Vanderbilt Doctors Urge Tennessee Lawmakers: Don’t Repeal Helmet Law
A group of doctors at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, are urging lawmakers in the state to stop their efforts to repeal a law that makes wearing a helmet mandatory while riding a motorcycle.
According to a report by wkrn.com, the proposed law would allow motorcycle riders over the age of 21 to legally ride without wearing a helmet.
However, doctors say that mortality rates in states that don’t have mandatory helmet laws are higher than states where helmets are required. The chief of trauma at Vanderbilt Medical Center also stated that while medical science has advanced to the point where many injuries from the neck down are treatable, the brain still requires more research and that can affect the ability to treat injuries to that part of the body.
The proposed legislation come up several times in recent years in Tennessee’s General Assembly. An article by chattanoogan.com states that the Centers for Disease Control estimate that Tennessee’s current helmet law saves 46 lives per year and $94 million in medical costs.
Debunking Helmet Myths
Unlike cars which are equipped with airbags and seat belts, motorcycles don’t offer any protection to riders. That’s why protective gear like helmets, boots, riding jackets, and gloves are so important. But of this gear, nothing is as vital to a rider’s safety and well-being as a helmet.
However, several myths have sprung up about the use of helmets, and some people may even believe that they can be harmful. Some of the most pervasive myths include:
- Myth: Helmets don’t reduce injuries or death.
Full-face helmets that are certified and manufactured by leading brands are very effective at protecting the head, skull, and brain during accidents. Motorcycle riders who wear helmets are far less likely to suffer severe head and neck injuries during accidents than riders who don’t wear helmets.
- Myth: Helmets impair vision and hearing.
Some riders choose not to wear helmets because they fear it will impair their ability to see the road and hear other vehicles. However, federal standards require that motorcycle helmets provide riders with at least 210 degree of vision, which is in line with the maximum amount of peripheral vision of the human eye. In addition, while helmets can reduce the volume of nearby sounds, they don’t prevent riders from hearing and recognizing engines noises of vehicles nearby.
- Myth: Helmets laws infringe on personal rights.
Helmet laws don’t infringe on personal rights any more than laws requiring drivers to use their headlights and turn signals or obey the rules of the road at stop signs and traffic lights. Wearing a helmet is minimally intrusive to motorcycle riders, but the benefits can literally mean the difference between life and death in the event of an accident.
At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville car and motorcycle accident lawyers know that motorcycle helmets save lives and protect riders from suffering brain injuries that can result in permanent dysfunction, paralysis, and even death. That’s why it’s so important for all riders to wear helmets, even if they’re just riding short distances.
Unfortunately, we also know that riding on a motorcycle or in a car can still lead to serious injuries in the event of an accident even when all safety guidelines are followed. If you or someone you love was injured in a car or on a motorcycle due to another person’s negligence, contact our law firm today by dialing (615) 200-1111 or filling out a free online form. We’ll do everything we can to help you get the compensation you deserve for your accident-related expenses.