Helmet use, especially full-face helmets, reduces the risk of serious head and brain injuries to the motorcyclist who is in an accident. However, do some types of helmets increase the chance of getting into motorcycle accidents?
There a multiple types of motorcycle helmets. Most motorcyclists are urged to wear full-face helmets as they fully protect the head and neck. Injuries to the head can lead to severe brain trauma including concussions, while injuries to the neck can result in paralysis. However, depending on the size of the front visor, it could hinder the rider’s vertical field of vision.
Open-face helmets generally have no visor but instead have bulky sides that may easily block the rider’s vision. Wearing no helmet while riding, though legal in Utah, is not recommended though is offers the rider a greater vertical field of vision.
Currently, full-face helmets sold in the United States must adhere to a minimum horizontal view of 105 degrees (humans normally have a horizontal field of vision of 95 degrees for each eye). However, the vertical field of vision is often overlooked. Without anything covering their eyes, humans typically have a vertical field of vision of about 60 degrees up and 75 degrees below for a total of 135 degrees.
Vertical Field of Vision and Motorcycle Accidents
One study sought to test their theory: Can helmet use cause more motorcycle accidents? The study started with a fixed motorcycle that participants rose while a giant screen in front of them played an image of a road. To simulate actual driving conditions, riders were told to keep between the white lines of the road and half were to make sure they did not exceed 55 miles per hour. Their vertical field of vision was varied from 1-52 degrees.
The results showed that once a rider’s vertical field of vision passed 40 degrees, the riders that had to check their speed were able to ride between the white lines on a near perfect basis. However, when their field of vision was below 40 degrees had trouble staying within the lines and had more trouble maintaining a speed of 55 miles per hour.
Motorcycle accidents happen even if the motorcyclist takes all the necessary precautions that come with riding. Cars and trucks can come out of nowhere and if you have a reduced field of vision, you might not notice them in time to react.
The Advocates have numerous, experienced motorcycle accident attorneys available to take your call day or night. They help their clients through the insurance claim process and are willing to go to court for you if the settlement offer is too low.