In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that motorcyclists and motorcycle passengers comprised 14 percent of all road traffic fatalities — despite the fact that they accounted for less than 1 percent of all miles traveled. The CDC also found that the single most effective way to reduce injuries was to wear a helmet and that universal helmet law states like Georgia tend to have fewer fatalities.
Georgia’s helmet law
Georgia’s helmet law stipulates that no person may ride on a motorcycle without wearing a helmet that complies with the rules established by the Board of Public Safety. The helmet law applies to both motorcycle passengers and operators.
What does it mean to be approved by the Board of Public Safety?
Georgia’s Commissioner of Public Safety ruled that helmets must meet the latest standards imposed by the Federal Department of Transportation (DOT). DOT-approved helmets are subject to random testing and are recognized as providing a minimum level of lawful protection.
What are some other potential safety tips?
Other motorcycle-helmet safety tips include:
- Using a full-coverage helmet that covers the motorcyclist’s entire face
- Not relying solely on DOT standards — but also buying a helmet that complies with Snell Memorial Foundation standards which require additional extensive performance testing above the minimum standards imposed by the DOT
- Making sure that the helmet you buy properly fits — that the helmet is snug without being overly tight, does not slide on your head and is generally comfortable
- Never using a helmet that was involved in an accident or wearing a used helmet
Ramifications of not following the helmet law
In addition to being against the law, failure to wear a suitable helmet can reduce your ability to collect damages for your injuries.
Although following Georgia’s helmet law is critical to preventing injuries, injuries still occur even with proper helmet use. If you or a loved one suffers injuries in a motorcycle crash, it is important to contact an experienced Gwinnett and Atlanta area motorcycle-accident attorney who can help you claim damages against the parties responsible for your harm.