If you are a lover of motorcycles, you probably have strong feelings regarding your constitutional rights while riding a motorcycle. Most states have some legislation regarding what you are required to do to ensure the safety of those around you. In Idaho, our motorcycle accident lawyers are ready to help.
You can equate the emotions felt about motorcycle helmets with those of automobile drivers who are required to wear a seatbelt. Yes, the government has studies that show there is less risk to the occupants of an automobile who are wearing their seatbelts during an accident. But, many Americans believe in their right to decide if they are willing to take that risk.
Idaho Helmet Law
In the state of Idaho, if you are under the age of 18, and riding or driving a motorcycle, you must wear a protective helmet. You must wear a helmet while riding any motorbike, ATV or off-road bike.
Standing Up For Your Rights
This is America. You have the right to fight for your rights. You have a right to vote into office people who support your belief system. However, there is another consideration you should take into account.
If you are involved in an accident, and you sue the responsible party for damages, the judge may take your refusal to wear a protective helmet into consideration.
While it is not illegal for you to choose to ride without one, the court can assign partial responsibility for your damages to you because you elected not to.
If you suffered $100,000 in damages and the judge rules that you are 50% responsible for your damages because you elected not to wear protective gear, your award drops down to $50,000. This may seem unfair, but the courts have the right to rule as they see fit.
What Do The Numbers Say?
According to the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety (IIHS), wearing a motorcycle helmet while involved in a motorcycle accident is 37% effective in preventing death.
The same research reports that wearing a motorcycle helmet while experiencing a motorcycle accident is 67% effective in preventing traumatic brain injury.
According to research provided by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 4976 deaths attributed to motorcycle crashes in 2015.
It is important to note; this is a national number. This number represents states that require motorcycle helmets and those that have minimal helmet requirements.
Are There Federal Mandates?
Supporters of a federal mandate of motorcycle helmets fall back on the healthcare expense of the motorcycle accident victim. Motorcyclists fatalities account for 14% of all the traffic accident fatalities annually.
Motorcyclists do not dispute the effectiveness of protective gear. They do, however, feel they have the right to self-govern themselves without government rules.
If a person elects to drive a motorcycle in the state of Idaho without the use of a helmet, he or she is accepting the risk of being seriously hurt in an accident. They are also further accepting that the legal system may penalize them for their choices. These are risks they are willing to take with his body and his property.
What Is The Takeaway?
Few people would argue that not wearing a helmet while riding a two-wheeled vehicle at a high rate of speed is not a smart move. However, they feel they have a constitutional right to govern their own behavior and their right to take those risks. If safety is important to you, it is always best to wear a helmet, and as always, if you are injured in an accident, consult with a law firm immediately.