For decades, anti-helmet riders and groups have claimed that motorcycle helmets do not protect the cervical spine during an accident. Some have even claimed that they may increase the risk of developing a serious cervical spine injury. Now, however, those claims seem to be unfounded. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics in Madison found that motorcycle helmets reduce the risk of spine injuries – most notably, cervical spine fractures. The study appeared in the March 2018 Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine.
To conduct the study, the researchers reviewed 1061 patients who had been injured in motorcycle crashes in Wisconsin between 2010 and 2015. One cervical spine injury was sustained by 7.4% of the helmeted riders in comparison to 15.4% of those not helmeted. This difference was statistically significant. Cervical spine fractures occurred more often when riders did not wear a helmet, compared to those who did.
In the United States, motorcycle laws vary from state to state. Some states have universal helmet laws, meaning that anyone who rides must wear a helmet. Other states have relaxed helmet laws and only require minors or riders under the age of 18 or 21 to wear a helmet. These relaxed helmet laws are still in place, despite statistics that continue to show that wearing a helmet saves lives. The NHTSA estimates that an additional 802 lives could have been saved in 2016 if all riders wore helmets.
In the state of Colorado, all riders are not required to wear a motorcycle helmet even though in 2015 motorcycle fatalities increased by ten percent. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, only riders under the age of 18 are required to wear helmets in Colorado. Those helmets must be DOT approved helmets. Eye protection, however, is required for all drivers and passengers.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, it can seem like your whole world has been turned upside down. You may be left seriously injured and fighting for your life. Healing from your injuries could take months and even years – and some, never fully recover at all. Due to the serious life-changing nature of motorcycle accidents, victims need a law firm on their side from the start. At Rector Stuzynski LLC, our Colorado Springs motorcycle accident lawyers have the knowledge and experience to tackle even the most complex motorcycle accident case.
We serve clients charged with crimes or injured anywhere throughout the state of Colorado, but we focus on residents of these areas: Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Fountain, Monument, Black Forest, Pueblo, Canon City, Larkspur, Security-Widefield, Peyton, Castle Rock, Teller County, El Paso County, Elbert County, Park County and beyond.