No one would argue that motorcycle riders who wear their helmets are making an intelligent choice. Helmets do indeed save lives and may also prevent the most serious head injuries in the event of an accident.
However, it is important for people to remember that helmets do not prevent all serious injuries following motorcycle accidents. They are proven to be effective in preventing head injuries, and recent studies have also demonstrated that they actually prevent certain types of spinal cord injuries in the upper neck as well.
However, in other cases, a helmet seems neither to help nor hurt when it comes to preventing an injury to a motorcyclist's spine. Specifically, some types of neck injuries, including a contusion, or the bruising of the spinal cord in the upper neck, do not seem to be prevented by helmets. Bruising on the spinal cord can lead to paralysis and other serious and long-term symptoms.
The reason for pointing this information out is not to discourage the use of motorcycle helmets. However, it is important that motorcyclists and the public need to remember that the fact a motorcyclist chose not to wear a helmet does not make an accident that motorcyclist's fault. Really, the best way to prevent motorcycle accidents is for drivers of cars and trucks to pay careful attention to the road and be on the lookout for motorcyclists.
When drivers fail in this responsibility, motorcyclists often wind up suffering serious injuries. These victims may have the ability to recover compensation for their injuries through a personal injury lawsuit alleging negligence.