Riding a motorcycle with the wind blowing through your hair is one of the most liberating experiences for many people, and they ask themselves Should I Wear a Motorcycle Helmet?. And since the state of Colorado does not have a mandatory helmet law, many motorcyclists feel that this accessory is not really necessary. In reality, the feeling of complete freedom as you ride your motorbike without a helmet comes with a huge price: the risk of being involved in an accident, resulting in severe injuries, or even death.
Over the years, personal injury attorneys at Firouzbakht Law Firm have seen too many tragic consequences of not wearing motorcycle helmets. We offered legal advice to too many bereaved families or clients whose life was forever changed after a collision with a vehicle on the road. We believe that helmets save lives, and we wish to offer helpful advice to all passionate motorcyclists so that they can enjoy their hobby for a very long time.
As we explained above, motorcycle helmets are not mandatory on the roads of Colorado for persons over the age of 18 and their passengers. However, they are obliged to wear protective glasses or goggles made of safety glass or plastic.
Moreover, any motorcyclists and passengers under 18 must wear a helmet meeting federal regulations set by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). At the same time, these partial helmet laws in Colorado state that the motorcyclists must wear the chin strap as long as they are in motion.
Of course, not all helmets are created equal, and this is why there are helmet safety standards in place. Thus, the types of helmets that meet the DOT standards include:
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,985 motorcycle riders were killed across the US in 2018. For the state of Colorado, the statistical data is more up to date. Thus, in 2019, there were 103 motorcycle deaths. By September 2020, the number increased by 12% compared to the same time the previous year, according to Colorado Department of Transportation.
Also, it is worth noting that fatal motorcycle accidents represent 23% of all roadway deaths in Colorado, despite the fact that motorbikes represent just 3% of all vehicles.
Before you go helmet shopping, you must know exactly what you need. You will notice, when you conduct an online search, that there are no less than six types of helmets:
The full face motorcycle helmet offers the most coverage for your head and neck, therefore is the safest options. Secondly, you must ensure that your safety helmet is manufactured according to the DOT standards. A compliant helmet is certified either by the Department of Transportation or by Snell Memorial Foundation. If you cannot find any information on certification, you should assume that the helmet does not meet basic safety requirements.
Last, but not least, you must ensure that you buy a properly-fitted helmet. Start by measuring the circumference of your head with tape, just above the eyebrows. Now you know which helmet size you need. However, you must always try on the helmet before you buy it. The padding should touch your head and cheeks and fit snugly, without being too tight.
An unhelmeted motorcyclist risks losing their lives or becoming severely disabled for the rest of their life. These are strong arguments in favor of wearing a motorbike helmet all the times, but we have other important reasons to share with you.
Some of the most catastrophic injuries caused by a motorbike crash are to the head. If you are not wearing a helmet, an impact with the asphalt even at a slow speed is terrible. Some victims remain brain-dead or severely impaired.
A full recovery is rare, and survivors have to adapt to a new life of limitations, including the loss of earning capacity. On top of this, they need to go through an injury claim settlement process to recover the costs with hospital bills, long-term medical care as well as various non-economic losses (disfigurement, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life).
Wearing a helmet makes a huge difference. According to NHTSA statistics, helmeted motorcyclists have 73% less risk of death in a crash and 67% less risk of brain injury.
Many motorcycle riders believe that wearing a helmet reduces their field of vision and prevents them from seeing properly. In reality, wearing a full helmet with the visor down reduces the glare from direct sunlight and prevents wind, rain and snow from interfering with your vision.
Motorcycle helmet safety specialists know what happens when a pebble hits your face while you are riding at 60 mph or more. It can cause a severe wound to your face, break your teeth or damage your eye permanently.
Roads are not perfectly clean and any small item your motorbike wheel hits can bounce up and hit you in the face. And when something like this happens, it is enough to cause you to lose control of the bike for a moment, due to pain, momentary blindness or sheer surprise. In our experience as personal injury lawyers in Denver, a moment is all it takes to cause a traffic collision.
You may start out with fine, sunny weather, but end up in a downpour. Without a helmet, you will be soaked in seconds, your vision will become blurred, and you will be distracted by the unpleasant sensation of wet hair sticking to your head. These are the ingredients of a potential motorbike accident. When you wear a helmet, you can safely ride your motorbike even if it starts raining.
If you were a victim in a collision with a car while riding your bike, you have the right to receive fair compensation for your medical bills and other expenses. Even riders of motorcycles without helmets are entitled to this kind of compensation. Also, you have the right to receive compensation even if you were partly at fault for the accident.
According to Colorado Revised Statutes Title 13, the victim of any accident will receive compensation in proportion to their degree of responsibility for the occurrence, if their degree of fault is less than 50%. This is the so-called the comparative negligence rule. For example, if the total expenses to recover from a motorbike crash were $100,000, and you were found to be 20% at fault, you may recover a maximum $80,000 in compensation.
At Firouzbakht Law Firm, we have extensive experience in negotiating settlements for victims of motorcycle accidents or taking the case to court before judge and jury. We work on a contingency based fee, meaning that we get paid only after we win your case. If you or a loved one was injured in a motorbike accident, we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation. We are available 24/7, so call us anytime you need our advice: 833-801-0171!