Do Motorcycle Helmets Really Make a Difference in a Georgia Motorcycle Accident?


January 05, 2017

There has been a recent trend to repeal or modify mandatory helmet laws for those who ride motorcycles over the course of the last decade. The justifications for this trend are varied ranging from concerns about individual autonomy and personal choice to theories that motorcycle helmets may increase the likelihood or severity of a motorcycle accident. The statistical evidence in states that have eliminated mandatory helmet laws for motorcycle riders suggests that mandatory helmet laws do save lives.

Some argue that motorcycle helmets cause more accidents by impairing visibility and hearing. While actual impairment of either of these senses would make it more likely that a rider would be involved in a motorcycle accident, there is simply no evidence that motorcycle helmets have this impact. Studies conducted all the way back in the 1970s to test this theory found that motorcycle helmets do not impair a rider's vision or hearing. Since this impairment of perception is the key argument behind the notion that mandatory helmet laws make motorcycle collisions more likely, there would appear to be no basis for this conclusion.

Advocates of repealing mandatory motorcycle helmet laws also argue that wearing a helmet can increase the risk of catastrophic injuries in the form of spinal cord damage. The position that motorcycle helmets can cause cervical neck and back injuries is based on a 1984 study. While the studies' conclusions were defensible at the time, helmets are substantially lighter than when the study was conducted. A more current study conducted by John Hopkins found that those who wear motorcycle helmets are 22 percent less likely to suffer a spinal cord injury.

There is also an overwhelming body of evidence that motorcycle helmets reduce the likelihood of head injuries and fatalities. Approximately 41 percent of those killed in motorcycle accidents are not wearing a helmet at the time of the collision. Helmets are estimated to be 37 percent effective in preventing motorcycle accident fatalities. The results of a Crash Outcome Data Evaluation System study also found that motorcycle helmets were 67 percent effective in preventing traumatic brain injuries and that the risk of suffering a brain injury was 400 percent higher when not wearing a helmet.

Source: https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.dot.gov/files/810887.pdf

Put Our Law Firm's Over 32 Years of Legal Experience to Work For Your Accident Claim!

Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, assists victims of Georgia motorcycle accidents in the Southeast recover compensation for their injuries and losses. This may include monetary compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, punitive damages if the at-fault driver's conduct rose to the level of gross negligence and more. We strive to achieve the most favorable outcome possible for our clients under the law. 

Our law firm has over 32 years of experience in representing motorcycle accident victims across Georgia and in the Southeast. Contact us to schedule your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law

17 Executive Park Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 1 (404) 529-6333
Toll Free:   1 (800) LAW-NEED
Hours: Open Today · Open 24 hours

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.