Rhode Island has motorcycle helmet laws that protect young or novice motorcyclists. The state’s helmet law requires that those 21 and under wear helmets while riding a motorcycle. However older motorists are not required to wear one. Also, all operators must wear helmets during the first year if having their license, regardless of their age. Neighboring Massachusetts has a Universal Helmet Law making it mandatory for all motorcyclists to wear a helmet. Advocates of helmet laws argue that those laws save lives, reduce the risk of injury in the case of a Rhode Island motorcycle accident.
How Would Required Motorcycle Helmets Help Motorists?
A mandatory helmet law is not much different than a law requiring everyone to wear seatbelts. Studies have repeatedly shown that seatbelts and helmets save lives. According to the Office of Highway Safety Planning, riders without helmets are 40% more likely to suffer fatal head injuries in a Rhode Island motorcycle accident than those with helmets, and are 15% more likely to incur nonfatal head injuries.
Also, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that helmets reduce the likelihood of death by 37% and those not wearing helmets are three times more likely than helmeted riders to suffer traumatic brain injuries in the event of a Rhode Island motorcycle accident. When a Rhode Island motorcycle accident occurs, it is very likely that the rider will incur serious injuries that could be long-term, disabling and extremely expensive.
Are All Motorcycle Helmets Safe?
Regardless of whether the Universal Helmet Law is passed in Rhode Island or not, we would encourage all motorcyclists and their passengers to wear a safe, certified helmet while riding. Here are just a few tips that may help you choose the right, safe helmet:
- Choose a helmet certified with recognized safety standards and regulations. Novelty headwear offers no real protection to the head and especially the brain.
- A helmet should fit snugly. It should be comfortably firm while strapped, but without causing pain or discomfort. The helmet should cover your entire head and face.
- Replace a helmet that has been dropped or damaged in a crash. Never purchase a used helmet.
- Select a helmet with a high-quality face shield. It is important to be able to see clearly when riding, as many dangers can be found on the roadways.
Contact a RI Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, contact one of our experienced Rhode Island motorcycle lawyers of d’Oliveira and Associates at one of our locations in Rhode Island. You may be entitled to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering, among other losses. No fees are received unless you win your case. For a free (no obligation) case evaluation, call us at 1-800-992-6878. You may also fill out our contact form online.