The NHTSA released its data regarding motorcycle helmet usage in 2016 earlier this year. After that, it released data regarding the costs and lives saved by the use of helmets. From the information provided, motorcycle helmets saved 1,772 lives during 2015 and saved more than $19 billion in comprehensive costs and more than $3 billion in economic costs. The NHTSA estimates that if all bikers wore helmets, another 740 lives would have been saved in 2015.
Over the past 16 years, helmet use fluctuated between a low of 48.3 percent in 2005 to a high of 71 percent in 2000. Last year, about 65 percent of riders wore US DOT-compliant helmets. Use of helmets, both US DOT-compliant and noncompliant helmets, was highest in states that require riders to wear helmets (94.5 percent) compared to states that do not require all riders to wear a helmet (57 percent).
Pennsylvania’s motorcycle helmet law requires all riders who are not 21 years of age to use a helmet. Riders over the age of 21 years who have two years of riding experience or who completed a motorcycle safety course are not required by law to wear a helmet. Because helmet use has been shown to reduce the risk of severe injury or death in a motorcycle crash, our Erie motorcycle accident attorneys urge all riders to protect themselves by wearing a helmet and other protective gear when riding.
Choosing the Best Helmet for You
When choosing a motorcycle helmet, you want to look for US DOT-compliant helmets. These helmets have met or exceeded the standards for safety according to the DOT. In addition, you want to consider the following factors when choosing a helmet:
- The helmet’s safety rating,
- What features do you want in a helmet (i.e. wind reduction, integrated sunshade, etc.;
- The size and weight of the helmet;
- The materials used to construct the helmet;
- Your head shape and the size of the helmet;
- What type of motorcycle your ride;
- What type of riding will you be doing when wearing the helmet; and,
- The price of the helmet.
There are several different styles you can choose from including full-face, half shell, off-road, dual sport, modular, and open face. For maximum safety benefits, a full-face helmet is your best choice.
You need to try on several helmets before you purchase your helmet to determine the best fit for your head. A motorcycle helmet should be comfortable and should not interfere with your vision or driving. You do not want the helmet to be too loose or too tight.
Look for a helmet that touches your head but does not exert pressure on your head and does not press down on your face. A good indication of a helmet that is too tight is red marks on your face or head when you remove the helmet. Other considerations include:
- Good ventilation
- Removable liners
- Communication options
- Other optional features
- Strap system
For more information, you can visit the NHTSA website.
Don’t Be a Statistic
It is your choice whether to wear a helmet if you are over 21 years old. However, we want everyone to enjoy a safe ride so you can ride tomorrow. For that reason, we urge you to consider wearing a helmet the same way you buckle up when you get into a car.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, call The Travis Law Firm toll free at (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free legal consultation with one of our Erie motorcycle accident attorneys. We don’t judge — it is our job to get you the maximum compensation for your accident claim.