Riverdale Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Motorcycles can be great commuting vehicles in nice weather, and road trips provide stress relief and a chance to enjoy the outdoors.

However, if you choose to forgo your helmet, you are not just taking a risk—you are breaking the law. Anyone who rides a motorcycle in the area should be familiar with Riverdale motorcycle helmet laws before taking to the road.

Helmets Save Lives, Reduce Severity of Injury

In 1995, the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Administration commissioned a study to determine why motorcycle accidents happen and what steps might be most effective in preventing serious injuries. The study is commonly called the Hurt Report, and it remains the largest and most thorough study ever done of motorcycle accidents in the United States.

The report found that helmet use significantly reduced the probability that a rider would die in a motorcycle accident. It also found that wearing a helmet reduced injury to the brain, face, and head and did not increase neck injuries. The study also determined that helmet use did not impede peripheral vision or hearing.

Since the report was published, many other researchers have studied helmet use and its impact on rider survival and catastrophic injury. There is a consensus that helmet use reduces death and severe injury in motorcycle accidents.

Helmets Mandatory for All Riders

Almost all states require at least some riders to wear helmets when operating a motorcycle. Many states require helmets for only young or inexperienced riders, but Georgia requires all riders to wear helmets at all times.

The helmet law is codified at Official Code of Georgia Annotated §40-6-315. The law specifies that riders must wear a helmet and protective eyewear that meets the specifications of the Department of Public Safety (DPS). DPS adopted the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218, so helmets and eyewear with the Snell or DOT seal of approval are legal for use in Riverdale.

Legal Consequences of Riding without a Helmet

Violating state helmet law could be an expensive choice in more ways than one. Failing to use an approved helmet carries a penalty of up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1000, and the possibility of being required to perform community service. In addition, failing to wear a helmet could result in points on a rider’s driver’s license and higher insurance rates.

There are more legal ramifications if a rider gets into an accident and suffers an injury. Georgia adopted the modified comparative negligence doctrine, which allows a person to collect damages only if they are less than 50 percent responsible for their injuries. If a court finds that failure to wear a helmet was at least half to blame for the rider’s injuries, the rider cannot collect any damages.

However, a rider in this situation should not give up. A seasoned injury attorney could investigate an accident to discover indications of negligence by other parties. Presenting persuasive evidence of other parties’ negligent acts might result in a judge assigning a biker a lower degree of fault, which could allow them to collect some damages despite riding helmetless.

Bikers Benefit from Compliance with Riverdale Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Many motorcyclists find helmets confining, uncomfortable, or too expensive. However, obeying motorcycle helmet laws protects a Riverdale biker’s health and legal position.

Anyone who suffers injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence deserves a chance to get compensation for their losses. Schedule a consultation with a caring advocate today.