Why We Support the Georgia Helmet Law for Motorcycle Riders
At Buzzell, Welsh & Hill, we regularly represent clients who’ve been in motorcycle accidents in the Macon area. That’s why it’s so important to ride safely and follow Georgia’s motorcycle laws, including the Georgia helmet law for motorcycle riders.
Following this Georgia state law not only makes motorcycling safer for the rider and any passengers, it also increases your chances of receiving a fair settlement if you’re involved in a crash that’s not your fault.
What Is the Georgia Helmet Law for Motorcycles?
The Georgia helmet law, O.C.G.A. § 40-6-315, states, “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.”
This law is stricter than some states. Florida and South Carolina, for example, only require helmets for riders under 21. There are regular attempts to challenge the Georgia motorcycle helmet law, most recently one in 2016. Some riders believe they should be able to make their own decisions about protective gear.
However, there’s no doubt Georgia’s law helps save lives and avoid major injuries. According to a study by the Governors Highway Safety Association, helmets reduce a rider’s risk of dying in a crash by 37 percent.
What Is a DOT-approved Helmet?
It’s important to choose a motorcycle helmet that meets U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) standards—both for your own protection and to follow the law. Some riders choose novelty helmets for a different look, but these helmets will not protect you in an accident.
Motorcycle helmets that meet DOT safety standards help save more than a thousand lives every year, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates.
Look for a DOT sticker on the outside back of a helmet, as well as an inside label naming the manufacturer.
What if You’re in a Motorcycle Accident Without a Helmet?
Aside from the safety benefits that come along with wearing a helmet, it’s a good idea to follow Georgia’s helmet law from a legal standpoint. If you’re involved in a motorcycle accident in Georgia and you aren’t wearing a helmet, you’ll likely get a ticket. But more seriously, your decision to skip the helmet could affect your chances of receiving a fair resolution if the accident was not your fault.
Due to contributory negligence rules, even if another driver caused the accident, it could be argued that some of your injuries are the result of your not wearing a helmet. And if your injuries are to your head, it’s going to be even harder to argue that they weren’t caused, at least in part, by your not wearing a helmet. If that’s the case, you could be on the hook for a large chunk of your own medical bills. Additionally, it could be argued that you assumed the risk by choosing not to wear a helmet—which could be a complete bar to your claim altogether.
Contact a Macon Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you’re injured in a motorcycle accident, it’s important to call a Macon motorcycle accident lawyer. At Buzzell, Welsh & Hill, we understand the unique laws governing motorcyclists. If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, we’re here to help. For your free consultation, contact our office today.