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How do I know if a motorcycle helmet is acceptable under my state’s helmet law?
- March 29, 2017
Many states require motorcycle riders wear a helmet while on their bike. There are a few states in which wearing a helmet is not a legal requirement, but motorcycle riders know the danger they face if they decide to forgo wearing a helmet. Head injuries are the most common injury in a motorcycle accident, and many victims do not survive these accidents. Those who do survive with head injuries from not wearing a helmet often face life-long health problems as a result. Wearing a helmet might not always be mandatory depending on where you live, but it’s always a good idea.
This leads you to wonder if your helmet is acceptable and within the realm of your state’s law. There are many laws in place to protect riders, and this includes wearing a helmet that meets minimum requirements for safety. If you’re unsure whether your helmet meets the state requirement where you live, there are many ways to find out.
Call Your State’s Department of Motor Vehicles
You can find out which helmets are acceptable under state law by discussing it with the DMV in your state. They can tell you over the phone, schedule an appointment to discuss this with you, or provide you with a handbook that outlines all the requirements for a motorcycle helmet in your state. Not all states have the same requirements, and this means you cannot use the requirements from the state in which you once lived assuming they are legal in the state you now reside.
DOT Approved Helmets
No helmet is legal under state late without a DOT approved stamp. These are the safest, the best, and the ones you should purchase. If you find a helmet with the DOT approval stamp, it’s one of the best. This doesn’t mean it meets state requirements where you live, but it’s a good start. If you reside in a state without a helmet law but choose to wear one regardless, this is the best option.
Many motorcycle owners and riders want to know the policy regarding used helmets. The simple fact is they are much more affordable, and they can seem like a great deal if you are looking for a helmet on a budget. The problem is used helmets are generally not safe. Much like you would not use a used car seat for a baby or toddler, you cannot use a used helmet for your head on a bike.
Why? The answer is simple. You have no idea if that helmet, or car seat in the example used above, has been involved in an accident in the past. While it might look great, being involved in an accident can break pieces, make it less effective, and put your life at risk if you are also involved in an accident. Do not ever buy a used helmet to use while riding your motorcycle. This is also a good rule of thumb if you plan on buying a secondary helmet for any future riders who wish to accompany you on a casual ride. Always buy new, and always buy a helmet that’s been certified by the Department of Transportation.
Helmets are always a good idea. Even if the law in your state does not work to protect your head by issuing a mandatory state law for helmets, don’t assume your state considers it safe. Wearing a helmet is often the difference between life and death in a motorcycle accident. It doesn’t take a major accident to result in death, or to result in a lifelong brain injury that affects the quality of your life for the remainder of it.
If you are involved in a bike accident while riding, you might call a personal injury attorney to discuss your case if another driver is to blame. Motorcycle accidents are often dangerous and result in serious injuries in addition to head injuries sustained or prevented by a helmet. This could result in a loss of income, the inability to work, and exorbitant medical bills. Personal injury attorneys can help you file a lawsuit to reach a larger settlement for past and current medical bills resulting from your accident.