Motorcycle Helmet Safety
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, helmets reduce the risk of death by 37% and reduce the risk of head injury by 69%. That’s why many states require them, including Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania requires helmets for motorcycle operators and passengers under 21 and all riders with a learner’s permit. Riders over 21 can forgo helmets if they complete a safety course approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation or the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and have had their motorcycle license for at least two years. Pennsylvania also requires riders to wear protective eye wear with shatter-proof glass, sunglasses are also acceptable.
While not mandatory for all riders, motorcycle safety advocates strongly encourage helmet use. Helmets in use must meet safety standards set out by the U.S. Department of Transportation and must have a DOT sticker on the outside of the helmet to show compliance. Helmets must be marked with the name of the manufacturer, the model, and size of the helmet, as well as the month and year the helmet was made.
Motorcyclists can also actively help ensure their safety by following a few practical suggestions:
- Keep your bike in good operating condition, especially the brakes, and head and tail lights
- Follow the traffic laws and make sure to signal when changing lanes
- Drive within the speed limit
- Avoid riding too close to another vehicle or in another driver's blind spot
- Do not operate any type of vehicle, including motorcycles, while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
In addition, other drivers on the road need to be aware of motorcyclists and drive safely around or near motorcycles:
- Allow safe distance between you and the motorcycle driver
- Use extra caution when making left turns
- Always check your blind spots
- Plan for inclement weather and use appropriate caution while near a motorcycle
Looking for more tips? The Pennsylvania DMV offers a safety program, available at https://www.dmv.pa.gov/Driver-Services/Motorcyclists/PAMSP/Pages/default.aspx
No matter what type of vehicle you are driving, you have a responsibility to operate the vehicle as safely as possible. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a motorcycle crash, reach out to our team of attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. for a free consultation today. You can reach Melissa Scartelli at 570-346-2600.