While nothing beats hopping on your bike and hitting the road on a beautiful day, it’s important to understand the risks of riding a motorcycle. At Johnson and Taylor, our vehicle accident lawyers have seen firsthand the devastating effects injured victims of motorcycle crashes often suffer. Our personal injury lawyers are dedicated to promoting motorcycle safety and know that helmets save lives. Wearing a helmet is also one of the best ways to prevent or mitigate the effects of traumatic brain injury and other serious injuries to the head, face, and neck.
Motorcycle Helmet Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 5,932 motorcyclists were killed in fatal crashes in the U.S. in 2021. This is the highest number of motorcycle fatalities since reporting began in 1975. The NHTSA reports that wearing a helmet reduces the risk of dying in a motorcycle accident by 37%, and decreases the risk of head injury by 69%.
In addition, riders without helmets are three times more likely than helmeted motorcyclists to sustain traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in a crash. These statistics not only show that helmets save lives, but they also prevent serious brain injuries as well. The CDC reports that if all motorcycle riders wore helmets, the United States could save $1.5 billion in economic costs each year.
Motorcycle Helmet Law in Oregon
Under Oregon law, all riders and passengers of motorcycles, motorized scooters, mopeds, or unenclosed autocycles are required to wear helmets. Research has shown that universal helmet laws are very effective at promoting motorcycle safety. In states requiring helmets, 96% of motorcyclists observed were wearing helmets. In states without universal helmet laws, helmet use dropped to 57%, according to the NHTSA.
Not Wearing a Helmet May Affect the Outcome of an Injury Lawsuit
Putting on a helmet makes good sense when it comes to protecting yourself, but it can also have an impact on the compensation you may be entitled to receive in a personal injury lawsuit. Insurance companies may try to deny your claim or pay as little as possible if you fail to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. If you’ve been hurt, it’s critical to seek the counsel of an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer who’s well-versed in both Oregon traffic regulations and personal injury law.
What is a TBI?
Traumatic brain injury usually occurs when someone suffers a violent blow or jolt to the head or body. Objects that penetrate the skull or shattered bone can also cause TBI. Traumatic brain injuries range from mild concussions to severe injuries that result in long-term physical and psychological complications. Although some signs or symptoms of TBI may be apparent right away, others may not appear until days or weeks later.
Seek Medical Care and Contact a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer after a Crash
In some cases, TBI can be fatal. That’s why it’s critical to seek medical care immediately, even if you think you’re not seriously injured. Early detection and treatment of brain injuries can prevent more serious conditions and death. If you believe an accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s also important to have a personal injury lawyer evaluate your claim. A catastrophic injury lawyer can determine who is at fault, ensure your rights are protected, and help you pursue a personal injury lawsuit for damages.
Choosing a Motorcycle Helmet
Motorcycle helmets come in many different styles, colors, and sizes. For optimal safety, it’s best to choose a full-face helmet that meets Department of Transportation (DOT) safety standards. The most basic benchmarks of helmet motorcycle safety include:
- Collision protection — How a helmet protects riders from collisions with large objects
- Strength of the helmet’s retention system —Whether the chin strap keeps the helmet secure in the event of an impact
- Positional stability — Whether the helmet stays in place during critical moments
- Extent of protection — Whether the helmet fully covers the head
Wearing a helmet with full face protection can help you avoid road rash, damage to the teeth, and other facial injuries.
Contact a Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney in Oregon
If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, our catastrophic injury lawyers at Johnson and Taylor can help. Our firm litigates personal injury, divorce, and family law, and estate planning and probate cases. To schedule a free consultation with a vehicle accident lawyer, contact us online or call 503-990-6641. Our personal injury lawyers serve clients in Salem, Eugene, Bend, the Oregon Coast, Medford, and throughout the entire state of Oregon. Our experienced team includes Spanish-speaking attorneys and staff.