Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) have found out that nearly 1.2 million people die each year because of road accidents. Among those countries that have low and middle-income families, these road accidents involve motorcycles. Using a motorcycle in these countries is their most affordable means of transportation. To top it all off, deaths recorded in motorcycle road accidents have been discovered that the rider was not wearing a motorcycle helmet. Thus, increasing the risks of deaths and physical injuries.
In this article, we are going to delve deeper into the importance of wearing a motorcycle helmet. Also, the surrounding arguments and issues about using motorcycle helmets. Here’s what we will cover:
Arguments against motorcycle helmet laws: Debate Against Mandatory Laws on Wearing Motorcycle Helmets
There are countless arguments surrounding the laws mandating riders to wear a motorcycle helmet. These arguments cannot only be answered with a generic yes or no. It is more than that.
The National Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has provided data saying that motorcycle helmets serve as a life-saving tool that any motorcycle rider should have to wear. According to the data given by NHTSA, wearing a motorcycle helmet gives 35% more chances of surviving a motorcycle road crash. But, why do some motorcycle riders chose not to wear a helmet? Let us evaluate.
Let us take the state of Florida as an example. In Florida, a motorcycle rider who is over the age of 21 is given the choice and will to wear or not to wear a motorcycle helmet. Moreover, if you have medical insurance of at least $10,000 that will surely cover any injuries sustained from road accidents, then a motorcycle rider does have the choice not to wear a helmet.
Another reason is that some of the motorcycle riders say that wearing a helmet blurs and obscures their eyesight and vision while riding their motorcycles. Some would also say that if they are wearing a motorcycle helmet, their hearing is also affected. If an ambulance or any emergency vehicle approaches, a motorcycle rider wearing a helmet cannot easily hear the sound of that approaching emergency vehicle. For them, not wearing a helmet improves the state of their eyesight and hearing.
According to NHTSA, a motorcycle helmet must be a little too tight when fitted in the head of a motorcycle rider. That helmet should cause a little and even pressure within the head of the motorcycle rider. But, it is for this reason that some motorcycle riders find it discomforting to wear a helmet. In addition, some riders feel the heat and suffocation of wearing a helmet. This also limits their movement in the head and neck areas. Some riders would choose not to wear a helmet on the basis of comfortability and improved head and neck movement while riding a motorcycle.
Wearing a motorcycle helmet vs. not wearing a helmet: To Wear or Not to Wear a Helmet?
Riding a motorcycle gives that sense of freedom and adrenaline. But, riding a motorcycle is no fun and games. It is more than that. The arguments surrounding the topic of wearing a helmet have been circulating for a long time now. Some riders would choose not to wear a helmet on the basis of comfortability and improved hearing and eyesight. Other motorcycle riders would say that wearing a helmet protects their heads from an inevitable road accident.
Now, the question arises: to wear or not to wear a helmet? As studies and researches have shown, it is important to wear a helmet.
Wearing a helmet decreases the severity of a rider’s head injury by 72%. Let us first understand the mechanism of our brains and skulls. A brain is enclosed with a skull that acts as a protective layer to the brain. A skull is then enclosed with the skin and the scalp that also provides extra protection around the areas of the brain. If a motorcycle rider is involved in an accident, a rider is often thrown out of the motorcycle. The head of the motorcycle rider often collides with harmful objects on the road such as the pavement or the rock.
Motorcycle riders who do not have their helmets on in their heads have lesser chances of surviving a traumatic brain injury. Thus, it is important to wear a helmet because it serves as a piece of life-saving equipment for any motorcycle rider. Helmets add another layer of protection around the head area of a rider.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has stated that laws surrounding the mandatory wearing of helmets have been effective in decreasing deaths and head injuries caused by motorcycle accidents. Research from 2010 -2015 from the University of Wisconsin in Madison has found out that motorcycle riders who do not wear helmets sustained more traumatic injuries between their heads and their spines. Thus, leading to a constant death.
Benefits of Wearing a Helmet
Clearly, the benefits of wearing a helmet outweigh its disadvantages. The benefits of wearing a helmet present severe head and brain injuries, thereby saving the lives of many motorcycle riders who wear their helmets. You can check out some of best motorcycle helmets we reviewed.
One of the benefits of wearing a helmet is that it evens the force of an impact on the head and the brain when a rider is involved in a motorcycle accident. Helmets have this soft material and a sturdy exterior that add another layer of protection to the head. The helmet sustains some force from the crash from the accident. Thereby, wearing a helmet increases a rider’s life and survival.
In addition, riders who do not wear helmets, and in some instances have been involved in a motorcycle accident, places an additional and expensive cost in medical and hospital bills. Let us take for example the state of Michigan, USA. In Michigan, there is a law mandating riders to wear helmets when riding a motorcycle. However, there have been cases of riders involved in a road accident who do not wear their helmets. This failure to wear a helmet adds to financial expenses. Unhelmeted riders stay longer in hospitals thus doubling the expenses of money spent on medical bills.
10 Reasons to Wear a Helmet
Prevents Traumatic Brain Injury
The head and the brain are the most vulnerable parts of our body. If a motorcycle accident happens, most likely, the head and the brain receive the greater impact of the accident. When wearing a helmet, there is a layer of protection to the head and the brain. The collision and the impact of the accident are less severe because the helmet will be able to absorb some of the force resulting from the accident.
If you are riding your motorcycle in the middle of the road and the rain starts to fall, your helmet will block the rain from obscuring your vision while you are driving. It is risky if the water starts to enter your eyes because it can affect your eyesight. Thus, if you wear a helmet, it improves your eyesight and clears your vision even when it is still raining.
Follows the Law and its Regulations
As helmets have been effective to prevent head injuries and save the lives of many motorcycle riders, in some states in America and in many countries around the world, there is a law mandating riders to wear their helmets. Studies and researches have backed this up from the data they have provided showing the effectiveness of wearing helmets as a piece of life-saving equipment.
Sets a Model for your Kids
If you are a parent at home and you also own a motorcycle, then wearing a helmet will likely influence your kids to emulate your action. If children see and observe how you gear yourself with a helmet before riding your motorcycle, it will also affect how they view helmets as a tool that can save someone’s life. Wearing a helmet can also be a lifestyle that your family can try to practice at home.
Protects your Face
When wearing a helmet, it guards your face against dust or wind that may obscure your vision and eyesight while driving your motorcycle. It is a disturbance if dust and wind irritate your eyes while you are driving. You may be distracted and will likely avert your eyes off the road. Thus, when you wear a helmet, it guards your face against unwanted disturbances such as dust and wind.
Lessens your Financial Expenses
It was found out that riders who have been involved in a motorcycle accident without wearing their helmets have suffered not just from head injuries but also from additional medical and hospital bills. It is most likely that a person who was involved in a road accident without their helmets on would stay longer in hospitals and have excessive medical bills they have to face.
Makes you Visible on Roads
Wearing a helmet not just adds an extra layer of protection around your head, but also it makes the other motorists on the road see you even better. When you have your helmet on, other drivers will most likely see you at a distance thereby decreasing the chances of being involved in a road accident.
Adds to your Personal Style
Nowadays, some helmets have different varieties of style and color. If you want to incorporate your helmets into your personal style, then you can choose to purchase helmets that have a sleek and creative design. Also, you can add stickers to your helmet if you want to be more unique and different in your style.
Saves you Trouble in a Road Accident
Road accidents are inevitable. As a motorcycle rider, there is no exception when it comes to road accidents. In some cases, you have been involved in a road accident with another driver, there can be some disputes and arguments that could happen. If you have been able to wear your helmet during a road accident, it will likely mitigate your case. Wearing a helmet will save you from being at fault in a road accident.
Better Maneuver your Motorcycle
Wearing a helmet saves you from the distraction of wind, dust, and bad weather conditions. In this way, you can control your motorcycle in a safer manner because you are solely focused on the road ahead of you. There are fewer distractions and your head and your eyes are kept safe from those disturbances. This will ensure your safety and lessens the risk of an accident.
Do Motorcycle Helmets Really Save Lives?
There is an ample amount of studies that have found out that wearing a motorcycle helmet saves lives. Users of motorcycles make up the total population of motorists and drivers along the roads. Wearing a helmet ensures that the head and the brain, which are the vulnerable parts of the body, can sustain and even save them from the force and impact of a motorcycle accident.
Not only in the United States that laws are regulated towards the wearing of helmets among motorcycle riders, but also there is ever-growing support for international laws that mandate a rider to wear his or her helmet. Other countries have strongly advanced the policies of wearing a helmet, thereby decreasing the percentage of lives lost in a motorcycle accident.
How many motorcycle deaths have there been without a helmet? – Lives Lost without Wearing a Helmet
Data from NHTSA has recorded that in 2019, 5, 014 lives have been lost from motorcycle riders who have not worn their helmets during the road accident. These fatalities involve traumatic head and brain injuries caused by the collision and the impact of the force sustained by the rider from the accident.
The WHO has also recorded that 1.2 million people died each year because of motorcycle accidents. Most of these lives were lost because the rider or the passenger was not wearing their life-saving equipment, which is a helmet.