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The truth about helmets and motorcycle crashes

Many motorcycle aficionados and others in Bernalillo and other parts of the greater Albuquerque area have probably heard the maxim that helmets save lives. While that is indeed true, it is important to put that advice in to context, lest one think that not wearing a helmet somehow makes a motorcycle crash automatically the fault of the motorcyclist.

According to one set of statistics, in 2016, motorcycle helmets saved over 1,800 lives, which is certainly significant. The same report suggested that just over 800 more people would still be with us today had every rider chosen to wear a helmet. Admittedly, these numbers remind riders that wearing a motorcycle helmet is a very good idea.

However, it is important to note that while helmets greatly reduce the possibility of a head injury, they are not a guarantee that no injury will occur. Perhaps more importantly, helmets only reduce the chances of a motorcyclist dying as the result of an accident by 37 percent which, in terms of odds, is a little bit better than one in three.

The reality is that there are many motorcycle accidents that, once they happen, are almost inevitably going to lead either to the serious injury or death of the motorcyclist, so it is best to avoid such accidents altogether. For their part, drivers of other vehicles that share the road with motorcyclists can avoid causing a motorcycle wreck by maintaining a safe following distance behind a motorcycle and by driving attentively and free of distractions, particularly when at an intersection or while changing lanes.

Helmets do indeed save lives, but so do drivers who are alert for motorcycles and who respect their rights on the road. When drivers do not meet these important responsibilities, an injured motorcyclist can pursue compensation from them.

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The Jaffe Law Firm
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Albuquerque, NM 87102
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