Some members of the Delaware House of Representatives recently made a move to prevent a mandatory helmet bill for motorcyclists from moving to the full House of Representatives. A report from one local news source stated that the maneuver puts the plan to require all motorcycle riders to wear a helmet in “legislative purgatory,” and it will prevent the bill from becoming law until at least the next legislative session.
What Is the Law and What Are the Benefits?
The proposed law would require all riders to wear a helmet. The current law requires motorcyclists to have a helmet in their possession but not to wear it. When actually worn, helmets make motorcycle riding safer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, helmets reduce the risk of death by 37% and reduce the risk of head injury by 69%. The proposed change would have made Delaware a state with a universal helmet law, much like the law in Maryland, where helmets became mandatory in 1992.
The Benefits of Maryland’s Law
Advocates for mandatory helmets have pointed to the success of the Maryland law in arguing for mandatory helmet laws across the country. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 52 lives have been saved in Maryland motorcycle accidents, and the State of Maryland has saved over $106 million since passing the universal helmet law in 1992. The financial benefits from emergency, medical, and support costs that are saved are augmented by the tax revenue that the state receives from the riders remaining a part of the workforce.
Opponents of the Law and the Serious Problem of Unsafe Drivers
The move to stall the Delaware bill was not an accident, and there are many people who are opposed to the enforcement of helmet laws on the public roads. Opponents argue that riders should have the choice to wear a helmet, and they should have the freedom to choose to put themselves at risk by not wearing a helmet. Many motorcycle riders are upset that legislative efforts are being used to support helmet laws when they feel that the larger problem is dangerous drivers and unsafe or poorly designed roads that threaten motorcyclists by leading to crashes in the first place. A helmet certainly increases a rider’s chance of survival in a crash, but a helmet can’t protect anyone from getting in a crash if a reckless driver merges into them or tries to pass illegally.
Protection for Motorcyclists
Motorcycle riders and passengers should always wear a helmet. In Maryland, it’s the law, but even in Delaware or other states where helmets are optional, the roads are just too dangerous to be riding a motorcycle without a helmet. Just as with the protection provided by a helmet, it is important for motorcycle riders to have legal protection in the event of an accident.
Have You Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers can help you with your case. We are dedicated to our clients and have experience representing motorcyclists in all kinds of injury cases. Don’t let the ignorance and negligence of other drivers keep you off the road. Call us at 410-654-3600 and schedule a free consultation today or contact us online
More Blog Posts:
Episcopal Bishop Asked to Resign After Involvement in Fatal Bicycle Accident, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published February 26, 2015.
Head-On Collision between Two Motorcyclists Kills One, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published January 28, 2015.