In New York, the law requires that you wear a helmet that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards when you ride on a motorcycle. This is true whether you are a driver or a passenger. Helmets are required for both. You are also required by law to wear protective eye wear.
Why? Wearing a helmet is probably the single most important thing you can do to reduce your chances of being killed or injured in the event of a collision.
Helmets save lives
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 41% of drivers killed in motorcycle accidents weren’t wearing a helmet. Even more, 50%, of passengers killed in motorcycle accidents weren’t wearing one. Motorcycle accidents killed 4,502 people in 2010, the last year for which statistics are available, and the number of fatalities has risen 55% since 2000.
According to federal statistics, wearing a Department of Transportation (DOT)-approved motorcycle helmet reduces the likelihood of a motorcycle accidents being fatal by 37%.
How to choose a motorcycle helmet
Now that you know the importance of a helmet, how do you choose the right one?
- First, look for a helmet that meets U.S. DOT regulations, which guarantees that the helmet is sturdy, of high quality materials that won’t crack or shatter, has a safe inner liner, and has strong chin straps.
- Second, shop for a helmet that fits you and is comfortable to wear. You want a helmet that doesn’t move around on your head and is comfortable for long rides. Don’t buy just by size.
- Try it on. If you are purchasing a helmet online, make sure there is a good return policy. It’s prudent to buy several sizes so that you can choose from among a few, and then return the ones that don’t fit.
- Third, make sure you can see properly when you are wearing the helmet and turn your head from left to right.
Protect your rights after an accident
Edelman, Krasin & Jaye are veteran motorcycle accident lawyers based in Long Island, New York. We have decades of combined experience litigating personal injury claims involving motorcycle crashes in New York state, and help victims fight for just monetary compensation.
Our initial consultation is complimentary. We will review your case and discuss possible next steps. Call 1-800-469-7429 to schedule a free case evaluation today.
Additional Resources on Motorcycle Helmets:
1. New York State Department of Health. Motorcycle Toolkit. Motorcycle Helmets. https://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/injury_prevention/children/toolkits/motorcycles/motorcycle_helmets.htm
2. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention. Motorcycle Safety: How to Save Lives and Save Money. https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/pdf/mc/MotorcycleSafetyGuide-a.pdf