Charlotte Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Recommend Full Protective Gear on the Open Road
The freedom of the open road and the feeling of sun and wind are some of the many attractions that motivate bikers to tirelessly work toward the removal of motorcycle helmet laws. However, in May 2013, the North Carolina General Assembly rejected a proposal that would replace the state’s universal helmet laws with ones that would require helmets only for younger or less experienced riders.
Having seen too many cases of severe injuries to motorcyclists, our motorcycle accident lawyers applaud rejection of the most recent proposal, and we encourage bikers to take advantage of a full range of optional safety measures.
Statistics Show that Helmets Make a Difference
In October 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published the following statistics pertaining to helmet use and head and facial injuries:
- Only 12 percent of bikers experienced head injuries, less than the 20 percent of bikers without helmets.
- Only 13 percent of motorcyclists sustained face injuries, compared with the 22 percent of un-helmeted bikers.
- Among all bikers who sustained head injuries, those suffered by un-helmeted individuals were more severe than those who wore helmets.
Helmets Do Not Protect Against Other Types of Injuries
Bikers are among the least-protected motorists on the road, and the NHTSA statistics show that helmet use does not protect against other common types of injuries, such as those to the extremities or spine. Our Charlotte motorcycle accident lawyers strongly recommend that motorcycle drivers and passengers wear full protective gear. The North Carolina Motorcyclists’ Handbook recommends the following:
- Jacket and pants should fit snuggly and completely cover the arms and legs. While leather provides the most protection, the Handbook suggests that synthetic materials can be effective as well.
- Boots or shoes should be sturdy and high enough to protect the ankles. The Handbook recommends hard, slip-resistant soles and short heels, with laces, tucked in to prevent them from catching on motorcycle parts.
- Gloves provide hand protection and allow a better grip. The Handbook suggests choosing gloves made of leather or another similar durable material.
It is important to note, however, that even federal motor vehicle safety standards for helmets may not go far enough to protect the faces of riders from severe injury. Do not expect motorcycle windshields to provide the protection offered by full-face shields. Contrary to popular belief, well-fitting maintained and designed shields allow full visibility and do not fog.
Our Lawyers Want Bikers to Remain Safe
Bikers who want to feel the wind in their hair are likely to think differently from a hospital room after a motorcycle accident. By carefully selecting high-quality protective gear, bikers can continue to experience the freedom of the open road for many years to come.
Still, even bikers who follow the rules of the road and protect themselves properly cannot always avoid injuries. In these cases, it is essential to retain experienced legal advice before filing a claim. Call us at 800-948-0577, or use our convenient online contact form to learn the next steps.