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Article: Motorcycle Helmets: Are YOU Required To Wear One?

Motorcycle accidents kill 2,000 people each year and cause over 50,000 accidents. Not surprisingly, head injuries are the number one cause of serious injury and death. Some riders wear helmets, others do not. It’s no secret that wearing a helmet when riding is generally safer than not wearing one and your insurance is likely to be less if you do. But, must YOU wear one? Here’s a quick look at state law requirements:

These states do not require the use of a helmet at all:
CO, IL, IA and NH.

These states require the use of a helmet by all riders:
AL,CA,DC,GA,LA,MD,MA,MI,MS,MO,NE,NV,NJ,NY,NC,OR,TN,VT,VA,WA and WV.

These states require the use of a helmet for those under the age of 18 (or the age of majority of the state):
AK,AZ,CT,DE,HI,ID,IN,KS,ME,MN,MT,NM,CD,OH,OK,SD,UT,WI and WY.

These states require the use of a helmet for those 18-21 years old only:
AR, FL, KY, PA, RI, SC and TX.

These states only require reflectors (stickers):
DE, HI, MD, NJ, NM, ND, NY, SC and VT.

How effective is helmet use?

The answer: it depends upon whom you ask. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle helmets reduce the likelihood of crash fatality by 37 percent. Opponents of helmet use claim that neck injuries are greater when wearing a helmet and that vision may be restricted. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with a helmet law, the fact remains that riders are over 30 times more likely to be in an accident than those riding in a car or truck.

Who pays when you’re in an accident?

The answer to that question will be based upon the circumstances of the accident. If you have insurance, chances are your insurer will pay. If the other party was at fault, there may be a possibility to bring a lawsuit against that person for the injuries you sustained. Click here for more information regarding the impact of helmet use on a personal injury claim in a state that has no helmet law.

Motorcycle accidents may sound uncomplicated, but knowing your rights and what you might be entitled to should be left to a qualified attorney whose practice focuses in this area.

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