No two states are created equal when it comes to motorcycle helmet laws. Currently, there are only 19 states (plus the District of Columbia) that require all motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. But there’s only four states that place no restrictions whatsoever on helmet usage: Illinois, Idaho, Colorado, and New Hampshire. And other states place restrictions based on age.
This means that taking a motorcycle road trip across multiple states can be a tricky situation. A person’s best bet is to be prepared. There are certain states that offer a list of helmets that are in compliance with their state regulations. But others have lists that are long out of date or woefully incomplete. Still other states have laws on the books that conflict with federal statutes. This can make for a confusing road trip, to say the least.
The Pros and Cons
There seem to be just as many supporters of wearing a helmet as detractors that say such mandatory rules restrict freedom. It’s a choice that all motorcycle riders will have to make, especially while piloting through those states that issue citations to anyone not wearing a helmet. Numerous riders prefer to be better safe than sorry, taking into account the heightened probability of being involved in a motorcycle crash as compared to being in an automobile accident. One motorcyclist put this way of thinking thusly: “If you value your face and the contents of your skull, put on a helmet.”
Many persons who find the state-to-state laws confusing opt to challenge the ticket they’ve been issued. If you fall into this category, then you would be wise to enlist the services of an attorney who could determine whether you have a valid argument to present. Only a qualified legal representative can properly examine the law and how it affects you.
Not Wearing a Helmet DOES NOT Preclude Accident Compensation
An attorney should also be consulted if you’ve been victimized by a motorcycle accident. Helmet or no, you could be entitled to compensation. However, it should be noted that the amount of this restitution might be lower if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. It all depends on if it’s been determined that not wearing a helmet has made you partially liable. Regardless of whether you wore a helmet, though, the negligent parties should not be released from being held accountable for contributing to your crash.
Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer today to determine if you qualify for a motorcycle accident claim or if you have questions regarding a citation you were issued. And be sure to visit the National Insurance Institute to receive detailed information on helmet usage laws from state to state.
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