State law does not require adult motorcyclists to wear helmets, but it is highly recommended. Brain injuries are some of the most common consequences of motorbike wrecks. Wearing a helmet can significantly reduce the risk of severe head trauma.

For more information about motorcycle helmet laws in Phoenix, you should reach out to a seasoned attorney at our firm. Knowledge of these rules and regulations can be beneficial when dealing with the aftermath of an accident.

Phoenix has some popular routes for motorcyclists, especially since the climate is perfect for riding nearly year-round. Some common motorcycle trips include taking U.S. 60 to Cottonwood Canyon Run, riding on Wickenburg Road, or even taking a two-day trip from Phoenix/Mesa to Punkin Center and back. For many, motorcycles are simply a daily form of transportation, as they can reduce parking stress and be more convenient in other ways.

Motorcycle safety is a critical element of enjoying and riding your bike. You can never control what drivers on the road will do, so you must do everything possible to protect yourself. Even when the law does not mandate helmet use, it is the right thing to do for yourself. If a driver injured you in an accident, and they are at fault, you can receive payment for your injuries. Whether you have worn a helmet is a factor in how much money you can get. We can help you file a claim or a lawsuit for your motorcycle accident injuries.

Are Motorcyclists in Phoenix Required to Wear a Helmet?

The State of Arizona encourages the use of helmets by motorcyclists. However, the state does not make this mandatory for everyone. While helmets improve biker safety, Arizona does not require it for most motorcyclists. Only bikers younger than the age of 18 have to wear a helmet.

These riders must also have:

  • Glasses
  • Goggles
  • A transparent face shield

There are other safety requirements with which drivers must be familiar, especially if they are transporting passengers on the back of their motorcycle.

Only motorcyclists under the age of 18 are required to wear head protection. Adults may choose whether or not they want to wear a helmet, though it is strongly recommended. Regardless of age, all riders are required to wear glasses or goggles while operating their vehicles. Those who are unsure about their requirements under state law should speak with a knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer.

Most States Do Not Have Helmet Laws

Other than that, helmet wearing is optional in Arizona. The state is not in the minority. Most states in the country do not have universal motorcycle helmet laws, no matter how much it improves safety. Only 18 states and the District of Columbia have laws that require motorcycle helmets. There have been some efforts in Arizona to make helmet wearing mandatory, but as of now, no official laws came into effect.

How Motorcycle Helmets Are Made

A motorcycle helmet is a smart investment in your protection.

They usually involve two materials:

  • There is an outer layer of the helmet that is made out of plastic, fiberglass, or Kevlar to absorb the shock of impact.
  • Beneath the outer layer is expanded polystyrene or polypropylene “EPS” foam to provide further cushioning to protect the head.

Between the rigid outer shell and the cushioning is a thin layer that absorbs some of the impacts. Motorcycle helmet prices vary widely. They can be as little as $50 and cost up to $2,000. Of course, like anything else, you get what you pay for in terms of protection. If you try to economize on your safety, you may find that your helmet does not do much in terms of providing protection. This is a critical piece of equipment, and you should be deliberate about your decision.

Federal Standards for Manufacturing Helmets

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the government entity that sets the federal standards for manufacturing motorcycle helmets. On-road helmets must meet the performance requirements detailed in 49 Code of Federal Regulations § 517.218.

Manufacturers must adhere to these guidelines and self-report that their products meet the standards in order to receive the NHTSA seal of approval. The agency does not test the helmets before giving the certification, though they occasionally test random samples of products to verify compliance.

If the company’s helmet does not pass the tests, they will be fined. When shopping for a motorcycle helmet in Phoenix, it is always best to purchase one with the NHTSA seal.

Measuring the Performance of a Product

The National Highway Traffic Safety administration performs several tests on helmets. For example, they assess how well the product deals with impact. This is done by holding the helmet at a fixed height and dropping it on a flat surface. The agency also does tests to determine how well the product resists penetration and how much force the straps can withstand without breaking.

Always Buy Some Kind of Motorcycle Helmet, Preferably the One Best for You

However, if you have the choice of wearing an inexpensive helmet because that is what you can afford or no helmet at all, you should always opt for something. There are simply too many risks to not wearing a helmet.

If you have the choice of only one feature, you should pay extra attention to the thickness of the helmet, making sure that it is at least one inch thick. Worry about what is the safest and most comfortable for you. After all, you do not want to purchase and helmet and not wear it because it is uncomfortable.

Here are the primary types of helmets that are available:

  • Full-face
  • Open face
  • Skull cap helmets

Which type of helmet you buy is up to you, and you should find one that will give you the most protection. Usually, full-face helmets are the best because they will protect both your head and face. However, make sure that you can fully see the road if your entire face is covered.

Safety Gear for Bikers

Besides motorcycle helmets, riders should also consider the following safety gear:

  • Jacket
  • Gloves
  • Pants
  • Boots

The more that bikers invest in their safety, the better protected they are in an accident. However, even the most advanced safety gear possible will not always prevent injuries, although they may make them less severe. Safety equipment is always a worthwhile investment, but it can be expensive.

The Benefits of Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet

Although motorcycle helmet wearing is not mandatory for everyone in Arizona, it is certainly a good idea. Simply stated, helmets keep you safe in the event of an accident. While helmet-wearing is a personal choice, it is simply the right one to make.

Here are some of the benefits of motorcycle helmets:

  • They reduce the chance of head injury in a motorcycle accident by 69 percent
  • They reduce the chance of death by 42 percent
  • They reduce the total economic cost to society from motorcycle accidents by $17 billion
  • They protect against traumatic brain injuries

According to the United States Government Accountability Office, 59 percent of people killed in motorcycle accidents were not wearing a helmet. The numbers do not lie as to why it makes sense to wear a helmet. Countless other statistics demonstrate the increase in safety from helmet wearing.

Motorcycle Helmets Still Cannot Keep You Completely Safe

While motorcycle helmets reduce the risk of serious injury, they do not eliminate it. You can still suffer injuries when wearing a motorcycle helmet, but that does not mean that you should not wear one. Even if Arizona law does not require a helmet, you should still exercise some degree of caution. We do not question the laws of our state. We just recommend that motorcyclists do everything that they can to stay safe and preserve their legal rights. This will cut down on the chance that you may suffer a traumatic brain injury in a motorcycle crash.

Not Wearing a Helmet Can Increase Your Claim Challenges

Even if motorcycle helmet wearing is not mandatory, the failure to wear it can impact your legal case. The insurance company will never miss an opportunity to try to pin your injuries on you as a way of avoiding their responsibility to pay when their policyholder is at fault.

They will claim that you would not have suffered serious injuries had you worn a helmet. However, we all know that while wearing a motorcycle helmet can help in some ways, nearly everyone who wears a helmet still sustains some kind of injury.

Helmet wearing provides you with some degree of protection, but it is not an absolute answer to everything. When an insurance company becomes difficult regarding helmet use, it is even more important to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer.

Many other motorcycle accidents have nothing to do with your head.

These can include:

  • Neck and back injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Internal injuries
  • Collapsed lungs
  • Spinal cord injuries

Helmet wearing cannot prevent these types of injuries, and you deserve full financial compensation for them. Even when your head sustains trauma, you can still receive some type of compensation for it, even if it is not 100 percent of the damages that you suffered.

Arizona Law Still Allows You to Financially Recover When Not Wearing a Helmet

At the very least, the insurance company will try to cut your recovery for head injuries sustained when not wearing a helmet. In Arizona, you can still receive some sort of financial payment, even when you bear some of the blame for your accident. The way Arizona law works is that your recovery just decreases by the percentage of fault that you have for your injuries.

However, here is where your attorney will need to stand up and fight for you. The insurance company may even try to say that you are more than half at fault for your accident injuries. In a motorcycle accident case, this is rarely true. We will fight when the insurance company tries to blow your amount of fault out of proportion when you were not wearing a helmet. Of course, if you were wearing a helmet, the insurance company will have even less of a leg to stand on when they try to reduce your settlement check. When a motorist has done something to injure you, they will nearly always be mostly or all to blame for it. Not wearing a helmet should only partially reduce your financial recovery. Certainly, it will not eliminate it.

Determining Negligence in a Motorcycle Crash

Nonetheless, whether you were wearing a helmet is not the determining factor in a motorcycle crash. The most important question is whether the other driver was negligent in the crash, as this is why the court will order compensation in your case.

To find someone negligent, you will need to prove:

  1. The driver owes you a duty of care, which is simple to prove in most cases because every driver owes this duty to those around them on the road.
  2. The driver breached the duty of care by acting unreasonably under the circumstances. Unreasonable actions can include speeding, illegal turn or lane changes, or tailgating too closely behind a motorcycle. It does not matter that a driver cannot easily see motorcyclists in their blindspot. They can still be negligent.
  3. You suffered an injury.
  4. Your injuries occurred due to the negligent actions of the driver.

Not wearing a helmet may break the chain of causation. A court may find that your failure to wear a helmet was the real cause of your injury. More often, the failure to wear a helmet becomes a factor in determining how much responsibility each party has for the injuries. If your case went to court, a jury might first find that the other party was negligent. Then, it would decide the percentage of responsibility.

This is where you need a lawyer to argue your case and explain that the real cause of the injuries was what the driver did, regardless of whether you were wearing a helmet. Do not let yourself be pushed around by anyone who is acting in their self-interest.

How Can Lack of Head Protection Impact a Civil Claim in Phoenix?

Though it is not mandated by law, failure to wear a helmet can negatively impact an individual’s motorcycle accident case. If someone suffered a traumatic brain injury in a vehicle collision, the opposing party might deny responsibility if the motorcyclists did not have head protection.

In the event that the opposing party is successful, the injured person may have their compensation reduced by a significant percentage. While a skilled lawyer could anticipate these tactics, it is best to always wear a helmet.

Motorcycle Accident Cases Are Not Always Easy

As you can see, motorcycle accident claims are not always as cut and dry as they may seem, no matter what happened to cause the accident. An insurance company will always have tricks up its sleeve to try to cut the amount of money that it needs to pay you. Your best line of defense is a tough and aggressive attorney who will push back when the insurance company tries to pad its profits at your expense.

A motorcycle accident attorney will tell your story as effectively as possible to help maximize your financial recovery. Otherwise, you may be like fish in a barrel to a smart insurance adjuster and lawyers.

If you are unsatisfied with the money that the insurer offers, you may file a lawsuit. The insurance company is not the be-all and end-all when it comes to compensation. They are just the agent that pays for the damage that their policyholders cause. They are not a judge, nor are they a jury. We make that very clear to them when they are playing games with your settlement.

As your attorney, we may work with accident reconstruction and medical experts to establish the exact cause of your injuries and how you suffered injuries even if you were wearing a helmet. We do not accept anything that anyone says at face value, especially when the facts do not support it.

Speak to Phoenix Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

If you sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident, you need an experienced attorney to represent you. The right motorcycle accident attorney works for you on a contingency basis, so you should not let money worries stop you from making this critical call.

If you do not receive payment for your case, we also do not receive fees. Never hesitate to contact a Phoenix motorcycle accident attorney for a free initial consultation to learn more about the legal process for your motorcycle accident case. Otherwise, you may find yourself at the mercy of the insurance company.

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