Michigan Helmet Laws: A Guide to Motorcycle Safety in Michigan

Michigan Helmet Laws: A Guide to Motorcycle Safety in MichiganWhether it be riding a car or a motorcycle, everyone just loves feeling the wind in their hair as they drive around town. It feels liberating. However, every choice is without its circumstances. Regardless of how often you travel, you realize that no matter how careful you are, it’s those safety precautions that could save you from accidents and unnecessary personal injuries. This is especially true for motorcycle riders.

Motorcycle riders are thirty times more likely to die in a traffic crash, and five times more likely to be injured than a passenger in a car.

As trusted and skillful lawyers who have represented motorcycle drivers and riders who have suffered injuries from motorcycle accidents, we feel the need to educate you on the importance of motorcycle safety here in Michigan.

Michigan Law on Helmet Use

Like most states, Michigan is not very strict when it comes to helmet use, but it has not always been that way. Before this, the state used to impose a Universal Helmet Law requiring helmet use. After several repeals, Motorcycle drivers and riders now have the liberty to choose whether or not they wear a helmet albeit subject to several conditions.

For the motorcycle operator, he/she must:

  1. Be at least 21 years old;
  2. Have at least $20,000.00 on first-party medical benefits; and
  3. Have held a motorcycle endorsement for at least two years, or have passed an approved motorcycle safety course.

For motorcycle passengers, on the other hand, they may not opt to wear the helmet provided:

  1. They are at least 21 years old; and
  2. Have at least $20,000 in first-party medical benefits insurance in addition to the insurance that is required of the motorcycle operator.

For persons under the age of 21, they are required to wear helmets duly approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation. This means that your helmet should properly fit your head. Not all helmets are created equal, and the perfect measurements provide better comfort and protection. The material should be capable of absorbing impact, and despite having a perfect fit, it should still have a proper chin strap to keep it secure while in use.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation even recommends that even if you have a sturdy helmet, you have to replace it every few years or so to maintain the highest level of protection when riding. The newest helmets often have the best protection as they usually have undergone product developments.

Note that helmet use is optional, but if you’re running in excess of 35mph, goggles, or eyeglasses, anything that will provide the motorcycle rider with a steady and clear vision is necessary.

The Importance of Helmets and Other Safety Apparels

Just because they are optional, doesn’t mean they are worthless. A study conducted after the Universal Helmet Law repeals revealed that the chances of motorcycle riders getting head injuries increased by 14% due to the 24-27% decrease in helmet use.

According to the Michigan State Police and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, wearing a helmet is 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries – head injury being the leading cause of death among motorcycle riders. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, un-helmeted riders are 40% more likely to suffer a fatal injury and 15% likely to incur non-fatal head injuries than motorcyclists.

Additionally, if the motorcycle rider is wearing an appropriately fitted helmet, the rider has a better ability to hear because of the reduction in wind noise. Helmets also ensure good vision because they prevent dirt, dust, debris, and other kinds of particles from getting into the eyes.

Moreover, while Michigan Law is not strict about other safety apparels like gloves, pants, and pads, every frequent rider is all the more protected from scratches and other minor injuries with the proper apparel. As long as you get yourself properly fitted with the right apparel, you are likely to reduce the risk of potential injuries.

The Clark Law Office Can Help You With Your Motorcycle Accident Claims

Remember that wearing helmets and other gears won’t necessarily spare you from common motorcycle injuries resulting from left turn, head-on, and other common causes of accidents . Rather, they’ll minimize any damage you may experience in case you do suffer a common injury. In case of any motorcycle related accidents, contact The Clark Law Office.

Our team of experienced lawyers are dedicated in securing that injured motorcyclists, whether an operator or a passenger, are protected from unfair and deceptive insurance companies. Call us today to discuss your situation.

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