Helmet Laws And Motorcycle Accidents

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One of the healthiest things you can do for yourself if you own and operate a motorcycle is to always wear a helmet. And, depending on what state you live in, wearing a helmet is the law. In the US, there are currently four 100% helmet free states including: Colorado , Illinois , Iowa , and New Hampshire . More than 20 states have helmet laws with age restrictions, and the remainder with the exception of two, have mandatory helmet laws, meaning, all riders of all ages must wear a helmet. Texas and Florida have helmet laws in place, with age and insurance requirements.

Not only does not wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle present automatically put you at higher risk, if you live in a state with any kind of helmet law, it can also affect you financially and it can even affect your freedom. Fines can range anywhere from $15 up to $200 or more, and depending on the circumstances and the state you live in, you could even be arrested. Amazingly, in most states where helmets are not mandatory, helmet laws were enacted at one time or another, but they were challenged by motorcyclists' claiming that the laws were an abuse of police power or unconstitutional. In these cases, the bikers won. There are currently pending challenges to several state helmet laws.

When a motorcycle is struck or falls while being operated, the riders head usually hits the pavement and a high percentage of motorcyclists involved in these type of accidents die or are permanently disabled as a result of brain injuries.

Statistics show just how much wearing a helmet can save your life.
Head injury is the leading cause of biker injuries and fatalities; in 1998, 500 lives were saved due to helmet usage, while 307 could have been saved.
More than 40 percent of fatally injured motorcycle drivers were not wearing helmets at the time of the crash.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that motorcycle helmets reduce the likelihood of a fatality by 29% in a crash.
Hospital stays are longer for riders not wearing helmets, and the cost to taxpayers is significantly higher since many motorcyclists are uninsured.
In states where mandatory helmet laws are present, there has seemed to be a correlation between increasing helmet use and reducing head injuries and fatalities in motorcycle accidents.

If you are a motorcyclist and you get into an accident, your state's helmet law may play a large part in whether you can recover damages for any resulting head or neck injuries. If you are wearing a helmet and are in a collision that doesn't result in any head or neck damage, your responsibility is proven because you were in fact wearing a helmet. On the other end, if you were wearing a helmet and did receive head and neck damage due to a collision with a negligent driver, the helmet is an important factor in your claim. It also provides a gauge for the potential seriousness of the damages had you not worn a helmet.

Due to the potential hazards associated with owning and operating a motorcycle, it's important for motorcycle owners to know their local helmet laws, understand their legal rights, and be aware of what he/she may be entitled to in case of an accident. Motorcycle helmet laws vary from state to state, as well as insurance laws. If you have been in a motorcycle accident or are a family member of someone who was killed in a motorcycle accident, please contact a motorcycle accident lawyer or personal injury attorney right away.


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