ones were traumatic brain injuries. Of the 32% of injuries reported in partial law states, 8% of the head and neck ones were traumatic brain injuries. Of the 18% of injuries reported in universal law states, 5% of the head and neck ones were traumatic brain injuries. Among the other most common types of injuries cause by motorcycles were spinal injuries and torso injuries, respectively.

Whether or not motorcyclists choose to wear their helmets, there is still always the possibility that they can become involved in accidents. They could lose control of their motorcycles, hit gravel that causes them to run off the road, come into a collision with another car or motorcycle and various other scenarios. Many people involved in motorcycle accidents end up suffering from traumatic brain injuries. Head trauma is a leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes and can lead to some of the most long term life-altering consequences.

Consequences of a Traumatic Brain Injury

Some of the life-altering consequences of a traumatic brain injury include impairment of certain functions, physiological damage, physical damage and even emotional damage. Perhaps one of the most common side effects of a traumatic brain injury is problems with cognitive processes. People who have experienced these types of injuries oftentimes speak slowly, think slowly and may become easily confused. Alternatively, they might be more impulsive, jumping at the first solution they surmise, believing that they are considered solutions.

Still, other people might also suffer from mood and behavioral changes. Oftentimes, the systems in the brain that control the social-emotional lives are damaged, which can lead to the affected individual’s personality being greatly altered. For instance, some suffers might impulsively blurt out embarrassing comments, have emotional swings, be more irritable, be more uninhibited or become more withdraw from their previous social circles.

Other side effects that some people might experience include a loss of vision, changes in the senses, problems with balance, vertigo and even ringing in the ears. A small percentage of people who’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident and suffer a traumatic brain injury might even experience seizures from time to time.

There is no one typical person with a traumatic brain injury. Although some people might suffer from different impairments than others, it’s clear that the consequences of sustaining such an injury are definitely life-altering and can greatly affect not only the affected individual, but his or her friends and family members as well.

A Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help

Although wearing motorcycle helmets has been proven to be effective at reducing injuries on motorcycles, sometimes even wearing a helmet can’t prevent head trauma from being incurred. In the event that you or a loved one are injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another motor vehicle operator, you might be entitled to compensation. Contact a motorcycle accident attorney to have him or her evaluate your case and help you receive compensation for your injuries.

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