Accidents With or Without Motorcycle Helmets
Motorcycles are a symbol of American freedom. Many Georgia residents like to ride them to explore this great state, to enjoy the outdoors, or to save money on gas. No matter their reasons for riding them, safety should always be paramount. This is why Georgia has helmet laws in place. However, since some motorcyclists choose freedom and adventure over safety, not everyone obeys the law. Sadly, not doing so can prove to be fatal or cause severe injury.
Georgia Motorcycle Helmet Laws
Georgia laws require all motorcyclists and their passengers, no matter their age, to wear a DOT-approved motorcycle helmet while on the bike. It doesn't matter if they are on a cross-country trip or just riding down the street; both riders and passengers of any age are legally required to put on a helmet. Additionally, motorcycle operators are legally required to wear DOT-approved eyewear, including approved helmet visors or goggles. It's essential to note that ordinary eyeglasses or visors used to reduce the impact of the sun aren't approved eyewear. Helmets can have internal speakers, but only for communications purposes.
What If You Don't Wear Your Helmet?
Aside from being extremely dangerous, not wearing a helmet while operating or riding a motorcycle could lead to a fine of as much as $1,000, up to one year in jail, or both. You may also be subject to performing community service. However, if you are in an accident without a helmet, it can seriously injure or kill you or your passenger. Consider the following statistics as reported by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety:
- Motorcycle helmets decrease the risk of head injuries by 69 percent and the risk of fatalities by 42 percent.
- Helmets save approximately $2.7 billion in annual economic costs.
- Ten times as many unhelmeted motorcyclist fatalities occurred in states without universal helmet laws (1,777 unhelmeted fatalities) as in states that had universal helmet laws (170 unhelmeted fatalities) in one year alone.
- In that same year, motorcyclists accounted for 14 percent of all traffic deaths but represented an average of only three percent of all registered motor vehicles.
While wearing a motorcycle helmet can't prevent or reduce the severity of all motorcycle accident injuries and deaths, it can substantially reduce head injuries. Helmets protect the head from hitting vehicles, debris, the ground, and other hard objects. Without the protection of a DOT-approved helmet, the head is quite vulnerable to traumatic brain injuries that can be life-threatening and debilitating.
Call a Skilled Alpharetta, GA Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
At Banks, Stubbs & McFarland, our Alpharetta, GA motorcycle accident attorneys have seen the devastation motorcycle accidents can cause, especially those in which victims weren't wearing adequate head protection. However, it's important to note that even if you weren't wearing a helmet at the time of your accident, you could still be entitled to receive monetary compensation for your injuries. You can meet with one of our experienced Alpharetta, GA motorcycle accident attorneys to discuss the details of your case by scheduling a no-obligation consultation. You can do this by calling our office today at (770) 887-1209 or contacting us online.