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October 22, 2013

Wearing A Motorcycle Helmet in California: What You Should Know About It

Every motorcyclist, especially in California, must wear a protective gear when riding out on the road. Not only is this required by the traffic laws of the state, but wearing it decreases the rider’s chance of getting seriously injured if ever a collision happens. Because a motorcycle does not entirely protect the rider from the impact of a crash, it is imperative that he or she must wear something that would protect delicate body parts, particularly the head.

As it is, the motorcycle helmet is the most essential safety gear that every motorcyclist must wear at all times when riding the two-wheeled motor vehicle. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), helmets prevent motorcycle accident deaths 37 percent of the time. Also, the safety gear is 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries.

Because of how effective these protective gears are, a lot of states have adopted laws that make wearing helmets mandatory for persons who ride motorcycles. A total of 47 states plus the District of Columbia have a mandatory helmet law for motorcyclists. Nineteen of them have the universal helmet law, which means that helmets must be worn by both riders and passengers.

One of the states with the universal helmet law is California, which adopted the said measure in 1992. Upon implementation of the law, helmet use rose from 50 percent to 99 percent. It was proven effective once the law was laid down in the state; in fact, the number of motorcycle accident deaths decreased by 37 percent.

Moreover, under the California Vehicle Code, riders and passengers must wear safety helmets that passed safety requirements and standards imposed by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard. There are specifications that entail the use of the safety helmet, and these are the following:

·         The helmet must have a sticker of the Department of Transportation (DOT) indicating that it passed federal safety standards.

·         It must be made out of polystyrene foam on the outside, with a comfort liner inside it.

·         It must have a chin strap to secure the helmet on the rider or passenger’s head, preventing it from falling off.

·         It must have a face shield to protect the rider or passenger’s face from debris, glare, or other elements that might blur vision.

A rider or passenger may have a helmet on his or her head, but in an event of an accident, it is still possible that he or she might sustain other injuries. If this happens, medical attention should not be the only priority. Consulting with an expert Personal Injury Attorneys in Los Angeles would also be an option, especially if he or she believes that the other driver is at fault for the accident.

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