Maryland Motorcycle Helmet Laws and Liability

From early childhood, people learn the importance of wearing helmets when riding a bicycle or motorcycle. While the risks of riding a motorcycle without a helmet are widely recognized, many people continue to ride motorcycles without an appropriate helmet. Although helmets cannot prevent a Maryland motorcycle accident, they can reduce the likelihood of serious injuries and death.

There are many reasons some motorcyclists choose not to wear protective gear, and the reasons may include vanity, overconfidence, and discomfort. A significant number of motorcycle accidents occur on shorter trips, thus making it even more critical that riders wear helmets on every trip. Wearing protective gear can significantly reduce the likelihood of severe and long-lasting injuries and death.

In addition to the health and safety benefit, motorcyclists should wear helmets to ensure that they do not receive a citation for violating Maryland’s helmet laws. Section 21-1306 of the Transportation Article of the Maryland Code (Code) gives the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MVACS) the authority to create helmet safety standards. Under the Code, motorcycle helmets must have a chin or neck strap that fastens when the motorcycle is moving MVACS has additional standards that motorcyclists must comply with. Moreover, the United States Department of Transportation advises that motorcycle helmets fit tightly and have a safety certification. While motorcyclists who violate these standards may receive a citation and fine, evidence of helmet use cannot be used as evidence of contributory negligence, which means that a motorcyclist’s helmet use will not impact their likelihood of recovery in a personal injury lawsuit.

Motorcycle helmets sold in the United States must meet the Department of Transportation (DOT) label. Safety authorities gauge helmet safety based on the design and protective nature of the outer shell, impact-absorbing liner, comfort padding, and retention system. In addition to the DOT certification, other companies that more frequently update testing standards and technology provide enhanced certifications for helmets that exceed the DOT’s standards.

In some cases, motorcyclists suffer serious injuries even while wearing a helmet, especially if the helmet was defective. The manufacturer or retailer of a defective motorcycle helmet may be held liable for injuries that a rider or passenger suffered. These cases generally stem from a design or manufacturing defect. However, the manufacturer may claim that the motorcyclist was not wearing the helmet properly. It is crucial that those who suffered injuries in a Maryland motorcycle accident contact an attorney to discuss their rights and remedies.

Have You Suffered Injuries in a Maryland Motorcycle Accident?

If you or someone you love has suffered injuries or died in a Maryland motorcycle accident, contact the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen. The lawyers at our firm have extensive experience handling complex Maryland injury cases involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, defective products, and more. Our attorneys possess the skills, resources, and knowledge that these cases require. We provide clients with a comprehensive and strategic case plan to ensure that they recover the damages the law entitles them. Contact our office at 800-654-1949 to discuss your injury case with an experienced and dedicated attorney on our team.

 

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