Motorcycle Helmet Usage – Safety and Law

June 26, 2021 by No Comments

Motorcycle helmet usage is the only time tested and proven way to provide protection to us as riders or out loved ones that are drawn to the sport. Originally, in the 1960’s, the United States Federal Government took it upon themselves to impose helmet laws. These early laws referenced all fifty states and were backed by the demand to follow in order for the individual states to qualify for highway funds. However, within ten years of the passing of the federal statutes, a number of states banded together to urge congress to repeal the authority of the Federal Department of Transportation to enact and enforce such laws. Subsequently, it became, as constitutionally appropriate, the states’ responsibility and authority to oversee the creation and enforcement of helmet laws separately.

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As of January 2011, only three states still have no motorcycle helmet laws in place, These three states, Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire, also refrain from imposing helmet usage while operating a scooter which is a vehicle defined by a smaller engine having a capacity greater than 50cc. The other forty-seven states have helmet laws that differ in content from each other but cover all or some of the riders of motorcycles and scooters bestofchinsaw. Twenty states have full motorcycle helmet laws and twenty-seven states have laws that reference a portion of the whole rider population, typically the youngest participants. Furthermore, some smaller municipalities enforce laws that cover only their smaller area of the country. As a resident, it is a good idea to check your local laws. As a rider, it is a great idea to just wear a helmet at all times!

Wearing a helmet, regardless of the laws in place for geographically or age defined demographics, is the safer way to ride. Studies show that having a helmet on lowers the chances of death in and accident by thirty-seven percent. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s published helmet safety information, nine percent of all United States traffic fatalities are motorcycle riders. Oddly enough, only two percent of all vehicles registered in the United States are motorcycles. That alone is staggering. Now take a look at what the helmet wearing statistical information adds to those already disturbing facts. In the 2006, there were over 4800 motorcycle rider deaths recorded in the United States. Sixty-five percent of those rider killed that year were not wearing a helmet and were residents of one of the states that has a partial rider helmet law. While thirteen percent of those riders killed that year were also not wearing helmets and were residents of one of the states that passed and enforce a full helmet usage law.

The statistics mentioned above bring to light two most important things. First off, wearing a helmet is paramount to safety and survival in a motorcycle accident. Secondly, while we all have the control and intention to make good decisions, those decisions can be influenced by suggestion and convenience or perceived comfort. Also remember that safety does include the fit of the helmet and how the helmet is made. Being involved in an accident with an ill-fitting or inadequately performing helmet will not suffice for survival. Your helmet should not be able to move around when you shake up and down or side to side. In full-face helmets the inner lining should hold on to the cheeks and top of your head. All helmets should have a sturdy chinstrap in tact to keep the helmet on. You need to be able to see well with the helmet on. The helmet needs to have an inner lining that is at least 1 inch thick and the weight of the helmet will probably be about three pounds if it is in accordance with safety regulations. This could be slightly different for the newer helmets made from a carbon fiber or Kevlar, as these materials tend to be lighter. Helmets should be replaced about every three years or after any type of impact, including dropping.

Fact is, as a rider the only choice you should be making is which helmet to wear that day. There are too many great choices for style, fit, color, graphics and composition in the motorcycle helmet selection of today for anyone to be without a perfectly fitting lid for their head, choice of terrain and personality. So whatever your needs or preferences are for your motorcycle helmets, take time to choose the right one or two! You will always be better off alive and safe with the helmet on that injured or worse without one on, no matter what the bureaucrats or your alter ego have to say about it. Law, convenience and personal taste aside, traveling with a helmet on is the only way to ride!

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