People realize that driving in cars and trucks can be dangerous; however, safety features exist to help minimize the risk. These safety features include safety glass, metal frames, seat belts and airbags. With these features those driving or riding in cars are significantly safer. While motorcycles act as transportation like cars and trucks, they lack the safety features that most of these larger vehicles have. Therefore, motorcycle accidents can result in devastating injuries for riders.
In order to minimize this risk some states, including Louisiana, have passed universal helmet laws. These laws require that all motorcycle riders wear a helmet while on the roadways. These laws help to increase the number of riders that use helmets and reduce injuries in motorcycle accidents. In 2004, before the universal helmet laws were passed in Louisiana, only 60 percent of riders wore helmets. When the universal helmet law went into effect, helmet use jumped to 99 percent.
Research has shown that helmets help to keep riders alive in motorcycle accidents. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the universal helmet law has helped to save lives in Louisiana. According to data, 53 lives were saved per 100,000 motorcyclists because of helmet use in 2010. Data in other states surrounding Louisiana that do not have universal helmet laws had fewer lives saved.
While helmets can help prevent serious injuries, they do not prevent accidents. Only careful driving on the part of the motorcyclist and other drivers on the roadways can do that. Unfortunately, negligent drivers often cause motorcycle accidents that cause serious injuries. In these cases, an attorney can help explain people's legal rights following a motorcycle accident.