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Do Motorcycle Riders Have to Wear Helmets in Maryland?

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Posted On 05.04.15 by in Motorcycle

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The simple answer to this question is yes. Currently it is against the law to ride a motorcycle without a helmet; however, there is one state senator who has been trying to repeal this law for decades. This year, State Senator John Astle has introduced another bill to repeal the mandatory helmet law. In its place, the state would allow individuals who are at least 21 years old and have at least $10,000 in insurance to not wear a helmet if they choose.

This has been an important legislative goal for years for State Senator Astle, who once was an avid biker himself. He and his supporters say the law would boost ridership and make the state more motorcycle-friendly like states such as Florida. Opponents have argued that it would make riders less safe and put more of a burden on the state healthcare system and emergency responders.

Is Riding without a Helmet Less Safe?

Countless studies have shown that in the event of an accident, wearing a helmet can drastically improve a rider’s chance of survival. According to the NHTSA, almost 800 lives would have been saved in 2012, if the riders had been wearing helmets. Even though supporters of removing the helmet requirement like to cite a similar law that passed in Florida a decade ago, records show that motorcycle fatalities actually increased in the state after the law’s passage.

In fact, wearing a helmet is perhaps the most important choice a rider can make to protect his safety and his life. Statistics show that helmetless riders are at greater risk of brain injuries and death than those who wear helmets. Not only will it protect the lives of people involved in accidents with other vehicles, helmets also save lives when riders have accidents on their own because of unsafe road conditions or when their attention is diverted while driving.

Motorcycle Accidents in Maryland

If you are involved in a car accident while riding a motorcycle, even if it was the other person’s fault, it is very important to wear a helmet. Not only is it important to save your life, but it will also protect your legal interests. If you are in a motorcycle accident and you aren’t wearing a helmet, it is possible that you will not be able to win a personal injury suit in a court in Maryland. This is because of the legal concept of contributory negligence.

Contributory negligence is the idea that if a plaintiff was in any way neglectful of his own safety, then he can be awarded no money from the defendant. This means that if you are not wearing a helmet, a court may decide that it was a neglectful and unsafe act and award you no money. It’s hard to say how this will change if the law passes. Juries may still consider helmetless riding to be a neglectful act.

If you were recently injured in a car accident, and the accident was not your fault, you should get in contact with a personal injury attorney. Our firm can help you get the compensation you deserve.

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