Forbes identifies motorcyclists without a helmet contribute to 14% of all deaths in traffic accidents. Are motorcycle helmets required and do we really need motorcycle helmet laws? In this article, we will review is motorcycle helmet mandatory in USA? You’ll discover everything you need to know about motorcycle helmet laws i.e. What is the motorcycle helmet law in Missouri? Does Kansas City have a motorcycle helmet law? Find the answers and stay safe on the road with our comprehensive guide.
Understanding Missouri’s Helmet Laws
Is there a motorcycle helmet law in Missouri? The answer is yes. The Universal Helmet Law of Missouri was passed in 2019, but this legislation has been revised recently to add a specific category of motorcyclists who must wear a helmet when driving a motorcycle.
- Anyone under the age of 25
- A motorcyclist who is driving a motorcycle on an instruction permit.
In the second class, there is no age restriction, and it applies to motorcyclists from all age groups. There are no specific laws in Missouri about how tight the helmet should be, but the general principle is that it should be able to protect the head. It is crucial to understand that breach of Missouri helmet rules can result in a fine of up to $25.
What Measures Are Taken to Enforce Missouri’s Helmet Law?
Missouri is a secondary enforcement state which means that the law enforcement officers such as police, and traffic or highway police cannot ask motorcyclists to pull over so they can incur fines on them against a helmet law violation. They have the authority to cite a helmet law violation if the motorcyclist is below the age of 25, or they are driving the motorcycle on an instruction permit. However, it is the jurisdiction of the court to impose the penalty under the Missouri helmet laws. This is the primary measure taken by Missouri state to enforce Missouri’s helmet laws, but it is not as effective as the enforcement mechanism employed by the primary enforcement states in the United States. Are motorcycle helmets required for riders above 25, no, as long as they prove they have health insurance coverage.
How Effective are Helmet Laws in Missouri?
Being a secondary enforcement state, there are some impediments to the effectiveness of Missouri helmet laws. A traffic officer will have to stop a motorcyclist to enquire about their age, type of license, etc., to determine whether there has been a violation. This is impractical as the traffic officers cannot stop every person they see to enquire about their license status, and the laws of Missouri only allow them to cite the violation. This is a shortcoming in Missouri helmet law and has made effective enforcement of helmet laws in Missouri impossible.
What is the Impact of Helmet Use on Motorcycle Safety?
There are many impacts of helmet use on motorcycle safety. Some of them are as follows:
- Prevention of head injury: Are motorcycle helmets supposed to be tight? There is no one answer to this. However, wearing a helmet can help prevent head injuries by reducing the force impact on your skull when a crash happens. According to the statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the use of helmets can save economic costs up to $1.5 billion in the USA if the helmets are worn by the riders. These economic costs include medical expenses and the compensation/insurance claims that are brought by the victim of a motorcycle accident due to not wearing a helmet.
- Reduces fatal accidents and fatality rate: More than 5,500 motorcyclists lost their lives in 2020. Statistics show that approximately 1,872 fatalities have been prevented by using helmets.
- Prevention of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): According to the statistics presented by the Traffic Safety Facts: Bicyclists and Other Cyclists 2020 reports, there have been 52.4% cases of Traumatic Brain Injuries out of all motorcycle accidents. The use of helmets prevents TBIs.
- Protection of face and eyes: The use of a Helmet also ensures your eyes and face are also well-protected from injuries.
How Does Helmet Use Impact the Outcome of Motorcycle Accident Claims?
In Kansas City, the outcome of a motorcycle accident claim may be impacted by the degree of your fault in an accident. While considering the factors involved in a motorcycle accident and the extent of liability of the at-fault party, courts or insurance companies often analyze the comparative negligence of the rider. If they have failed to take safety precautions such as wearing a helmet, the compensation you are entitled to will be deducted to the extent of your contributory negligence in the accident. In many personal injury cases, the at-fault party may also use contributory negligence as a defense. If you have failed to mitigate the potential damages and did not use the safety measures given under the law such as wearing a helmet, you may not receive part of your insurance claim, or compensation money through the court, to the extent of your fault in the accident.
In a nutshell, Missouri helmet motorcycle laws are vague about some aspects of motorcycle and road safety. A helmet is not mandatory for all motorcyclists in Missouri and Kansas City. Only a specific category of motorcyclists is required by law to wear a helmet. However, it is essential to understand there may be consequences and implications for you in the event of an accident if you don’t wear a helmet. You may lose a part of your insurance coverage for comparative negligence if an accident happens to you and you receive injuries that could have been prevented if you were wearing a helmet. If you suffer an injury in a motorcycle accident or have questions about Missouri’s motorcycle helmet laws, our lawyers can help you.
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