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Motorcycle Helmets Save Lives in the Event of an Accident

By Evan L. Kaine

Riding a motorcycle is a thrill – it’s a feeling that we’re living on the edge with no restriction or restraint. However, riding on 2 wheels has become a more dangerous lifestyle, especially as accidents and fatalities have risen in the past 15 years. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), more than an average of 4,500 motorcyclists die in crashes each year.  In addition, these motorcycle deaths account for approximately 14% of all motor vehicle crash deaths annually in 2012 and these statistics are only increasing (with an estimated 200% increase in fatal motorcycle accidents every 5 years).

Over the last several years, the number of motorcyclist deaths in Georgia has varied from between 153 – 138 riders each year.  The majority of the riders that were killed were between the ages of 30 – 39 years old. What’s even more alarming is that a number of those riders were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.

Safety Equipment for Motorcycle Riders

According to Georgia law, all motorcyclists must wear a helmet while operating their vehicle and states the following:

  • No person shall operate or ride upon a motorcycle unless he or she is wearing protective headgear which complies with standards established by the commissioner of public safety.
  • No person shall operate or ride upon a motorcycle if the motorcycle is not equipped with a windshield unless he or she is wearing an eye-protective device of a type approved by the commissioner of public safety.
  • This Code section shall not apply to persons riding within an enclosed cab or motorized cart. This Code section shall not apply to a person operating a three-wheeled motorcycle used only for agricultural purposes.
  • The commissioner of public safety is authorized to approve or disapprove protective headgear and eye-protective devices required in this Code section and to issue and enforce regulations establishing standards and specifications for the approval thereof. The commissioner shall publish in print or electronically lists of all protective headgear and eye-protective devices by name and type which have been approved.

O.C.G.A. § 40-6-315

Motorcycle Helmets Prevent Injury

Serious head injuries are commonly associated with motorcycle accidents so wearing a helmet should never be a question. The IIHS also adds that helmets are about 37% effective in preventing motorcycle deaths and about 67% effective in preventing brain injuries. Yet only 19 states and the District of Columbia have mandatory motorcycle helmet laws.

While accidents and fatalities are on the rise nationally and in Georgia, it is important to be vigilant when it comes to safety. If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle accident, please contact us at Kaine Law.

Published January 31, 2018


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