As personal injury lawyers in Waterloo, we see and talk to victims of motor vehicle and motorcycle accidents on a daily basis. As a motorcyclist, you no doubt know that, in Canada, you are required to wear a helmet when operating a motorcycle. This includes any passenger as well. Our mandatory helmet laws were enacted in the early 1960s and it is believed that it is why we have such an impressive record for motorcycle safety in this country.
It is well documented that half of all motorcycle deaths are due to head injuries. Even when a rider survives a crash, impact to the head can result in traumatic brain injuries and permanent disabilities. Because motorcyclists are not protected by a car’s cage like environment with seat-belts and airbags, the motorcycle rider is specifically vulnerable to death or injury in an accident. There is little protection in the way of a motorcyclist’s body and impact between another vehicle or the ground.
Today, one of the most important pieces of protective equipment is the motorcycle helmet. Although helmet laws are not always popular with motorcyclists, they are the most important means of protecting the rider against serious head injuries. Even though helmets don’t offer protection for other parts of the body, the CDC reports that helmets have been shown to significantly reduce crash-related injuries and deaths. In fact, a 2016 study found that not wearing a helmet substantially increased the risk of brain, head, and facial injuries.
Helmet technology continues to improve with each passing year. Today’s helmets provide substantially more crash protection than those of only one or two decades ago. Not only are they significantly more crash tolerant, but they now offer new accident avoidance technology such as rear-view cameras to alleviate blind spots. It is expected that helmets will offer much more display technology to give real-time information as far as speed, hazards, and GPS readings.
Canadian laws are consistent when it comes to helmet laws. In Ontario, motorcyclists are offered a bit more flexibility in choosing helmets that are in accordance with several different organizations such as the Canadian Standards Association, the Snell Memorial Foundation, the British Standards Institute, the United States Department of Transportation, or the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.
As injury lawyers in Waterloo, we have represented clients who have suffered debilitating injuries as the result of motorcycle accidents. Keep yourself protected as much as possible to safeguard your own life and that of your family. If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, call the legal professionals at EFPC & Associates to understand what your rights are after a motorcycle accident. We offer a no-cost initial consultation and are willing to answer any of your questions.