U.S. Capital

Mandatory helmet laws do make a difference in saving lives

Jun 8, 2013

Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) June 7, 2013 – Even though some bikers think helmets are a nuisance, statistically, they save lives.

“There is a new report just out that indicates if Michigan had not dumped their mandatory helmet law, 26 bikers would still be alive today,” pointed out Austin personal injury attorney Bobby Lee, of Lee, Gober and Reyna in Austin, Texas.

The research findings were presented by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Unit, and they revealed an 18 percent increase in fatal motorcycle accidents between 2011 and 2012. During that time frame, the study then separated out deaths that occurred after the helmet law was repealed. Similar risks were compared by grouping the fatalities, with one of the groups was riders not wearing helmets before their accidents. One group was those who had been riding under the influence.

“Alcohol was found to quadruple the chances of a fatal accident, which should come as no surprise. However, the other figure the researchers extrapolated was that riding without a helmet doubles the risk of death and increases the risk of serious injury by 60 percent. In further crunching the numbers, it turned out a 21 percent reduction in fatal accidents would have been possible had the helmet choice law not been passed,” explained Lee.

The choice to wear or not wear a helmet in Michigan was passed in April of 2012 and permitted any biker over the age of 21-years old to choose whether or not they wanted to don the headgear. They also have to have at least two years biking experience, be completely insured for medical care and any others riders.

In Texas, riders over 21-years of age are exempt if they show either proof of a medical insurance policy or that they successfully completed a biker training and safety course. It is reasonable to expect that the results found in Michigan would also apply in Texas, as the issues involved in biking are similar, no matter where one lives.

“I see bikers who are alive, but wish they had worn their safety gear, as they are struggling with traumatic brain injury —- something a helmet does help prevent. To be honest, depending on the circumstances of the accident, a helmet may not completely protect a rider from serious injury or death, but it may provide them with less serious injuries. Those who are ejected from their bikes tend to sustain other injuries that may kill them as well, aside from head injuries,” suggested Lee.

Laws mandating bikers wear helmets exist in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Laws that mandate only some bikers wear motorcycle helmets are applicable in 28 states and there are no helmet laws in New Hampshire, Illinois and Iowa.

To learn more, visit Austin personal injury lawyer and http://www.rwleelaw.com.

Lee, Gober and Reyna
11940 Jollyville Road, Suite 220-S
Austin, Texas 78759
Phone: 512.478.8080

  • Distracted driving statistics are chilling
    As the number of mobile devices designed for use in a moving vehicle increases, so do deaths related to their use. A recently released report showed that Americans, as a nation, talk, text and drive much more than Europeans. This is not a contest. However, it does show that texting, talking and webbing are serious issues worldwide. It’s not much to be proud of when you then look at the number of deaths caused by this behavior. As chilling as this may be, technology is nice to stay in touch, but if you’re doing that while you’re driving and it […]
  • Left turns are deadly for bikers
    It’s no secret that riding a motorcycle can be dangerous. Even safety gear cannot protect against death if there is an accident and the impact is “blunt force.” There are advantages and disadvantages about riding a motorcycle. The advantages include having a smaller vehicle, one that costs less to gas up, one that is less expensive to register, a vehicle that easy to park, the enjoyment of the wind on your face and the views you can have on a ride makes for some spectacular trips. The disadvantage to riding a bike is the kill rate when one is involved […]
  • Snow and booze do not mix
    It’s tough enough driving in snowy weather without being drunk. It’s a true miracle that the victim in this crash was able to survive with a broken arm, and not end up dead in a wreckage of twisted metal and glass. It was a cold, blustery, wintery night and a bad storm was dumping snow faster than snowplows could keep up with it. The highway was touch and go, with limited visibility, swirling snow, drifting snow and icy patches. Those traveling on the road were moving slower than the posted speed limit, because it was the smart thing to do. […]