How Much Does a Helmet Improve Survival in a Gainesville Motorcycle Crash?
Bill Allen | October 17, 2022 | Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle drivers are much more vulnerable in a crash than other drivers because they lack the metal protective shell of a car or truck. But many operators choose to wear protective gear, such as leathers and a helmet, when driving or riding as a passenger.
Although motorcycle drivers account for a disproportionate number of highway accident fatalities — 28 times higher than car or truck drivers — they can mitigate their risk of a deadly accident by wearing a helmet.
In fact, the CDC indicates that wearing a helmet is the single most effective way to reduce your chances of a catastrophic injury or death in a motorcycle crash. So, just how effective are motorcycle helmets?
The Effectiveness of Motorcycle Helmets
There’s plenty of research and anecdotal evidence that shows motorcycle helmets save lives. While riders or passengers may still suffer a head injury with a helmet, the injury will likely be less severe than without, and the rider will have a higher chance of survival from the crash.
States with universal helmet laws also have lower motorcyclist death rates than states – like Florida – that don’t enforce helmet laws. In states with motorcycle helmet laws for all drivers and passengers, 99% of those on motorcycles are observed wearing helmets, compared to an average of 71% for states without universal helmet laws.
What Kind of Helmets Are Required By Florida Law?
Florida is one of the states without a universal helmet law. Riders and passengers under the age of 21 are required to wear a helmet that meets the safety standards set forth by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motorcycle Vehicle Safety Standard 218.
Helmets are evaluated for safety based on several criteria:
- How well it protects against impact or collision with a large object
- Stability and the ability of the helmet to remain in place on the head
- Retention system strength, the ability of the chin strap to keep the helmet in place on impact
- The overall extent of the helmet’s protection for all sides of the head
You can identify helmets meeting the DOT safety standards by their certification stickers.
While it’s important to choose a helmet that meets all the safety requirements set forth by the DOT, there are a few other considerations when selecting the right helmet:
- Get the Right Size: The helmet should sit comfortably on your head and be slightly snug
- Chin Strap Fit: The strap should fit around the ear and under the chin and keep the helmet from shifting around on the head
- Head Placement: The helmet should sit low on the forehead, just above the eyebrows, for maximum protection
A helmet may meet all the safety standards required by the Federal Motorcycle Vehicle Safety Standard 218, but if it’s the wrong size or you’re wearing it improperly, it’s not going to be very effective protection.
While half-helmets may meet certain safety standards, they won’t offer as much protection as full-face helmets. Full-coverage helmets and proper eye protection, like goggles or a visor on the helmet, offer the most comprehensive protection.
Helmets Can Save Lives But Aren’t a Guarantee of Safety in a Gainesville Motorcycle Accident
Helmets designed to meet Federal Motorcycle Vehicle Safety Standard 218 requirements can help save lives, but like any consumer product, they may be vulnerable to flaws that could make them unfit for wearing.
Flaws in a helmet can make them much more dangerous, and often the rider won’t know until they’re in a collision. If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident and you were wearing a helmet that didn’t protect you, a Gainesville motorcycle accident lawyer can help protect your rights.
Contact Our Gainesville Motorcycle Accident Law Firm in North Central Florida
If you need legal assistance, contact the Gainesville motorcycle accident lawyers at Allen Law Firm at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida: