Traffic laws differ from state to state, and motorcycle rules have a lot more variation from location to location than enclosed vehicle rules. Safety restraint requirements are the same in most states, but motorcycle laws and helmet laws can change drastically from one state to another.
Washington state is among the states that require those riding on motorcycles to wear helmets while on public roads. Does this rule have any practical effect on the safety of motorcyclists?
Helmets don’t prevent crashes, but they make them less dangerous
Helmet laws give police officers the authority to stop a motorcycle rider that they spot not wearing protective headgear. Knowing that enforcement could be expensive and frustrating prompts most people out for a cruise on their motorcycle to put their helmet on first.
While some people view such rules as an infringement on their personal freedom, there’s little question about the effect of such policies on overall rider safety. Research shows that mandated helmets might actually save lives. Overall, the number of head injuries that lead to deaths after a motorcycle crash is 33% lower in states with mandatory helmets when compared with states that don’t require them.
A helmet can help you recover to ride another day
Compliance with the helmet law increases your chances of surviving serious wrecks and of recovering from the injuries that you suffer. Motorcycle riders often get hurt despite making all the right safety choices due to the poor practices of those in bigger vehicles.
After a crash, motorcyclists may need medical care and compensation for weeks of lost wages. Working with an experienced advocate can help make sure that you get the compensation you need for the future.