According to the National Trauma Databank, 62,840 cases of motorcycle collisions were reported between 2002 and 2006. According to a new study by Johns Hopkin’s University School of Medicine, motorcycle injures have increased by about 5,000 injuries per year since 1997 and motorcycle fatalities have nearly doubled. As the weather warms up, more motorcyclists will share the road and with this comes an increase in motorcycle accident-related brain and spine injuries. Chicago brain injury lawyers and spine injury lawyers recommend that everyone wear helmets at all times in order to prevent serious personal injury or death.
Trauma caused by a motorcycle collision can result in brain and spine injuries, as well as death. The newest study from Johns Hopkin’s University School of Medicine suggests that helmets dramatically reduce the risk of those injuries. Contrary to popular belief, the study also concludes that wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle can lower one’s risk for cervical spine injury. According to the study, wearing a helmet can reduce the likelihood of suffering a cervical spine injury by 22 percent and reduce the odds of death by 37 percent. This new information contradicts a popular 25 year-old study often cited by anti-helmet lobbyists that found that the weight of a helmet can cause neck injury that damages the spine. However, improvement in helmet technology has created lighter, sturdier, and overall more protective helmets.
Today only 20 states have laws that require the use of a helmet when riding a motorcycle. Some states, such as Pennsylvania, Florida, and Texas, have repealed their mandatory helmet laws. As for Illinois, although Illinois does not currently require the use of a helmet, on January 27, 2011, a new bill was introduced into the Illinois House of Representatives to require the use of helmets for those operators and passengers of motorcycles who are under the age of 27.
Our Chicago personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti strongly recommend the use of helmets regardless of your state’s law. Although helmets reduce your risk for injury, it does not completely eliminate the possibility of harm. If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle accident, the unanticipated expenses for spine or brain injury or death can be devastating. The lawyers at Levin and Perconti can help alleviate the unexpected burden.