In California, many motorcyclists are injured or even killed in accidents each year. The problem is not just limited to the state, as motorcycle crash-related injuries and deaths occur across the nation. Due to having less protection on motorcycles, riders are more likely to be injured or killed when their motorcycles are involved in collisions.
In order to combat the higher likelihood of serious injuries, motorcyclists are advised to wear helmets. While helmets do help save lives, they are not always effective in preventing fatal head injuries in motorcycle collisions.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the effectiveness of helmets in preventing fatalities is approximately 37 percent. In 2012, the agency estimated that helmets saved 1,699 motorcyclists who were involved in serious accidents. By studying fatal motorcycle crashes, NHTSA estimated that if all of the motorcyclists had worn helmets, an additional 781 people who died might have otherwise lived. In 2012, 59 percent of those killed were using helmets while 48 percent of passengers who died were wearing them. Use of Department of Transportation-approved helmets stood at only 60 percent by riders.
Motorcycle safety is imperative for motorcyclists. Too many are seriously injured or killed in accidents with other vehicles each year. While wearing a helmet will not always prevent serious injuries or fatalities, helmet use can reduce the rider's overall risk. In many cases, motorcyclists are struck by drivers who are inattentive and fail to see them. When a motorcyclist is seriously injured in an accident caused by another driver's negligence, the driver can be held civilly liable for his or her actions. Victims may be able to recover damages to compensate for the losses they incurred through the filing of a personal injury lawsuit.
Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, "Traffic Safety Facts", June 30, 2014
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