Did you know for every 100 motorcycle riders killed in crashes while not wearing a helmet, 37 of them could have been saved if all 100 had worn a helmet according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration?
Motorcyclists are more than 30x more likely to die in a crash than drivers of cars and 5x more likely to be injured, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Though wearing a helmet is not required for most motorcyclists, it is required for some individuals in Kentucky.
In the state of Kentucky, you must wear a helmet if:
• you are under the age of 21 years old and riding as a passenger or driving • you have a motorcycle permit and driving
• you have owned a motorcycle less than one year
Anyone under the age of 21 years old must wear a helmet while driving or operating a motorcycle or riding as a passenger on the motorcycle or in a sidecar attachment.
One out of every motorcycle crash causes a head or neck injury, according to the Kentucky State Police. Out of these injuries, head injuries are more common. When the universal helmet law was repealed in Kentucky in 1998, fatalities of motorcycle drivers and passengers increased by more than 50% according to the NHTSA. With such high statistics, we recommend every motorcyclist wear a helmet to stay safe.
Why do motorcyclists not wear helmets?
Some claim helmets limit their view to the sides and are a nuisance. It’s important to remember that a helmet could be lifesaving if an accident occurs. According to the Kentucky State Police, an approved helmet allows you to see as far to the side as needed. We recommend testing out side views of different helmets to see which one is the best fit for you.
Other motorcyclists claim they wear helmets only during lengthy trips. The Kentucky State Police reports that most crashes happen on short trips when a driver is moving less than 30 mph and within a few minutes after the driver starts the motorcycle.
There are two primary types of helmets, providing two different levels of coverage: three- quarter and full face. Use these guidelines from the Kentucky State Police to choose a helmet:
- make sure the helmet is approved meeting the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and
- see if the helmet has a Snell Memorial Foundation label (this means the helmet will give you
an added assurance of quality)
- make sure the helmet fits snug on your head
- check for cracks, loose padding, or loose straps (you want to choose a helmet that does not
How can I seek compensation from a motorcycle wreck if I was not wearing a helmet?
If you are injured in an accident and seek compensation, it is important to understand the role of wearing or not wearing a helmet will play.
While it is possible to seek compensation from a motorcycle accident, whether you were wearing or not wearing a helmet, the amount of your compensation may largely depend on if you were wearing a helmet.
Kentucky follows a “comparative negligence” rule with personal injury lawsuits. This rule means that you can be found partially responsible for your injuries due to an accident. If you did not wear a helmet when the accident occurred, you may be found comparatively negligent and limit the amount of damages you are awarded from the case.
If your accident caused head or neck injuries and you were not wearing a helmet, you must prove in court that your injuries would have occurred even if you were wearing a helmet. You may be awarded less damages if the court finds that a helmet could have prevented your injuries.
Were you injured in a motorcycle accident? It won’t cost you anything for us to evaluate your case. Contact the Bryant Law Center at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free evaluation of your case.