The debate over whether to wear a helmet on a motorcycle never ends. Some want wind-tousled hair, others desire safety. It does not matter who you talk to as everyone has an opinion about motorcycle helmets. They save lives. They do not save lives. Largely, the question boils down to what kind of helmet the biker was wearing and the nature of the accident, because honestly there will be some accidents that leave a biker dead, helmet or not. The most important thing to remember though is that there are solid statistics that show helmets do reduce the severity of brain trauma if they are the safety rated and approved ones.
This great helmet debate has been around just about as long as motorbikes have been, although some states do not have helmet laws or age based helmet laws. Michigan, for example, just passed a law that would make it illegal for bikers under the age of 21 to ride without a helmet. The ramifications of that will certainly make an impact in ERs across the state.
What is at the root of this debate? On one side are the bikers who see being forced to wear a helmet as a personal affront, treating it as their right to strike a blow against insurance companies and medical groups who both insist that repealing the helmet law would result in more fatalities. In actual fact, the number of accidents may remain the same, but the outcome of those accidents may vary according to the safety orientation of the biker.
Closer to the truth is a nugget of biker wisdom that says helmets or not, bikers are still dying and getting hurt and the only way to really not meet the Grim Reaper is to not get into an accident. That is a bit of a “duh” statement, as it is a well-known fact that if a motorcycle gets into a crash with another vehicle, the biker is not going to fare well in the outcome, helmet or not.
This is not to say that helmets do not reduce the severity of brain trauma, because they do. It just means, accidents will still happen, helmets or not. People will still die, helmets or not. However, the severity of the head injuries may be reduced, thus offering a biker a second chance. Often that is worth gold to the surviving biker.
Nationally there were more than 2,000 bikers still alive at the end of the year thanks to a helmet. On the other hand, in states where the motorcycle helmet law was repealed entirely (Texas, Arizona, Florida, Kentucky and Louisiana,), bikers deaths rose.
Will medical costs rise as a result of a repealed helmet law? Will insurance companies pay out more money as a result of more crashes involving bikers without helmets? These are interesting questions to take into consideration. Perhaps the true key to this conundrum is slowing down, taking care to avoid accidents and be alert at all times. Unfortunately, not everyone drives safely.
Have you been in a motorcycle accident and do not know what your rights are? Do not wait to find out. Get on the phone and contact a skilled Atlanta personal injury lawyer. You can ask as many questions as you like in the first consultation. It is the best thing you could possibly do for your peace of mind.
Tim Anderson writes for Atlanta Personal Injury attorney, Stephen M. Ozcomert. The firm specializes in personal injury, malpractice, motorcycle accidents, and wrongful death. To learn more about Atlanta personal injury lawyer, Stephen M. Ozcomert, visit Ozcomert.com.