Motorcycles are smaller, have less driver protection, and are less visible than many standard enclosed vehicles. Because of those facts, they are significantly more likely to be involved in severe — and often fatal — roadway collisions. According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study, motorcycle driver fatalities were almost 28 times more frequent than deaths for drivers of standard enclosed vehicles. Alarmingly, there were a total of 5,286 motorcyclists killed in 2016. Many of those killed might still be alive if they had worn a motorcycle helmet.
Motorcycle Helmets Save Lives
However, NHTSA researchers found that the lives of almost 2,000 motorcyclists were saved by strapping on one single object — a helmet. In the 2016 report, researchers stated that “802 more lives could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets.” According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) data, helmets are “37 percent effective in preventing motorcycle deaths. They are about 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries.”
However, not every state requires motorcyclists to wear a helmet. Only 19 states (including New York) require all drivers to use helmets, no matter the circumstances.
Many factors contribute to the higher fatality rates among motorcycle drivers. Because motorcycles typically do not have restraint systems, a driver could quickly be launched several hundred feet in the air during a collision with another vehicle. According to the NHTSA, over 8.6 million motorcyclists sustained severe injuries from being involved in a car wreck.
Often, a motorcyclist must go to the emergency room for traumatic brain injury. Some of the most common traumatic brain injuries include:
- Hematoma – A collection of blood that could occur in the brain
- Hemorrhage – Uncontrolled bleeding that could happen within or around the brain
- Concussion – An injury that occurs when the brain collides with the walls of the skull
- Edema – A buildup of pressure in the skull due to the swelling of the brain
- Skull Fracture – A break or crack in the skull due to a sudden high-energy impact
If you own and regularly operate a motorcycle, it is crucial to understand that using the proper protective gear could reduce your risk of sustaining these traumatic brain injuries in the event of an accident.
Contact a New York Motorcycle Accident Attorney
All drivers are legally obligated to respect motorcyclists’ rights, regardless of whether they wear helmets. If you or someone you love has sustained severe injuries from a motorcycle accident due to another driver’s recklessness or negligence, you have the right to pursue legal action. At Hach & Rose, LLP, our skilled motorcycle accident lawyers will fight for you to ensure you get the fair compensation you’re entitled to.