The beautiful scenery and weather make Memphis a popular location for motorcyclists. Riding a motorcycle offers plenty of enjoyment—but it also presents more risks than driving or riding in typical passenger vehicles. The best way to keep yourself safe on the roadways is to know and comply with state traffic laws, including wearing helmets.
Wearing headgear and other safety equipment can not only save your life, but is also crucial for recovering damages after accidents caused by someone else’s carelessness. For more information or help after your involvement in a wreck, call a qualified attorney who is knowledgeable about Memphis motorcycle helmet laws.
Tennessee follows a universal helmet law. All motorcyclists and passengers must wear helmets at all times while the vehicle is in motion. According to the regulations of the Tennessee Code Annotated § 55-9-302, crash helmets must also comply with the federal Department of Transportation (DOT) standards.
Federally approved safety helmets must undergo impact, penetration, configuration, and retention system testing. The purpose of these assessments is to ensure durability in collisions and provide an appropriate level of head protection. Approved helmets have FMVSS 218 emblems on the back to establish that they meet the United States DOT minimum safety requirements.
A citation for non-compliance with the helmet statute is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by fines of up to $50 and 30 days in jail. When minors under 18 violate the regulations, their parents and guardians could face charges. An attorney knowledgeable about Memphis motorcycle helmet regulations could review the rules and how they may impact financial recovery from a crash.
Universal helmet laws exist to protect riders and minimize the number of fatal accidents. In collisions without the protection of safety helmets, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advises that riders are at a significantly higher risk of severe bodily harm or death. Wearing headgear meeting the federal requirements decreases risk of traumatic brain injuries by approximately 70 percent and the chance of death by nearly 40 percent.
Covering arms and legs with material, including heavy denim or leather, also provides substantial protection during crashes. The small size of motorcycles makes it challenging for other drivers to see them, and wearing brightly colored or reflective material can improve a biker’s visibility. Other benefits of wearing head and safety gear include:
An injury lawyer skilled in assisting riders with accident cases could review the motorcycle helmet laws in Memphis during a free consultation.
Wearing helmets significantly reduces the risk of sustaining life-threatening or fatal injuries in crashes. While some riders would prefer not to use safety gear, the universal helmet laws are meant to protect you and reduce the number of deaths occurring on the roads and highways each year.
Compliance with the regulations also improves your chance of recovering the maximum potential award for damages after accidents with negligent motorists. The court could find that motorcyclists share fault for their injuries and losses when they were not wearing helmets in collisions. Contact us at Reaves Law Firm, PLLC for more information about Memphis motorcycle helmet laws and potential injury claims.