We know that helmets save lives. If you talk to safety experts about motorcyclists and traditional cyclists, they’ll tell you that every single one should have a helmet on. They’ll tell you that it doesn’t matter what the law says — many states do not require helmets — because the evidence shows that helmets increase safety, decrease death rates and a lower brain injury rate.
With all of that in mind, some have argued that drivers and passengers inside cars should also wear helmets. Wouldn’t the same basic principle hold true? A helmet could reduce the odds of a serious injury or a fatality. There’s a reason that professional race car drivers wear helmets — but far, far more people crash in everyday traffic than in races.
The general thought seems to be simply that the car offers enough protection. You have a metal cage, and some cars — like the Jeep Wrangler — have roll bars. You have air bags coming from almost every direction. A cyclist needs a helmet because he or she has no other protection in a crash, but someone in a car has quite a bit.
That’s true to a certain degree, but the statistics still paint a fairly clear picture. People suffer serious injuries in their cars. All of those safety systems can’t protect everyone, and they never have. That’s the risk you take when you drive.
Wearing a helmet may help reduce the odds of a serious injury, but nothing can guarantee that you won’t get hurt when another driver causes an accident. Be sure you know what legal options you have to seek financial compensation.