Motorcycle Helmets: Pros and Cons
Summer is the best time of the year for motorcyclists to take their for a drive on the open road. The heat of the sun bakes all of Texas beneath blue, cloudless skies for a period of five months (May - September, though some might argue summer's grasp reaches from April to October). Rain, save for a few rare squalls here and there, is just a memory from the spring. As such, motorcyclists are now enjoying prime Texas weather conditions.
But stop a moment and think before you hop on your motorcycle and blaze down the road. Is it worth strapping on a helmet? If you pride yourself in being a safe driver, you may wonder if you actually need it. Do helmets actually prevent injuries or save lives? Find out the answers to these questions by taking a look at the pros and cons of wearing a helmet:
- It is a hassle to put on. One of the more attractive aspects of a motorcycle is the ease of access-- you can jump on your motorcycle and be driving down the road in a matter of seconds. A helmet disrupts this mindset, often requiring a minute or two to properly fit and adjust to your head.
- It is stuffy. Nobody can argue that helmets sometimes get stuffy -- something that may drive away more claustrophobic types. With the Texas heat, it also may seem more pleasing to let the wind blow through your hair while driving, and helmets negate this.
- It is less "cool". Motorcycles are often associated with ideas such as a "free, wild spirit" and "danger and risk" which many people find attractive. Helmets partially suppress these ideas, which are sometimes the sole reason people purchase motorcycles.
- You are avoiding illegal activity, if underage or unqualified. Texas has its own specific helmet laws. According to Texas Transportation Code, Title 7, all motorcycle operators under the age of 21 are required to wear a helmet. If above 21, you may choose not to wear a helmet only if you have completed a motorcycle safety course and have insurance that covers motorcycle injury.
- You are better protected from environmental hazards. Without the metal confines of a car or truck, motorcyclists are susceptible to environmental hazards, such as rocks or small pieces of debris flying off the wheels of other vehicles. Wind can also blast you in the eyes, temporarily reducing your vision. These are only a few of the many hazards on the open roads of Texas.
- You have a greater chance of preventing injury and death in an accident. Motorcycle accidents are very serious, resulting in catastrophic injury, damage, and even death. According to a study published by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Association, an estimated 1,699 lives were saved as a result of helmets. Consequently, 781 lives could have been saved if the motorcyclists had worn helmets.
In the end, the pros far outweigh the cons. You may have to make small sacrifices for your safety, but these sacrifices do not compare to the grave consequences that can result by driving without a helmet.
If you have been in an motorcycle accident, contact Colley & Colley immediately. We will bring our years of experience and wisdom to the table to help you understand your circumstances, as well as the rights and compensation you deserve. Contact an experienced East Texas lawyer today.