Forty-seven states have laws that require at least some motorcycle riders to wear helmets when they are riding. Illinois is not one of those states. This means that many riders may choose to go without helmets. This is a dangerous choice.
If you or a loved one is involved in a motorcycle accident, not wearing a helmet could significantly increase your chances of serious injury or death. At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, P.C., we urge all motorcyclists in Chicago and throughout Illinois to wear a helmet every single time you go out on your motorcycle.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 37 percent of fatalities among motorcycle riders in crashes could be prevented if the driver of the motorcycle was wearing a helmet at the time when the crash occurred. For passengers, the number of lives saved could be even greater.
The CDC data shows that 41 percent fewer passengers would die from motorcycle accidents if they wore helmets. This means for every 100 fatal motorcycle crashes, 37 fewer drivers and 41 fewer passengers might have died if they had worn a helmet at the time of the accident.
In Illinois alone, hundreds of motorcycle riders could potentially have survived had they worn helmets when they were riding.
For example, the Illinois Department of Transportation Traffic Crash Facts revealed that 634 motorcycle riders died in crashes in the state between 2007 and 2011. During that same five-year period, a statewide study revealed that only 33 percent of riders were wearing helmets when they were involved in their fatal accident.
Since 37 percent fewer people die when helmets are worn, this data shows that at least 209 motorcycle riders could potentially have been saved in Illinois during these years if they had made the choice to wear a helmet.
In reality, those who died in wrecks likely failed to wear helmets at a disproportionally higher rate than those drivers who had helmets on at the time of the crash. This means that the number of lives saved would probably have been even higher.
When you are involved in a motorcycle accident, the force of the impact of a crash is almost certainly going to cause you to be thrown from the bike. The result is that you hit the ground hard, often hitting your head in the process.
As the Brain Injury Institute reports, auto accidents including motorcycle crashes, are a top cause of traumatic brain injury, accounting for approximately 17.3 percent of all brain injuries in the U.S.
Brain injuries can result in permanent cognitive impairment, coma and death. For those who are lucky enough to live through a serious brain injury, it is possible that lifelong care will be required as the brain injury may impede the ability of the body to function and perform basic tasks of daily living.
Brain injuries can be extremely expensive to treat. Those who suffer from permanent brain damage will have a significant decline in their quality of life. When the brain injury results in a death, the devastated family members left behind will be without the love, companionship and financial support provided by the deceased.
Motorcycle riders should do everything possible to avoid the fate of a death or serious injury caused by a motorcycle crash. Helmets can make a huge difference. The World Health Organization reports that wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of serious injury by around 70 percent.
Whether you were wearing a helmet or not, it is important to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer in order to protect your rights after an accident.
Your attorney will help you to take legal action to seek compensation for your losses. Further, if you weren’t wearing a helmet, your motorcycle accident lawyer will help to make sure that this doesn’t count against you and hurt your right to obtain full and fair compensation.
At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., we understand the challenges that motorcycle riders can face in successfully making a claim for compensation. We can help you to fight for your rights.
To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, call us today toll-free or submit our online contact form.