It is an undisputed fact that wearing a helmet decreases your changes from suffering a serious head injury during a motorcycle accident. However, Iowa is one of only three states in the nation that does not have any motorcycle helmet laws or requirements. Because of this fact, a number of motorcycles are killed, seriously injured, or permanently disabled from head injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents.
Today in Iowa, more people are dying and suffering serious head injuries on motorcycles than any time in the last 25 years. According to the Daily Iowan, there were 61 motorcycle fatalities across the state in 2007 - with only eight of the over 60 riders wearing helmets at the time of the crash. However, while some believe that an Iowa helmet law could save lives, others believe that wearing protective headgear is a personal choice that should be left up to the rider.
Why have motorcycle fatalities been rising in recent years? Driver safety experts believe that high gas prices have more people choosing smaller lighter vehicles. At the same time, baby boomers in their 50s and 60s with empty nests are also returning to the motorcycles that they road in their youth.
Unfortunately, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are common with both helmeted and non-helmeted motorcycle drivers, although helmeted riders often suffer less serious and less expensive injuries. The reason for the high number of head injuries in motorcycle riders is simple: there is nothing stopping a motorcycle rider from being ejected from his or her vehicle and there is not much protecting the rider's head and body from coming into contact with other objects. While those riding in traditional vehicles are often strapped into their seat and surrounded by a protective cage, motorcycle riders are often struck directly or are thrown against the ground.
Brain injuries are significantly different than other kinds of traffic accident injuries. The most severe traumatic brain injuries result in death, but even somewhat mild head injuries can have long-term consequences and cause chronic problems. TBIs can lead to sensory issues, motor problems, permanent personality changes, behavioral problems, limited mobility, cognitive issues, paralysis, and coma. In many cases, those who have suffered brain damage need ongoing medical care and assisted living environments. In other cases, brain injury victims cannot return to their former line of work and have difficultly supporting themselves and their families.
Whether or not a motorcycle rider was wearing a helmet has nothing to do with who was at fault for the motorcycle accident. If you or a loved one have been involved in a serious Iowa motorcycle accident that was caused by another person's negligence or carelessness, you could be owed monetary compensation for the injuries incurred in the crash. To learn more, talk to a knowledgeable Iowa motorcycle accident injury lawyer today.