Over the years many studies have concluded that wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle will greatly reduce the risk of head injuries. One study showed that wearing a helmet reduced the risk of head injuries by 69 percent and deaths by nearly 42 percent. Not to mention the 5,290 motorcyclists that died in 2008, many of which were not wearing helmets. Still, in some states, people refuse to wear helmets while riding their motorcycles.
The motorcycle helmet was developed by a neurosurgeon in the 1930’s who, while performing a study on motorcycle dispatch riders, found that many military dispatch riders unnecessarily lost their life due to severe head injuries. This would lead to the crash helmets being used by the military and civilians alike.
There are many different types of motorcycle helmets, which all serve the same functions, to reduce head injuries. These motorcycle helmets all come with a chin strap to assure the helmet is securely fastened and maintains a snug fit. The following is a list of popular types of motorcycle helmets starting with the most protective to the least protective:
- Full Face (Covers entire head)
- Motocross / Off-Road
- Modular (flip-up, a hybrid between full face and open face)
- Open Face (3/4 helmet, covers the ears, back of the head, and cheeks)
- Half Helmet
- Novelty Helmets (Not legal motorcycle helmets, yet common)
Although wearing a motorcycle helmet has been proven to greatly reduce head injuries, people continue to bypass this and ride without a helmet. If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. At Perkins Law Firm we offer Free Case Reviews, get started now by filling out the form on this page.
Helmet Safety Design
Motorcycle helmets are designed with the primary goal of protecting the riders head during an impact, to reduce head injury and to save the riders life. Most helmet safety designs use plastics, fiberglass reinforced with Kevlar or carbon fiber. They are typically lined with foam and fabric interiors that offer both comfort and protection.
The inner layer of a motorcycle helmet is lined with Expanded Polystyrene foam (EPS) and an outer shell that protects the foam. This EPS is specifically designed to cushion an impact and protect against head injuries. The outer shell of the helmet is intended to prevent penetration of the helmet and to provide structure for the soft and permeable inner liner. Many helmets will also include additional features, which typically do not protect the head against injuries, there features include:
- Face shields
- Ear protection
More studies show that motorcyclists who wear a white helmet rather than black have a 24% lower risk of being involved in a motorcycle accident. This is primarily due to the color white being more visible than black. It can also be argued that the type and color of clothing can also contribute to these numbers.
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Motorcycle Head Injuries
Many people have the common misperception that a motorcycle helmets purpose is to protect the riders head from splitting open. However, in most cases skull fractures are typically non-life threatening. A motorcycle helmets primary purpose is to protect the rider from brain injuries. Brain injuries cause an average of 52,000 deaths per year as a result from automobile accidents and every 20 seconds someone in the United States is suffering from a brain injury.
Of course, another function is to protect against skull and face injuries, but these remain the secondary concerns. The most common form of head injury to motorcyclists is a closed head injury in which the skull is not broken; instead the brain is thrown into the skull as a result of a sudden impact. Some common head injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents include:
- Skull fractures
- Basilar skull fractures
- Facial bone fractures
- Cerebral contusions
- Frontal lobe contusions
- Brain stem contusions
- Acute subdural hematomas
- Epidural hematomas
- Severe facial lacerations
The ideal helmet is designed with a firm liner to decelerate the heads impact rather than causing it to come to an abrupt stop. The main goal is to prevent brain injuries from occurring at all.
Motorcycle Helmet Standards
In June 1967, the United States Secretary of Transportation issued a safety standard calling for the mandatory use of helmets and eye protection by all motorcyclists. At the time 47 states enacted the legislation mandating the use of the helmet. Since then, the United States has defined its own set of standards to determine the effectiveness of wearing a motorcycle helmet during an accident. The primary standard in the United States for certified motorcycle helmets is set by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Additional standards for motorcycle helmets include:
- Auto-Cycle Union (ACU)
- British Standards Institute (BSI)
- Snell Memorial Foundation (Snell)
Standards for motorcycle helmets are set by using impact speeds between 9-16 miles per hour; however the average speed of motorcyclists is 45 miles per hour. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, our personal injury lawyers at Perkins Law Firm can help. Complete the form on this page for more information, its free.
Contact Our Connecticut Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Our Connecticut personal injury lawyers possess years of experience and are standing by ready to help you receive the compensation you deserve as a result from being injured in a motorcycle accident. Our personal injury attorneys will perform their own, supplemental investigation and fact-finding discovery opposed to simply relying on the accident report. Every detail we record could be the difference between a claim going in your favor or not.
Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers offers a 100% free consultation to explain your rights, and provide the most accurate guidance in your time of need. We will advise you on the first legal steps you can take with your injury lawsuit. We also work on a contingency basis, meaning we do not charge for our services unless we recover for you.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident contact our lawyers at 1-800-PERKINS (outside of Connecticut, call 203-397-1283,) or fill out the “Free Case Review” from on this page to learn more – Its 100% FREE