Brad Pistotnik Law
Abogado El Toro

How Effective Are Motorcycle Helmets?

How Effective Are Motorcycle Helmets?

How effective are motorcycle helmets at protecting riders? Are motorcycle riders wearing their helmets when they ride around the state? There is plenty of data that shows wearing motorcycle helmets dramatically reduces the risk of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and death in a motorcycle accident. Even so, many riders choose to ride without a helmet. When an accident occurs, these riders usually take their last ride right into the cemetery.

Motorcycle Crashes in Kansas

In 2019, there were 64,682 motor vehicle accidents in Kansas. Of these, 813, or just over 1.3% involved motorcycles. From 2010 to 2019, there were a total of 10,042 motorcycle accidents in the state. These accidents caused 466 fatalities and 8,787 personal injuries. On average, motorcycles are involved in roughly 1.6% of motor vehicle accidents. Since 2016, the number of motorcycle accidents has declined by nearly 20%. Similar trends are emerging in regard to the number of fatalities, but injury rates are starting to rise again.

Motorcycle Helmet Use in Kansas

Since 2010, 11,407 motorcycle riders were involved in collisions. Of these, less than half were wearing helmets. Over the past ten years, an average of 39.9% of riders were wearing a helmet when their accident occurred. Of those wearing helmets in the collision, 149 died, while another 459 who were not wearing helmets died. Of the 8,364 personal injuries recorded, 3,484 people were wearing helmets. In all, 41.7% of these individuals were wearing helmets at the time of their crash.

As they say, it's a no brainer; wearing a helmet significantly reduces a rider's risk of serious injury or death in an accident. The data from KDOT shows that wearing a helmet is a far safer bet than riding free and dying free when an accident occurs on a Kansas road.

Scooter Riders Aren't Getting the Message

In 2019, there were 62 moped/motor scooter accidents. Since 2010, a total of 1,045 accidents were recorded in Kansas. On average, only 20.7% of riders were wearing helmets. This is far lower than those wearing helmets in motorcycle collisions. Further, of the 14 riders who died since 2010, only two were wearing helmets. The same trend appears when it comes to personal injuries. Since 2010, 875 personal injuries were recorded in motor scooter/moped accidents. Of these, only 22.3% were wearing helmets.

Again, the data shows that riding with a helmet, whether it is a motorcycle or motor scooter isn't just advisable; it's a life or death decision.

But...Kansas Helmet Law

Kansas law requires every rider under the age of 18 to wear a motorcycle helmet approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The law also requires the use of eye protection or windshields. But, just because the law doesn't require it doesn't mean motorcycle riders shouldn't take their own initiative. In fact, because of Kansas' comparative fault rules, if an accident occurs, the helmetless rider could be found considerably responsible for causing their own injuries.

Contact Brad Pistotnik Law at 1-800-241-BRAD or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400. Brad Pistotnik is a motorcycle accident lawyer in Kansas who represents individuals who suffer personal injuries and wrongful deaths in motorcycle accidents in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, and Texas. We can schedule a free consultation to discuss your claim. If you can't come to us, we will come to you. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can reach Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237.