The Importance of Wearing a Helmet When Biking or Riding a Motorcycle
Riding a bike may be a great way to exercise, and riding a motorcycle may be a wonderful opportunity to get fresh air while also getting to and fro, but both have the potential to be deadly. Indeed, in a single year in Oklahoma, there were 89 motorcyclist fatalities reported, and nearly half a dozen bicycle crashes.
While the real secret in eliminating the number of bicyclist and motorcyclist deaths is to combat driver and rider negligence, another thing that could significantly help is an increase in the rate of helmet use. As the weather warms and the rate of an accident involving (motor)cyclists of all types of pickups, the importance of wearing a helmet cannot be stressed enough.
How Helmets Save Lives
Of the 89 motorcyclist fatalities that occurred in 2015 (cited above), data shows that over 69 percent of motorcyclists–62–were unhelmeted at the time of the collision. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that wearing a helmet is the single most effective way to reduce both head injuries and the risk of fatality in a motorcycle or bicycle crash, citing data that helmets have been shown to decrease the risk and severity of injuries by approximately 70 percent, and the risk of death by about 40 percent. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also reports that in 2015, had all motorcyclists been helmeted, nearly 750 more lives could have been saved.
Is Wearing a Helmet Required in Oklahoma?
The laws in Oklahoma that offer leniency regarding a helmet requirement may be, in part, to blame for the low rates of helmet use throughout the states. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that only motorcyclists ages 17 and under are required by law to wear a helmet while riding in the state; there is no such requirement for adults.
There is no statewide law regarding helmet use and bicyclists in the state, although the city of Norman does require that those under 18 wear a helmet.
Wearing a Helmet Could Save Your Life
There is no doubt about it: wearing a helmet could save your life, or significantly reduce the risk of serious brain injury if you’re struck by a car. What’s more, if you are hit, wearing a helmet could protect your right to recover the full value of your compensation amount.
At the Owens Law Office, PC, our experienced Oklahoma City personal injury attorneys are here to advocate for you. If you are involved in a crash, please do not hesitate to call us for a free consultation as soon as possible.