The enormous toll in personal injuries, medical costs and deaths associated with motorcycle accidents has seen nearly all states prompt a mandatory motorcycle helmet law.
Many motorcyclists argue that these laws infringe on personal liberty but motorcycle safety enthusiasts insist that the intrusion is justified. Because of the many myths about helmets going around, many riders don’t actually know what a motorcycle helmet can and cannot do for them. Below are some of the myths.
Myths About Wearing A Motorcycle Helmet
1. A Helmet Obstructs A Rider’s Vision So It Increases Accidents
Some riders prefer not to wear a motorcycle helmet because they believe it interferes with their peripheral vision. There is no scientific evidence that supports this claim. Peripheral vision ranges from 200-220 degrees and the law stipulates that all helmets be made to allow at least a 210 degree peripheral vision.
Most accidents occur within a rider’s 160 degree peripheral vision; any accident that occurs outside of this range is usually a rear-end impact.
2. Helmets Prevent A Rider From Hearing Approaching Vehicles
It’s true that helmets obstruct hearing up to a certain degree but not to the point where it actually contributes to collisions between cars and motorcycles. The University of California carried out a study in which it analyzed 900 investigations carried out at the site of motorcycle accidents.
Out of the 900 investigations that were studied, none of them indicated that any of the motorcycle crashes were as a result of impaired hearing caused by wearing a helmet.
A helmet reduces noises but not to the point where the rider can’t differentiate between different sounds. Some studies even show that helmets help a rider to identify different sounds because it reduces the noise of the engine and wind resistance
3. Helmets Increase The Risk Of Spinal And Neck Injuries
Many riders claim that the weight of a motorcycle helmet causes significant torque on the neck and injures the spinal cord during a motorcycle accident. However, a new study shows that helmets reduce spinal injuries by up to 22%.
The study was conducted at John Hopkins University and was led by assistant professor of surgery, Adil Haider. The professor said that the findings should prompt legislators to revisit mandatory helmet laws.
Five other studies also revealed that there were higher incidences of severe neck injuries in riders who didn’t wear a helmet. So the next time you decide to take your Harley Davidson out on a ride, ensure that you wear a helmet to protect your neck and spine.
4. Mandatory Helmet Laws Decrease Rider Fatality
While this is actually a fact, it is not a very popular one. While many riders do not comply with the law and wear fake helmets or helmets that don’t meet the DOT standards (Department Of Transportation), helmet laws still seem to reduce fatalities.
5. Any Helmet That Meets DOT Standards Is Good For The Road
This is actually a myth because the helmet has to fit snugly and fastened properly. Research shows that a motorcycle helmet lying on your garage floor is as effective in preventing an injury as the ill fitting one you wear when riding your Harley Davidson.
6. Motorcycle Helmet Laws Are A Violation Of Individual Rights
Individuals are supposed to act in a certain way when driving on the highway because highway safety laws require them to. They should yield to pedestrians, stop at stop signs and so forth. The courts have found that helmet laws do not infringe on a person’s right to privacy.
All motorists obey highway traffic laws because they know that failure to do so could put them and others at risk. Motorcycle helmet laws shouldn’t be treated any differently.
Contact A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, you can contact our experienced and skilled Cape Cod, Massachusetts and Rhode Island motorcycle accident lawyers after you seek treatment. Many injuries don’t show themselves until after a few days so it is not uncommon for motorcyclists to walk away from a serious crash feeling fine only to start feeling aches and pains a few days later.
Our lawyers can help determine if you are entitled to financial compensation as a result of someone else’s negligence. Call us today at (800)200-7752 or fill out a contact form for a free initial consultation.