Motorcyclists love the freedom of the open air and might resent anything that interferes with their enjoyment of a ride. A biker may consider a helmet to be an uncomfortable nuisance, an unnecessary expense, or an infringement of individual liberty.
These opinions clash with the mindset of local police, who strictly enforce Marietta motorcycle helmet laws. Helmets are proven to save lives, so it makes sense for law enforcement to require headwear at all times. A knowledgeable Marietta motorcycle attorney could explain local helmet laws and outline the consequences of non-compliance.
All Riders Must Wear Helmets
Georgia has a universal helmet law, meaning that all motorcyclists must put on a helmet as soon as they begin operating their bike. Passengers are also required to wear headgear. These helmets must meet the Department of Transportation’s requirements, such as sporting a DOT or Snell sticker.
The Official Code of Georgia Annotated §40-6-315 also mandates some form of eye protection. Riders can wear safety glasses or equip their bikes with a windshield.
Failing to wear a helmet is a misdemeanor with severe penalties. Helmetless riders risk up to twelve months in jail, a $1000 fine, or community service hours. A motorcyclist who receives a citation for failing to wear a helmet might also face raised insurance premiums or added points on their license. Marietta motorcycle helmet laws should be taken seriously.
Helmets Reduce the Severity of Injuries
Bikers who dislike helmets sometimes argue that headwear does not offer significant protection in a crash. They also sometimes claim that helmets might cause motorcycle accidents because they reduce peripheral vision and hearing.
Medical science has repeatedly disproven these statements. Multiple studies have demonstrated that helmet use reduces the frequency and severity of catastrophic injury among motorcyclists. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there is overwhelming evidence that the benefits of wearing a motorcycle helmet outweigh any loss of hearing or peripheral vision. Using motorcycle headwear could reduce the severity of a collision in Marietta.
Riding without a Helmet Could Impact Economic Damages
When a biker gets into an accident and seeks financial compensation for the injuries they suffered, insurance companies will scrutinize their every move. If someone can prove that a biker’s injuries are primarily due to their own negligent conduct, such as not wearing a helmet, the other party may no longer be required to pay damages.
Georgia’s modified comparative negligence standard permits a careless plaintiff to collect damages from another reckless party in some circumstances. If a court determines that a biker is no more than 49 percent responsible for an accident, the rider could collect a fraction of the total economic damages. However, if a court rules that a motorcyclist was at least 50 percent responsible for a collision, the rider cannot receive anything.
Failing to wear a helmet while riding can be the difference between collecting significant damages and owing money. Even if a collision is minor and there was no possibility of a head injury, not wearing proper headgear could destroy a rider’s case. An experienced Marietta attorney could help a rider who was wearing a helmet collect the compensation they deserve.
Learn about Motorcycle Helmet Laws from a Marietta Attorney
Georgia’s strict motorcycle helmet laws are beneficial, since research shows that headwear greatly reduces the risk of severe injury. However, accidents can happen even when riders wear proper headgear.
If you were wearing your helmet at the time of a motorcycle accident, you deserve the assistance of a dedicated attorney. A skilled lawyer could advise on Marietta motorcycle helmet laws, protect your rights, and help you file a claim. Contact us today to get started on your case.