North Carolina Motorcycle Helmet Laws
Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Explain Benefits of Safety Gear Use
Riding a motorcycle can be a freeing and enjoyable activity. However, it can also be dangerous if you do not wear the right safety gear, including a helmet. A 2008 study on motorcycle accidents and helmet use concluded that helmets reduced the risk of head injury by more than 65 percent and the risk of death by more than 40 percent. However, some estimates, such as those put forth by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), suggest that helmets can prevent up to 85 percent of serious head injuries and up to 73 percent of fatalities. Despite these injury statistics, motorcycle helmet laws across the nation vary from state to state. While North Carolina has a universal motorcycle helmet law, some states have looser requirements and two states have no helmet laws in place at all.
Helmets can often reduce motorcycle accident injuries, but a negligent driver can still cause a serious crash. If a careless motorist caused your motorcycle wreck, then you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. At Riddle & Brantley, LLP, our motorcycle accident lawyers have decades of experience assisting injured bikers and their families. We can explain North Carolina laws and represent your case, helping to ensure you get a fair insurance settlement or personal injury verdict.
What are the Motorcycle Helmet Requirements in North Carolina?
Motorcycle helmet laws fall into two types of categories: universal helmet laws or partial helmet laws. Universal helmet laws require that all riders, no matter their age, wear a helmet while on a motorcycle. This includes passengers. Partial helmet laws require helmet use only by certain groups, usually young riders and/or novice motorcyclists. North Carolina is one of 19 states that have universal helmet laws. Nearby states like Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia all have universal helmet laws as well. However, travel to South Carolina and only riders who are 20 years and younger are required to wear helmets.
In 2014, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), there were nearly 4,000 motorcycle accidents throughout the state. Of these, only 150 were fatal crashes, thanks in large part to a high incidence of helmet use. Since 1968, when the North Carolina helmet law was enacted, the law has saved an estimated 80 lives by helmet use per 100,000 registered bikes. As a result, our state ranks number one in the nation for lives saved and economic costs saved due their helmet requirements.
What Other Safety Gear Should Motorcyclists Wear?
Wearing additional equipment can help prevent a motorcycle crash and reduce your risk of injuries. To increase your visibility while riding, it is often best to wear bright colors as well. This gear may include:
While protective gear is a good idea, your personal injury claim cannot be denied or reduced simply because you did not wear certain equipment. Even lack of a motorcycle helmet should not limit your recovery, though many insurance companies try to deny injury claims for this reason.
More Questions on NC Helmet Laws? Contact our Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today
North Carolina’s universal helmet law exists to promote motorcycle safety. Thus, it is important to always wear a motorcycle helmet, even if you are not traveling a long distance. However, if you or a loved one has sustained serious motorcycle accident injuries caused by a careless driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Regardless of whether you were wearing a helmet or other safety gear, if another driver caused your injuries then you are entitled to compensation for lost wages, past and future medical bills, scarring and permanent injuries, as well as physical and emotional pain and suffering.
At Riddle & Brantley, LLP, we understand how motorcycle wrecks can devastate a victim’s financial, physical and mental well-being. With decades of combined legal experience, our motorcycle accident lawyers can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. We have offices located throughout North Carolina, in Raleigh, Goldsboro, Jacksonville and Kinston. We proudly serve clients in all the surrounding areas as well as across the state.
For more information on how we may be able to help you with your accident claim, contact us online or call (800)525-7111 to schedule a free initial case consultation.