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Motorcycle Helmet Laws

For many motorcycle riders, the use of helmets is seen as a restriction that has been debated by both state governments and the federal government. Riding motorcycles can be extremely dangerous for riders and other drivers on the roadways. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), serious and fatal crashes are all too common.

The reason motorcycle accidents can be deadly is mainly because they lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle. There is no surface that prevents riders from stopping their projection upon impacts. During maneuvers, motorcycles are far less stable compared to regular vehicles. 

The NHTSA estimates that the use of a motorcycle helmet reduces the possibility of a motorcycle accident fatality by 37%. A rider is also three times more likely to experience a brain injury by not wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle. A number of states have adopted motorcycle helmet laws in response to a high number of motorcycle deaths. Yet, there is still no federal law that requires riders to wear a helmet. 

State Laws for Motorcycle Helmets

Forty-seven states, along with Washington D.C., Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, have drafted helmet laws for motorcyclists. Of the 47 states and other locations mentioned, 19 have created universal motorcycle helmet laws that require riders to wear a helmet. The remaining 28 states require certain riders to wear helmets.

There are only three states that have no motorcycle helmet laws. Those states include: 

  • Illinois
  • Iowa 
  • New Hampshire 

By 1967, the federal government pushed for universal motorcycle helmet laws, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. The federal government used these laws as leverage for states looking to be eligible for highway safety funds. Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire have yet to comply since 1975. Since 1976, the helmet laws have gradually weakened after congress revoked the federal government’s authority to enforce penalties on states that did not follow the motorcycle helmet laws. 

The 19 states that have universal motorcycle helmet laws include: 

  • Alabama 
  • California 
  • Georgia 
  • New Jersey 
  • Mississippi
  • Louisiana 
  • North Carolina 
  • Virginia 
  • Tennessee 
  • Missouri 
  • Nebraska 
  • West Virginia 
  • Maryland 
  • Nevada 
  • Washington 
  • Oregon 
  • New York 
  • Vermont 
  • Massachusetts 

Motorcycle Safety 

When motorcycle riders use an antilock braking system (ABS), it not only reduces their risk of injury but also the risk of motorcycle accidents. ABS prevents both wheels of a motorcycle from locking up, which can lead to painful falls. Aside from an antilock braking system, though, the best source of motorcycle safety is from a helmet. Motorcycle helmets are proven lifesavers, and they can also avoid certain injuries such as head trauma. 

It is also important for riders to understand the safety concerns associated with their specific type of motorcycle. Every type of motorcycle has its own perks and benefits, as well as their own pitfalls that can increase chances of injury.  

The main types of motorcycles include: 

  • Cruisers 
  • Standards 
  • Super Sports 
  • Sport bikes
  • Unclad sport
  • Sports-touring 
  • Touring 
  • Scooters 

Aside from understanding your unique equipment for safety measures, wearing a proper helmet can determine life or death following a motorcycle accident.

Schultz & Myers, LLC Are Your Motorcycle Injury Lawyers 

If you were injured during a motorcycle accident, contact Schultz & Myers, LLC. Our team serves several locations in Missouri (St. Louis, Sikeston, Union, Hannibal), Illinois, and Arkansas. 

Motorcycle accidents are just one of several types of auto accidents that can result in personal injury claims. When motorcycle helmets are not enough to protect riders from road crash injuries, it is time to consider a personal injury lawyer for legal recourse. The motorcycle accident lawyers of Schultz & Myers, LLC stand with motorcycle riders and will gladly support them as they file an injury claim.

At Schultz & Myers, LLC, we offer a risk-free guarantee program, which means you do not pay any legal fees unless we win your case.

Let Schultz & Myers, LLC handle your motorcycle accident case today by calling 314-444-4444. You can also reach us online by filling out a free case evaluation form to further explain your unique case and its circumstances.

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