Do You Need to Wear a Helmet?
Let’s face it. Motorcycle helmets aren’t the most attractive accessories, but they are required by law in California. By design, motorcycles are dangerous vehicles, and there really isn’t much you can do to reduce your risk of serious injury or death when riding one other obeying traffic laws, practicing safe riding procedures, and wearing a helmet. Head injuries are common during motorcycle accidents, so any buffer you can put between your fragile skull and the harsh asphalt below your feet is worth the trouble. However, there are other benefits to wearing a helmet, some of which may also help you avoid an accident.
- Reduce the noise of the wind. Helmets are equipped with visors, and these visors help keep the wind from your face and allow you to actually see the road better. This increased visibility can help you avoid accidents, and the reduction in wind is also nice when the weather is turning chilly. If the helmet also covers the ears, it can reduce noise and therefore let you hear more of what is happening on the road.
- Keep bugs at bay. Face shields also prevent debris, such as dust and bugs, from hitting you in the face during your ride. These objects can be distracting, but they can also cause serious accidents depending on where you are hit.
Reduce glare. Although not standard on all helmets, a helmet with a glare guard or a tinted visor can reduce the effects of the sun on your visibility. Glare is often cited in many horrific motorcycle accidents.
- Give you helmet hair. This is a good thing. Keeping your hair out of your face while you ride is difficult without a helmet. Long hair can impede your vision when it whips into your face—becoming a visual obstruction that can lead to a crash.
- Help you fight the elements. Dust, rain and other elements can make an already dangerous ride on your motorcycle even more dangerous. A helmet keeps rain out of your eyes and away from your face, so your vision is better.
Today’s helmets are not the clunky spaceman-looking monstrosities of yesteryear. They’re lightweight and engineered for comfort. And some of them look rather cool too.
Regardless of your love or hate of helmets, they do provide at least some protection in the event of a crash. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Highway Loss Data Institute, helmets are 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries and 37 percent effective in preventing motorcycle deaths. So they’re not perfect, but they help some.
It’s the Law
And remember, it’s not just a smart thing to do—wearing a helmet is required for the legal operation of a motorcycle in California. Fail to do so and you could face a fine of up to $250 and a year’s probation, according to the California Highway Patrol who consider not wearing a helmet as an immediate safety hazard.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, we’re here to help. Our Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney offers a free consultation for accident victims. Schedule your no-cost case review now to go over your case details and determine the best course to move forward with your accident claim.