We all know that wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle is important. If anything, it’s also the law. But do helmets actually cause accidents?
According to statistics from the the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), helmets are about 29 percent effective in preventing motorcycle crash fatalities. What this means is that on average, motorcyclists who wear helmets have a 29% better chance of crash survival than motorcyclists who do not wear helmets.
Opponents of Helmet Laws
Those who oppose helmet laws suggest that helmets might increase a rider’s risk of involvement in a car accident due to the interference helmets cause through obstructing the view of surrounding traffic. But a study took a look at if this claim was actually true, or even well-founded.
NHTSA Sponsored Study
An NHTSA sponsored study looked at 2 things: a motorcyclists’ ability to “visually detect the presence of vehicles in adjacent lanes before changing lanes,” and “to detect traffic sounds when operating at normal highway speeds.”
Results of NHTSA Sponsored Study
The results of the study showed that helmets did not interfere with a rider’s ability to see traffic due to the fact that most riders compensated for any vision loss by turning their heads more. The hearing test showed that there’s a difference in the hearing threshold when a cyclist rode at 30 and 50 mph, but that this occurred whether the ride rode with or without a helmet. Overall, the wearing of a helmet does not restrict a rider’s ability to detect nearby cars. If anything, this study also shows that, since a rider’s crash survival increases by 29% when a helmet is worn, it makes sense to always wear your helmet, as instructed by motorcycle helmet laws.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need the expert advice of motorcycle accident attorneys such as those at Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC.