Helmet Use and Personal Injury Accidents
Wearing a helmet offers the best protection against injury or death, but state motorcycle helmet laws vary widely. Including Indiana, 27 states require only some riders to wear helmets. Another 20 states require helmets for all riders, while three states have no helmet requirement.
Motorcycle Helmet Statistics
- In states with universal helmet laws, helmet use averages 96 percent. In states without universal requirements, use averages less than 50 percent (including lower use by minors who are required to wear them).
- In U.S. fatal motorcycle accidents, two-thirds of operators and passengers were not wearing a helmet. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that motorcycle helmets reduce the likelihood of a fatality by 37 percent.
- Head injuries are the leading cause of U.S. motorcycle deaths. The NHTSA estimates helmets are 67 percent effective in preventing traumatic brain injury.
- In Indiana, 80 percent of the 110 people killed on motorcycles in 2005 were not wearing a helmet.
Indiana Motorcycle Helmet Law
Indiana does not have a universal helmet law. The statute reads:
“An Individual less than eighteen (18) years of age who is operating or riding on a motorcycle shall do the following:”
- “Wear protective headgear meeting the minimum standards set by the bureau.”
- “Wear protective glasses, goggles, or transparent face shields.”
Protective Equipment and Personal Injury Accidents
A helmet and protective eyewear are no guarantee of surviving a crash or escaping injury, but ample independent studies have proven they save lives and mitigate injury. Even with a helmet and goggles, glasses, or visor, brain injury, loss of limb, paralysis, motorcycle road rash, broken bones, and other injuries are common.
If you were injured in an Indiana motorcycle accident, you can bet the other driver’s insurance company will investigate whether or not you were helmeted. Although helmets are not required in Indiana for adults, not wearing one could be construed as negligence in a personal injury claim. Indiana is a comparative fault state, so you can still bring a claim, but your compensation would be reduced by your degree of fault. Even if the victim is under 18 and not helmeted at the time, he or she can collect some damages when another driver or person shares fault for the injury.
Injured? Call Our 24-Hour Hotline at 800.278.9200
For more information about Indiana helmet law or your motorcycle injury claim, contact Indianapolis motorcycle crash attorney Randy Sevenish for a free consultation. We represent bikers (and their passengers) throughout Indiana.