The Truth About Motorcycle Helmet Use
There is a certain sense of freedom that comes with riding a motorcycle. Traveling down the road with the wind in your face and the sun on your back is exhilarating. Thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts head to the coast of South Carolina each year to enjoy riding stretches of highway that hug the ocean on one side, and inlets and marshes on the other. They are drawn by our sunny weather and temperate climate, and the southern hospitality the Low Country is famous for. For many motorcyclists, the fact that South Carolina does not require riders over the age of 21 to wear a helmet is an added bonus. At the same time, injuries caused by motorcycle accidents can be severe and life threatening, and motorcycle helmets have been proven to save lives. Knowing the facts regarding motorcycle injuries and the use of helmets could end up saving your life, or the life of someone you love.
Motorcycle Helmet Laws
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, of the 47 states with helmet laws, 19 of them, plus the District of Columbia, have universal laws requiring helmets for motorcycle riders. The remaining 28 states have laws requiring helmets to be worn by certain riders, usually based on age. In the Palmetto State, South Carolina laws involving motorcycles are listed under Code Sections 56-5-3610-3700, and dictate that all motorcycle operators and passengers under the age of 21 are required to wear a helmet.
The right of local townships to implement their own helmet laws was put to the test in 2010, when the City of Myrtle Beach attempted to pass a town ordinance requiring helmets of all drivers. The South Carolina Supreme Courts struck down the Myrtle Beach motorcycle helmet ordinance for conflicting with the state law.
Motorcycle Helmets and Safety
While helmets may not be required under law for motorcyclists over the age of 21, it is still a good idea to wear one. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 2,200 people are killed in motorcycle accidents, and another 55,000 were injured. Research conducted by the NHTSA shows compelling evidence that many of the deaths and injuries could have been avoided if the driver had been wearing a helmet. Important facts showing motorcycle helmets prevent injuries include:
- While a motorcyclist is 16 times more likely to die in a crash than an automobile driver, this risk is reduced by one third is the motorcyclist is wearing a helmet
- Motorcyclists who do not wear a helmet are 40 percent more likely to suffer a severe brain injury than those who do wear a helmet
- Over a 10-year period, helmets were shown to save the lives of over 7,500 bikers.
- Studies show that wearing a helmet is the single most important factor to reducing potential disabling head and neck injuries
If you are a motorcyclist, consider the evidence. Protect yourself and your loved ones from potentially life threatening injuries by making sure to wear an approved motorcycle helmet.
Contact Our Attorneys for Help
If you or a loved one has been hurt or injured in a motorcycle accident, contact Anastopoulo Law Firm today. Our experienced South Carolina motorcycle accident attorneys will review your case, and help you get compensation for the damages and injuries you’ve suffered. Do not delay; contact us today for a consultation on your case.