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04/06

Softer Helmet Laws – Freedom or Folly?

Posted by: Jack Bernstein

nevada helmet lawsA Las Vegas motorcyclist was left dead after a crash on northbound U.S. Highway 95 at Wagonwheel Drive, according to recent reports. The accident took place between a motorcycle and a pickup truck; the motorcyclist was ejected from the bike and died at the hospital a short time later.

This death comes in the wake of a new bill that may soften Nevada’s stance on helmet laws.

New Bill Lets Many Off The Hook for Helmet Use

Nevada’s proposed Senate Bill 142 would nominally retain the mandatory helmet use rules but would make so many exceptions that almost anyone could ride without one. Anyone over 21 and licensed for more than one year to operate a motorcycle is exempt.

Every year the question comes up for debate: should anyone be forced to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle? If so, who should be required to do so? Some feel that everyone should be required to wear a helmet at all times, while others disagree, citing personal freedom and preference.

The research on the topic is mixed. Some studies show that motorcycle riders suffer far fewer deaths and injuries when they are wearing their helmets, but other studies show that helmets have little effect on death and injury rates. This disparity is reconciled when it becomes clear that, while helmets do provide some protection against head injuries, they often do nothing to prevent neck injuries.

Lawmakers have also considered requiring additional insurance coverage for those who choose to ride without a helmet. However, this rule would be difficult to enforce, especially for someone who might wear a helmet at some times, such as on a cross-country trip, but not at others, such as a quick trip to the store. Furthermore, once motorcycle riders cross state lines, different laws on helmet use might apply, so insurance companies could find themselves battling lawsuits in other states if a motorcyclist was injured without a helmet.

What Should I Do If I Am Injured In A Motorcycle Crash?

A motorcycle accident can cause serious injury that results in high medical bills and costs. If you have been a victim, be sure to speak to the experienced personal injury attorneys at Bernstein & Poisson in Las Vegas. These lawyers have been helping motorcycle accident victims for years and may be able to help you recover compensation for your injuries. Call today for a free consultation.

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