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Proposed NHTSA Rule Would Crack Down on Unsafe Novelty Helmets

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motorcycle helmetWhile Idaho law does not require an adult motorcyclist to wear a helmet, it is always safest to do so. Wearing a proper helmet is critical to prevent life-altering head injuries in a motorcycle accident. Unfortunately, novelty helmets—which fail to provide proper protection—are becoming increasingly popular. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is proposing a new rule to discourage their use and to help states enforce their motorcycle helmet laws. According to NHTSA, the use of a proper motorcycle helmet meeting Department of Transportation (DOT) safety standards could have significantly reduced the 4,668 motorcyclists killed in 2013.

Why Novelty Helmets Are Unsafe

Most novelty helmets do not meet Department of Transportation (DOT) safety standards, but they are sold to be used for on-road riding. Their only disclaimer is to not use them on highways. However, they are unsafe in a number of ways:

  • They only cover a smaller portion of the rider’s head.
  • They have thinner liners that afford less protection to the rider’s brain and skull.
  • They do not properly absorb the force of impact in a motorcycle accident.

What the New Rule Would Require

NHTSA believes that requiring bikers to use DOT approved helmets would save thousands of lives yearly. Some important requirements of the proposed rule include:

  • Adding a definition of what constitutes a proper motorcycle helmet to identify helmets that do not comply.
  • Providing preliminary screening criteria to help law enforcement officials identify noncomplying helmets.
  • In states that have motorcycle helmet laws, the rule could help officials prosecute sellers of unapproved helmets.

Even if you wear a motorcycle helmet, you could suffer serious injuries if another negligent driver causes your crash, and you could face catastrophic injuries like spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injury or other head injuries, fractures, or amputations entitling you to compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Fill out an online form  or start an online chat to schedule a FREE, no-obligation consultation with us today.

Category: Motorcycle Accidents


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