Head Injuries from Motorcycle Accidents
What’s the Link Between Motorcycle Helmets and Traumatic Brain Injuries in Florida?
The Federal Government estimates that there were 4,281 motorcycle fatalities in 2009, which was more than double the figures from 1997. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it is estimated that motorcycle fatalities would be reduced by 37 percent with the use of motorcycle helmets.
So, why doesn’t Florida adopt a universal helmet law? And why wouldn’t riders want to wear something that is designed to cushion the head and protect them from the impact of a crash?
Although a motorcycle helmet cannot prevent every crash injury or head trauma, they do help to prevent brain injuries. In fact, a new study revealed that unhelmeted riders are three times more likely to suffer traumatic brain injuries than helmeted riders in South Florida motorcycle crashes and accidents throughout the US.
What You Can Do to Increase Motorcycle Safety in Florida
If you know a motorcyclist, talk to him about wearing a helmet for his own protection. Also, make sure the helmet is approved and certified by the US Department of Transportation. There are many helmets, such as novelty helmets, that motorcyclists wear; however, they are not DOT approved. Even the websites that sell novelty helmets explain that these helmets provide some protection, but are not intended to be safety equipment if involved in a Florida motorcycle accident.
There are different types of DOT approved helmets, including:
- Full face helmet
- Open face helmet
- Half coverage helmet
Although there are different types of helmets a motorcyclist can choose from, a recent study by DOT revealed that riders wearing half coverage helmets were two times more likely to suffer traumatic brain injuries than riders wearing full face and open face helmets.
It is best to get a full face helmet, which offers the most protection to a rider by protecting his face, eyes, and chin with a shield. Contrary to what many motorcyclists believe, full face helmets do not reduce hearing or make it harder for them to see. Helmets only make riding safer.