Racecar drivers wear helmets. You can argue that it’s because they face high accident risks at high speeds, but the reality is that around 40,000 Americans die every year in non-race-related car accidents. It’s clear that we all face high accident risks, and most of us are not nearly as skilled as professional racecar drivers. So why don’t we all wear helmets while we drive?
It’s a question without a clear answer. There have been attempts to market them, especially for children. It’s obvious that, if a helmet protects a motorcycle rider from a head injury, the same would be true in the car. Even though the motorcycle rider is far more exposed than the driver, people still hit their heads on windows, dashboards, steering wheels and other objects inside of cars during accidents. A helmet could reduce the severity of those injuries.
The main issue is probably just that it’s an inconvenience. People don’t want to wear a helmet. It’s uncomfortable and feels impractical. Plus, cars are designed with safety systems — the steel cage, the airbags, etc — that are supposed to reduce those risks already. A helmet feels a bit redundant.
However, these arguments do not necessarily hold weight. Yes, cars have safety systems, but thousands and thousands of people still suffer catastrophic injuries or pass away in accidents. Wouldn’t another layer of protection save lives?
We’re not going to start wearing helmets in cars; that much is clear. However, the hypothetical question can help to expose the risks that you face while driving. If you suffer serious head injuries in an accident that someone else causes, make sure you know what rights you have to compensation.