Every motorcyclist knows the dangers of getting into an accident. They're well aware that even the most minor of accidents can mean serious injury or death. The last line of defense for most motorcyclists in the event of an accident is a helmet, but is the helmet really as effective as you may think? One Tennessee senator is not so sure, and he attempted to pass a bill based on his opinion.
According to the Senator, data from a bikers rights website indicates that many helmets on the market do not consistently meet standards set forth to ensure safety in crashes. Allegedly, those that do not provide the necessary protection may actually do more harm than good by increasing the chances of deadly neck injury. As a result of these findings, the senator proposed a bill that would allow motorcyclists who are older than 21 to choose not to wear a helmet if they had health coverage, and that coverage was not through TennCare.
The bill ultimately failed to pass by one vote, but the senator is not deterred by the failure. He sponsored the bill last year as well, at which time it did not pass, and he reportedly plans to do the same next year. In addition to the safety concerns, he claims that the bill will bring economic benefits as more people will purchase motorcycles and attend organized rides and rallies. Tennessee, the senator believes, should join the 31 other states that give adult bikers the choice to ride with a helmet.
Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum of motorcycle helmets, the reality is that you are likely to suffer significant injuries if you ever find yourself in a motorcycle accident. Whether a helmet saves a life or causes an extra injury, it has no bearing on who was at fault in the accident. If you were not at fault in the accident, you could recover compensation from the party who was.
Source: The Tennessean, "Bill to loosen helmet law fails," Cheri Reeves, March 25, 2015