Helmet laws are a hot topic amongst motorcycle enthusiasts and those who care about their safety. When an individual is involved in a motorcycle accident, the risk of serious personal injury or death is high, but that risk is elevated in a meaningful way when the person involved is not wearing a helmet. Now Nevada legislators are considering helmet law legislation that, if passed, may have a significant impact on motorcyclist safety in the Las Vegas area and across the state of Nevada.
Nevada Legislature Considers Weakening Motorcycle Helmet Laws
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the Nevada legislature is considering legislation that would substantially change our state’s helmet law. While bills to eliminate the helmet law are introduced most years and have always failed, this one is slightly different from the others. In its original form, Senate Bill 142 still technically “requires” helmet use, but then provides a long list of exceptions as to who is required to wear a helmet. In effect it would relieve most adult riders from the requirement to wear helmets. The original text of the bill would exclude riders over age 21 who have had a motorcycle license for at least one year from the helmet requirement. However, the bill continues to undergo significant changes in committee, so it remains to be seen what any final version may look like.
The Consequences of Removing Helmet Requirements are Serious
The reason motorcycle helmets are so important is that, unlike other types of vehicles, motorcycles provide their riders with virtually no protection in the event of a crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides information about motorcycle safety. The agency estimates that helmet use saved the lives of 1,617 motorcyclists in 2011. It further estimates that if all motorcyclists wore helmets an additional 703 lives would have been saved. Some argue against helmet use because it is not 100 percent effective, and that is true. However, helmets are an estimated 37 percent effective in preventing rider fatalities and 41 percent effective in preventing passenger fatalities. Some argue against helmets because they believe the helmets contribute to spinal injuries, but NHTSA argues that research proves otherwise. Others argue against the laws because they believe that helmets decrease peripheral vision, but proper Department of Transportation approved helmets should allow for the same field of peripheral vision a rider would normally have.
Nevada’s Current Motorcycle Helmet Law
Under current Nevada law, motorcyclists of all ages are required to wear helmets. This requirement covers both riders and passengers. The helmets must meet the requirements set by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The current law has been in effect since 1972.
Call Naqvi Injury Law
If you have been involved in one of these crashes, contact the experienced Las Vegas motorcycle accident attorneys at Naqvi Injury Law today. We are here to help you fight for your rights. Call us today at (702)553-1000 to schedule a free consultation.