Providence RI Motorcycle Accident Lawyer | Mandatory Helmet Laws

A trusted Providence RI motorcycle accident lawyer explains what is going on with mandatory helmet laws and why wearing a helmet is important.

It has been clear for some time now that the government is pressing every state to pass mandatory motorcycle helmet laws, and for good reason. Lately, the NHTSA added mandatory helmet use to their list of necessary safety improvements.

But some of us that have been riding for decades may be frustrated with all of this. Wasn’t there already a time when everyone had to wear a helmet?

Providence RI Motorcycle Accident Lawyer | History Of Helmet Laws

It is true, the “Highway Safety Act” required riders to wear helmets in 1966.  Less than ten years after this 47 states had obligatory helmet laws. So what has happened since then?

The Highway Safety Act of 1977 took some heat off of the states causing twenty-seven of them to repeal the mandatory helmet laws in the span of 3 years. But why wouldn’t these states consider helmet use important?

The statistics are convincing. A study in 1992 demonstrated that helmets decrease serious brain injury in motorcycle accidents by thirty-two percent, and decrease the chance of death to thirty-nine percent.

For a Providence RI motorcycle accident lawyer, those numbers are enough to convince me that helmets are necessary.

The Argument Against Helmets

USC did a study that showed younger motorcycle riders from the ages of sixteen and twenty-four are very over-represented in accidents. In fact, more than 50% of the motorcyclists in the study had under 5 months of experience on the bike in the accident, and under 3 years of general riding experience.

This is the protest of some motorcycle riders who are normally portrayed as a freedom-seeking, independent group in the mass media. The argument is; why should more experienced, older motorcyclists be required to wear a helmet as a result of the younger inexperienced riders practicing unsafe riding?

Is There A Middle Ground?

After hearing this argument many states have taken action. Even though they do not require all riders to wear helmets, 27 states practice partial helmet laws.

These laws only force younger riders and passengers to wear a helmet. They have taken a middle ground approach to this debate and will probably have complaints from both parties.

There will be safety advocates who are unhappy that mature motorcyclists are still not protected, as well as younger riders/passengers that will complain about losing their freedoms.

This debate has been going on for a while as it is an important issue of safety. There is no hope of it ending any time soon. As the states make their decisions on which helmet laws to use, any rise in motorcycle deaths will cause for an even more intense debate.

Providence RI Motorcycle Accident Lawyer | Closing Comments

While helmets play a huge role in how severe accidents can be, there are many unsafe factors to consider in these accidents. Rhode Island’s scenic roads are perfect for motorcycle riding during these warmer months, but not all drivers pay attention.

As a motorcyclists, your biggest concern is not your ability, but the caution and care other drivers may fail to exercise on the roads. Unfortunately, as a Providence RI motorcycle accident lawyer I deal with these cases often, and in many cases the motorcyclist was not at fault.

If you have been in a motorcycle accident get to safety as soon as possible, call 911, and as soon as it is safe to do so call a Providence RI motorcycle accident lawyer who can help you.

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