MOTORCYCLE HELMET LAWS AND EFFECTIVENESS IN TENNESSEE
Motorcycle accidents are a topic of grave concern for residents of Tennessee, as well as the rest of the country. Helmet laws have been enacted in numerous states to protect motorcyclists from serious injuries, but these laws are far from consistent across the country. The Governors Highway Safety Association cites Tennessee as one of the few states with a universal helmet law, meaning that every biker must wear a motorcycle helmet regardless of age or experience.
Just how effective are helmets in protecting bikers during a crash? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that motorcycle helmets reduce a biker's chances of dying in a crash by 29 percent. Those who don't wear helmets are 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatal brain injury, which is the top cause of death for motorcyclists in crashes.
Even so, helmets are not a guarantee that a biker will avoid all injuries in a collision. In 2013, 137 motorcyclists lost their lives in crashes in Tennessee. Out of these, 126 had been wearing helmets, while 11 were not. Helmets provide a great deal of protection against head and neck injuries, but some crashes are simply too catastrophic. Other types of injuries that a helmet cannot protect against may be fatal, such as abdominal and pelvic injuries, lacerations and spinal fractures.
The NHTSA reports that over 80 percent of all motorcycle accidents in the country cause injuries or fatalities. Many crashes involve negligent drivers who may be held responsible for a motorcyclist's injuries.