Are motorcycle helmets necessary?

When it comes to riding a motorcycle, there are many things a driver must remember in order to be safe, and a helmet is one of them. Helmet laws differ depending on the state, but Pennsylvania law states that drivers who are under 21 years old must always wear a helmet. If you are over the age of 21, you need to wear a helmet until you either complete an approved motorcycle safety course or gain two years of riding experience. There are many people who believe the laws on helmets in Pennsylvania need to change to require helmets at all times.

Helmet studies

As you travel across the country, you will find that some states require all motorcycle riders to wear a helmet while others do not require protective gear for any riders. The differences exist because each state was given the right to determine helmet needs for their residents. Since then, many states have adopted helmet requirements, but the majority only mandate them for riders of a certain age or experience level. Researchers at The Neuroscience Institute have been working to spread awareness of the need to require helmets for all motorcycle riders.

Head injury

One of the biggest factors seen in helmeted riders is the reduction in head injuries. In a review of 224 patients who had been brought to the emergency room after being involved in a motorcycle crash, scientists found that the rate of head injury decreased from 42 percent to 9 percent when a helmet was worn. The length of time that riders had to stay in the hospital was affected as well, with helmeted riders only staying for an average of four days and motorcyclists without helmets doubling that number with an average of eight. Hospital costs also dropped from $61,017 to $22,359 when a helmet was worn and riders were discharged to home in 71 percent of cases.

Spinal injury

The difference in the number of spinal injuries in the patients studied was less extreme, with helmets decreasing the rate by only five percent. Outcomes proved significantly different, though, with costs increasing from $47,879 to $65,589 when riders did not wear helmets. Of those with spinal injuries, 32 percent were discharged to a rehabilitation facility and five percent were sent to nursing homes. Only 45 percent were able to go straight home from the hospital.

If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, an attorney can get you the help you need for recovery. Contact a lawyer today to get healed and back on the road as soon as possible.

Written on behalf of Friedman Schuman. Contact our firm for a consultation to discuss your legal matter.