Motorcycle Helmets in California: More Than the Law; Potential Lifesavers
The State of California requires all motorcycle drivers and passengers to wear helmets that meet or exceed federal safety standards while riding on a motorcycle. The California Vehicle Code Section 27803 also applies to motor-driven cycles and motorized bicycles.
The exposed nature of motorcyclists makes drivers and riders vulnerable during accidents, and while all helmets may not save all lives during a crash, the statistics show that they are preventing serious head injuries and deaths where required by law.
Motorcycle Helmet Statistics Throughout the U.S.
Motorcycle helmets are only required by all drivers and riders in 19 states, and where they are not required, states are reporting increases in motorcycle accident fatalities.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that motorcycle helmets are:
- Estimated in effectively preventing motorcycle accident fatalities by 37%
- Estimated to reduce the risk of head injury during a motorcycle accident by 69%
The Centers for Disease Control reports that:
- Helmets saved an estimated 1,859 lives last year
- 802 more lives could have been saved last year if all motorcyclists would have been required to wear helmets
- Each year, the U.S could save over $1 billion in economic costs if all motorcyclists were required to wear helmets
What Other Injuries Occur During Motorcycle Accidents in California?
Motorcycle helmets certainly decrease a rider or passenger’s chance of suffering from a head injury during a motorcycle accident.
However, even helmets that meet the necessary safety standards are not enough for motorcyclists to escape complete injury during an accident. Clothing and even protective riding gear are no match for the force of a vehicle colliding with a motorcycle, or the broken glass, hard metal, surrounding obstacles, and impact of landing on the ground that can cause severe injuries to a motorcyclist.
The most common injuries caused by motorcycle accidents include:
- Skin tears and removal, also called road rash
- Bruising and abrasions
- Broken bones, including facial fractures
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Neck and spine injuries
- Head injuries
- Scars and disfigurement
- Wrongful death
Helmets improve motorcycle safety in California, and the facts reflect that their use throughout the country is delivering positive results. Unfortunately, depending on the severity of the accident, motorcyclists may be seriously injured no matter what type of protective gear and equipment they are wearing. If you have been involved in such an accident, contact our Long Beach motorcycle accident attorney at Eldessouky Law in Anaheim, CA today at (714) 409-8991 to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you hold the negligent driver who caused your injuries responsible.