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Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Motorcycle Accident > How Much Is Your Motorcycle Helmet Protecting You?

How Much Is Your Motorcycle Helmet Protecting You?


Yes, you are still vulnerable to serious injury if a car hits you while you are riding your motorcycle, but your chances of survival and prognosis for recovery from head injuries are much better if you wear a motorcycle helmet than if you do not.  South Carolina law only requires you to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle if you are younger than 21.  Wearing a motorcycle helmet, regardless of your age, is a wise choice from a legal standpoint as well as a medical one.  South Carolina is a comparative negligence state, which means that you can get more money in a motorcycle accident lawsuit if you were wearing a helmet than if you were not.  If you were wearing a helmet at the time of your accident, the court or the insurance company is less likely to attribute a share of fault for the accident to you.  If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, with or without a helmet, a South Carolina motorcycle accident lawyer can help stand up for your rights.

For the Safest Motorcycle Helmets, Look to International Safety Standards

All commercial manufacturers of motorcycle helmets in the United States must follow the safety standards set by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT).  According to Bradley Brownell of Jalopnik, however, the DOT safety standards are not enough to keep motorcyclists safe in the event of a collision.  The DOT follows the same standards for race car helmets as for motorcycle helmets, but a race car collision and a motorcycle collision present very different types of dangers.  In a motorcycle accident, the chances of your helmet making direct contact with the road at a high speed are much greater than in a race car accident.  The DOT standards favor helmets made out of the hardest possible materials, but these are not ideal for motorcycle accidents.

According to Brownell, the ideal motorcycle helmet is made of slightly softer material that will deform on impact when hit from multiple angles, protecting the brain from severe trauma.  European regulatory bodies that set motorcycle helmet standards agree with him.  The Economic Community of Europe (ECE) and International Motorcycling Federation (known by its French acronym FIM) require helmets to resist impact from six different directions, compared to the two impacts in DOT tests.  Therefore, the helmets that get the highest safety ratings from the ECE and FIM are not made of the hardest materials.  When choosing a motorcycle helmet, look for one with a high rating from ECE or FIM.  If you can’t afford to buy a new helmet now, keep wearing the one you have, because you are much safer with it than without it.

Let Us Help You Today

Even with the best motorcycle helmet, the chance of sustaining costly injuries in a motorcycle accident is high, but a Columbia motorcycle accident lawyer can help.  Contact The Stanley Law Group for help with your case.



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