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26 Jun 2012

Motorcycle Accidents and Helmet Laws in RI and Massachusetts

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Head injury is the leading cause of fatalities in motorcycle accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that helmets reduce the chances of dying in a motorcycle accident by almost 40%. Helmets are the best protection from head injuries for motorcyclists involved in collisions. Motorcycle helmets of all kinds have saved the lives of an estimated 14,000 motorcyclists between 1984 and 2002. This is the primary reason that states have been encouraged to pass motorcycle helmet laws in order to increase – and sometimes mandate – helmet use.  Each state makes its own motorcycle helmet laws.

Motorcycle Accident Laws in the US – Helmet Use

Currently, only 3 states – Iowa, Illinois, and New Hampshire – do not have any helmet laws. Other states tend to differ with how the mandatory use of helmet is applied to different classes of drivers. In Rhode Island (RI), a novice driver or a rider under 21 years of age is required to wear a helmet. A new operator or driver, regardless of his or her age, has to wear a helmet for a period of one year after the date of the motorcycle operator’s license. Regardless of whether the driver is wearing a helmet or not, passengers on motorcycles in Rhode Island are always required to wear a helmet.

Massachusetts Motorcycle Helmet Law & Federal Rules for Helmets

Massachusetts requires all motorcycle drivers and his or her passenger to wear helmets, regardless of age or experience. In addition, the helmet should pass the standards of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard or – whatever state standard is adopted if the state uses another standard.  A driver or a passenger, required by law to wear a helmet while in transit, may be fully or partly liable for the injuries he or she has sustained from an accident. States are generally free to set their own motorcycle laws – since 1996 the federal government has not reduced the amount of highway funds a state receives based on state motorcycle laws.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics Demonstrate Injuries Likely

Statistics show that almost every motorcycle accident ends up in injuries. Due to the many hazards associated with operating a motorcycle, you should understand your rights as a rider. If you have been in an accident, your rights may be at risk. Maybe you should consider contacting a motorcycle accident lawyer right away.

Do You Need a RI Motorcycle Accident Attorney?

If you or a loved one has been in a motorcycle accident, you should consider contacting  lawyers in RI with experience in handling these types of cases. The motorcycle accident attorneys of d’Oliveira & Associates, P.C., would like to meet with you and discuss the investigation of your automobile accident. Our law firm has represented and assisted numerous motorcycle accident victims in bringing lawsuits against other drivers and insurance companies alike, and there are no fees unless we are successful.

To have a member of our law office contact you, please fill out a contact form or call us at 1-800-992-6878.

d’Oliveira & Associates: 88F Jefferson Blvd. Warwick, RI 02888  (401) 490-6907

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One Response to Motorcycle Accidents and Helmet Laws in RI and Massachusetts
  1. Head injury is the leading cause of death in motorcycle accidents. This problem stems from negligence regarding the importance of helmets. It’s a good thing that there are some states that strictly implement the helmet laws. Doing this can compel motorists to use their helmets. This can also increase the chances of survival in motorcycle accidents. I hope all states have laws regarding mandatory use of helmets and will strictly implement it.


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