If you regularly ride a bicycle or a motorcycle in Las Vegas, it is important to understand a basic breakdown of how a helmet works and how it protects against serious head traumas. Motorcyclists are required to wear a helmet when they are riding a motorcycle in Las Vegas and throughout the state of Nevada. However, bicyclists and moped riders do not have to wear helmets under the law. Yet just because a helmet is not required does not mean that you should assume it is safe to ride with one. To be sure, helmets can drastically reduce the rate of injury in the event of a collision with an automobile or another motor vehicle.
Motorcyclists and bicyclists are particularly susceptible to serious injuries in car crashes given that the body does not have the protection of the doors and exterior body of a car or truck. Being struck by a motor vehicle can be devastating, as mentioned here. If you were injured while riding a motorcycle or a bicycle, a Las Vegas personal injury lawyer may be able to help. In the meantime, it is important to learn more about helmets and how they can help to prevent or lessen the risk of traumatic brain injury (TBI), as well as how to stay safe while cycling in Las Vegas through the following link: https://www.ladahlaw.com/faqs/how-to-stay-safe-while-cycling-vegas.
How Does a Helmet Work, and How Can it Prevent Brain Injuries?
How does a motorcycle helmet work for riders in Las Vegas? According to a fact sheet from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), helmets are “the most important protective gear you can wear while riding a motorcycle.” The MSF emphasizes that not all helmets are designed alike, and “different helmets do different things.” Motorcycle helmets generally have the following four components:
- Outer shell: the outer shell usually is constructed with some type of fiber-reinforced composite or thermoplastic (such as polycarbonate), and it is “intended to compress when it hits anything hard.” This disperses the force of the impact.
- Impact-absorbing liner: this part of the helmet is just within the shell, and is usually made of a material like Styrofoam. It “cushions and absorbs shock” when an accident occurs,
- Comfort padding: this layer of the helmet is made of soft foam and cloth, and it is the part of the helmet that fits snugly to the rider’s head.
- Retention system: this element is often known as a chin strap, and it serves to keep the helmet on your head when a collision occurs. As such, it is extremely important for the chin strap to be securely fastened.
Bicycle helmets have similar components, according to an article in Popular Mechanics. Typically, as the article explains, a bike helmet has a polycarbonate shell that sits over Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam, which is “the same material found in product packaging, coolers and many other products.” When a helmet takes an impact, the polycarbonate shell is designed so that it will crack and disperse energy. Once the helmet cracks, it is no longer safe to use.
Getting the Facts About Helmet Use in Vegas
How do helmets prevent head injuries in Las Vegas, as well as motorcycle and bicycle accident fatalities? We have compiled data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Health Research Funding to provide you with the following statistics about helmet use and injury prevention:
- Wearing a motorcycle helmet is the “single most effective way” to prevent fatal injuries in motorcycle and bicycle accidents;
- In 2015, helmets saved the lives of at least 1,772 riders;
- 740 additional lives could have been saved in 2015 if every motorcyclist had worn a helmet;
- $1 billion could be saved every year if all motorcyclists wore helmets;
- Motorcycle helmets reduce the risk of a rider’s death by about 37 percent;
- Motorcycle helmets reduce the risk of a rider’s nonfatal head injury by approximately 69 percent;
- Wearing a bicycle helmet can reduce the risk of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) by as much as 85 percent;
- About 62 percent of bicycle injury deaths result from severe head trauma;
- Approximately 7 percent of all brain injuries reported each year result from bicycle collisions;
- 60 percent of bicyclists who suffer fatal injuries each year are not wearing helmets; and
- Alcohol use, combined with the failure to wear a helmet, is a major cause of life-threatening and deadly brain injuries in both motorcycle and bicycle accidents.
To stay safe while cycling in Vegas, you should always wear a helmet. Even when helmets are not required for bicyclists, they can reduce the risk of a catastrophic TBI or a fatal brain injury. You should be sure to purchase a DOT-approved helmet for the best injury protection. If you do get hurt in a serious accident, you should discuss your concerns with an experienced advocate who handles accident claims and head injury cases in Las Vegas.