Should Wearing Helmets Be Optional in Maryland?

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There are many reasons why people choose to ride a motorcycle. However, the major disadvantage to riding a motorcycle is the risk of an accident. Unlike a car or truck, there is nothing protecting the motorcycle rider from the impact of the accident. The only protection that riders have is their helmet, which can help reduce the risk of a serious brain injury caused by an accident. However, Maryland state legislators have been working with American Bikers Aimed Toward Education (ABATE) to pass a helmet modification bill that would make wearing a helmet optional for bikers over age 21. Those against the bill believe that, if passed, more bikers will suffer serious or fatal head injuries.

Since 1992, it has been mandatory for all Maryland riders and passengers to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. Earlier this month, the bill was heard before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, where it was argued that motorcycle riders should be able to choose whether to wear a helmet. Proponents noted that helmets do not prevent motorcycle accidents. Although this may be true, opponents believe it is a ridiculous argument. They counter that, although wearing a motorcycle helmet is not going to protect a rider from getting into an accident, it may protect the rider from suffering a massive head injury, a traumatic brain injury, or death. Certified helmets are designed to absorb a significant amount of impact from a crash that would otherwise impact the skull and brain.

Motorcycle Crash Statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), wearing a helmet is one of the most important things motorcyclists can do to protect themselves in the event of an accident. The following statistics show how serious motorcycle accidents can be and how important it is to wear a helmet:

  • Head injuries are the leading cause of death in motorcycle accidents.
  • Motorcyclists who do not wear helmets are 40 percent more likely to die of head injuries, and 15 percent more likely to suffer serious head injuries in a motorcycle accident.
  • Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of a fatal injury by 37 percent.
  • Certified helmets are 67 percent effective at preventing serious brain injuries.
  • A motorcycle rider who is involved in an accident and is not wearing a helmet is three times more likely to suffer a brain injury compared to a rider who is wearing a helmet.

Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Compensation for Victims of Motorcycle Accidents

If you were seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, you are urged to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We know how serious motorcycle injuries can be, and we will work closely with you through every step of the claims process. Our skilled legal team will obtain the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.

Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Prince George’s County, allowing us to represent victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.