New Hampshire is one of three states that do not require motorcyclists to wear helmets. But just because you aren’t required to wear a helmet doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. According to NHTSA 2020 statistics, 64 percent of New Hampshire motorcyclists who died from injuries sustained in a crash weren’t wearing helmets.
Although numerous factors account for the severity of injuries from a motorcycle crash–excessive speed, driving under the influence, distracted driving–not wearing a helmet can greatly amplify the risk of suffering certain devastating injuries, particularly traumatic brain injury (TBI). Here’s what you need to know.
Traumatic Brain Injury After a Motorcycle Accident
TBI is one of the most common and severe motorcycle accident injuries. TBIs occur when the head suffers a bump, blow, jolt, or penetrating wound. The incident can cause the brain to slam against the skull, trigger chemical changes in the brain, damage brain cells, and more.
People with TBI can experience one or multiple physical and mental symptoms, some of which may require long-term therapy or treatment. Such symptoms may include:
• difficulty concentrating
• decreased coordination
• uncontrolled mood swings
• slurred speech or difficulty recalling words
• long term and short-term memory difficulties
• Headaches that grow increasingly worse and won’t go away
• Weakness or numbness in body parts
• Repeated vomiting or nausea
• Loss of consciousness
Helmets Reduce the Risk of TBI
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that helmets can decrease the risk of head injury by 69 percent. A helmet is built to absorb and dissipate the impact force during a collision, reducing pressure on the skull. The foam inside the helmet acts as a cushion for your head, while the hard exterior shell allows you to slide across surfaces instead of hitting them bluntly. In short, a helmet gives your brain extra protection from energy and force exerted on it during a crash.
Helmets May Reduce the Risk of Neck/Cervical Spine Injury
Although some riders believe wearing a helmet can cause or exacerbate neck injuries during a crash, scientific research suggests otherwise. In 2018, a university of Wisconsin neurosurgeon studied the results of 1,061 motorcycle crash victims. He found that riders who didn’t wear helmets had twice as many neck/cervical injuries as those who wore them. Moreover, cervical injuries were more severe among the unhelmeted victims.
Tenn And Tenn, P.A., Personal Injury Attorneys
If you’ve suffered injuries in a motorcycle collision, whether wearing a helmet or otherwise, consult experienced New Hampshire personal injury lawyers. The skilled attorneys at Tenn And Tenn, P.A. can help determine if you have a case. We help people all over New Hampshire, from Derry to Manchester to Nashua and beyond. Call 1-888-511-1010 for your free consultation today, or get in touch with us online.