The most important safety item that protects a rider during a motorcycle accident is a properly fitting motorcycle helmet. Although good helmets can be expensive, motorcycle accident attorneys agree that the better the helmet, the more protection is offered.
Motorcycle accident lawyers also point out there comes a time when helmets need to be replaced to ensure they perform as expected in a crash. To make sure your helmet is effective and will prevent or reduce head injuries, lawyers encourage you to replace it when the possibility of reduced effectiveness exists.
Helmets Do Save Lives
Although many people still argue about the effectiveness of helmets and choose not to wear them, motorcycle accident attorneys know that helmets do save lives. According to research statistics, helmets are 67% effective in preventing brain injuries in motorcycle accidents and 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries.1
Based on this information, attorneys advise their clients that those who wear them are better protected from serious head injury than those who do not. Lawyers also stress that one important factor in maintaining this safety is that as a rider, you recognize when your helmet should be replaced.
When Should Helmets Be Replaced?
To ensure your motorcycle helmet is as protective as possible, it should be replaced when its effectiveness may be compromised. Based on the opinions of various experts, motorcycle accident lawyers recommend that your helmet be replaced in either of the following situations:
- It Has Sustained an Impact - Anytime you are involved in a motorcycle accident and your helmet sustains any impact damage, safety advocates and motorcycle accident attorneys recommend the helmet be replaced. When a helmet is impacted and the impact material compressed, these attorneys know that its ability to protect against future crashes is greatly reduced. Other significant impacts such as being dropped from a considerable height could also affect helmet effectiveness. Dropped helmets should be x-rayed or checked by a professional to ensure they are still protective.
- It Has Sustained Wear and Tear - Although motorcycle accident lawyers are aware that recent impact resistance studies illustrate how helmet age does not affect its impact resistance, other forms of wear and tear can. Anything that wears or degrades the glues, fabric, and interior foam linings or affect the way the helmet fits is considered wear and tear. Sweat, body oils, hair products, prolonged exposure to UV rays, and improper storage can damage these parts of the helmet, eventually affecting its fit. Attorneys point out that this type of damage can happen to both old and new helmets and those that are used frequently.
Motorcycle accident attorneys who routinely see the aftereffects of dangerous motorcycle accidents strongly recommend that you wear a high-quality helmet whenever you ride. In addition, lawyers stress the importance of good helmet care and recognizing damage that indicates the helmet should be replaced. Considering the seriousness of the injuries seen by some motorcycle accident lawyers, replacing a helmet, especially one that has already sustained an impact, is critical!
Hildebrand & Wilson, Attorneys at Law
7930 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
1Insurance Institute For Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute, Highway Safety Research & Communications: Motorcycle and ATVs, 2015