Department of Transportation Takes Steps to Address Unsafe Motorcycle Helmets
There are thousands of great looking motorcycle helmets for sale both in stores and online, but how do you know which is safer and which ones meet the United States Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard? The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that all motorcycle helmets legally sold in the United States comply with minimum performance standards in order to properly protect the wearer's head and brain in the event of an accident.
In recent years, several companies have been marketing and selling "novelty motorcycle helmets." These helmets are poorly constructed and do not meet DOT safety standards for crash protection. However, they are frequently sold and marketed for on-road use.
The United States Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a proposal aimed to protect motorcycle riders from helmets that may not be safe as well as aid in the enforcement of motorcycle helmet laws.
Each year, according to the NHTSA, over 4,600 motorcyclists are killed annually, and protective helmets could have saved many of these lives. Safe motorcycle helmets save the lives of thousands of riders annually. Novelty helmets are not guaranteed to provide such protection because they do not meet federal standards.
A study of motorcyclists injured in accidents and transported to emergency rooms showed that 56 percent of those wearing novelty helmets had serious injuries, compared to just 19 percent of motorcyclists who were wearing DOT certified helmets. Based on these findings, wearing a helmet that meets DOT standards can mean the difference between life and death.
The proposal will add to existing regulations, re-defining what is considered a motorcycle helmet and introducing criteria that can be used to identify helmets not complying with DOT standards. It also establishes screening criteria in an effort to help law enforcement officers identify helmets that fail to meet minimum performance requirements. The examination will also involve the thickness of the inner and outer shell as well as the liner's ability to resist impact.
The Importance of Motorcycle Helmets
A study released by the Highway Loss Data Institute revealed the importance of motorcycle helmets, a fact already widely recognized. It found that the repeal of universal motorcycle helmet laws is directly linked to an increase in motorcycle accident fatalities.
Georgia requires that all motorcyclists wear a DOT approved helmet. Those who fail to wear a helmet could face fines, as well as put themselves at serious risk. If you are a motorcyclist who has been injured in an accident, contact a licensed motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible to protect your legal rights. Your attorney will investigate whether the accident was the fault of a negligent driver or product defect as well as proceed forward in order to obtain compensation for you.
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If you have been injured because of the actions of another person or party, speaking with an attorney can help you understand your legal rights as well as the actions necessary to preserve your rights. Our compassionate motorcycle accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates represent those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast, including all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.