Newport News Motorcycle Helmet Laws
Wearing a helmet is the single most important step you could take when it comes to protecting yourself while operating or riding on a motorcycle. According to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a motorcyclist without a helmet has a 40 percent higher chance of suffering a fatal head injury in an accident compared to a rider with a helmet on.
Additionally, wearing a motorcycle helmet is also a requirement under state law, and failing to meet this requirement could have significant personal and legal consequences. A knowledgeable lawyer from Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers could explain Newport News motorcycle helmet laws to you in further detail and help you understand how the failure to wear one could impact civil recovery after a wreck.
Does Everyone Have to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet?
While motorcycle helmet laws in some states only require helmets for riders under a certain age, Virginia does not make any exceptions based on age, skill level, or any other criteria. Under Code of Virginia §46.2-910, both motorcycle drivers and passengers must wear protective helmets at all times while their vehicle is in motion.
There are only a few circumstances under which a helmet is not required for a motorcycle rider in Newport News. Specifically, riders on motorcycles with wheel diameters of eight inches or less are not required to wear helmets, nor are individuals riding on or in three-wheeled autocycles or motorcycles with “non-removable roofs, windshields, and enclosed bodies.”
Additionally, protective helmets are not required for riders participating in organized parades that have received approval from the Department of Transportation or local authorities. However, the motorcyclist and their passengers must be accompanied or escorted by local law enforcement officers, and they cannot exceed speeds of 15 miles per hour.
Safety Standards for Motorcycle Helmets
Wearing any old protective headgear will not necessarily satisfy the criteria set by the motorcycle helmet laws in Newport News. To abide by state law, motorcyclists must wear helmets that meet or exceed the safety standards set by the federal Department of Transportation, the American National Standards Institute, or the Snell Memorial Foundation. The helmet must also have a sticker or marking that affirms its compliance with these safety regulations. The specific standards set by federal law can be found in 49 CFR §571.218.
How Newport News Motorcycle Helmet Laws Could Impact Civil Recovery
While failure to wear a helmet is far from the only action a motorcycle rider could take that might interfere with their right to seek civil compensation after an accident, it is often one of the most consequential. Since motorcycle riders are required by law to wear protective helmets, not doing so could constitute legal negligence if it directly leads to a rider or passenger suffering a head injury in a crash.
Unfortunately, any degree of contributory fault by an injured party could be devastating to their chances of civil recovery. Under the contributory fault system, any plaintiff found at all to blame for their own injuries may be barred from recovering any civil recovery whatsoever. In light of this, following Newport News motorcycle helmet laws is especially crucial for anyone who wishes to hold another party liable for their accident.