A study sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has shown that riders wearing helmets are no less able to see cars in adjacent lanes. Helmets have only a minor effect on one’s lateral field of vision, which is easily compensated for by turning one’s head slightly. What’s more, the full face helmets that this myth refers to also save the eyes from the constant force and pressure of the wind, which certainly do impact vision.
Consider the following statistics:
- Helmets reduce the likelihood of a fatal accident by 35%. In other words, for every 100 un-helmeted riders killed on the road, 35 would have survived if all had worn helmets. Percent effectiveness would be significantly higher if only deaths from head injuries were considered.
- In 2007, helmets saved the lives of an estimated 1,784 motorcyclists.
- California’s mandatory helmet law, for example, reduced the cost of head injuries from motorcycle accidents from $36.6 million in 1991 to $15.9 million in 1992. That's more than half!
- An average of several studies put the hospital charges of injured non-helmeted riders at 30% higher than their helmet-wearing counterparts.
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