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Universal helmet laws reduce brain injuries in motorcycle crashes

It is a known fact that wearing a helmet helps protect motorcyclists from suffering serious injuries if an accident were to occur. Despite this knowledge, some riders in Iowa do not wear a helmet. And when a motorcycle accident occurs, a rider or a passenger could suffer a brain injury.

A recent study researched the affects of universal motorcycle helmet laws and how they interact with traumatic brain injuries. Specifically, whether the rate of these brain injuries are lower in states that have legislation that requires that all motorcycle riders wear a helmet versus those that only require helmets for younger riders.

According to the study, researchers concluded that traumatic brain injuries among young people occur at a lower rate in states that have universal helmet laws. Currently, 19 states in the United States have universal laws. Moreover, 28 states have laws that require helmets for only younger riders and three states have no legislation regarding helmet use.

The study discovered that while passenger vehicle accidents have been decreasing in the nation, fatalities involving motorcycle riders have been increasing. While a helmet does not always prevent injuries or death, it is the most effective known method to reduce these risks.

Following a motorcycle accident, those involved should be aware of their rights and legal remedies. Motorcyclists should also seek to understand the laws in their state regarding helmet use. However, even if a motorcyclist was wearing a helmet, he or she could still be struck by a negligent driver. When this happens, the motorcyclist may need to turn to the courts for recovery of economic damages.

Source: Medscape, "Universal Motorcycle Helmet Laws Better Than Age Limits," Laird Harrison, Nov. 10, 2014

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