Sevierville Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Explain Tennessee Helmet Laws
Strong representation for victims of motorcycle accidents in Sevierville, Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge
Tennessee is a wonderful state for experiencing the freedom and joys of operating a motorcycle. The views along “the Tail of the Dragon” and other roads are spectacular. Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are a major cause of fatalities and catastrophic injuries because a fall from a motorcycle means the driver and passengers will strike the road with great force. Motorcycles are physically no match for cars and trucks when collisions occur.
To help protect against deaths and injuries, Tennessee has strong laws on the proper use of helmets and the proper maintenance of motorcycles. The Sevierville motorcycle accident lawyers at Delius & McKenzie, PLLC understand the motorcycle helmet safety laws for operators and passengers. For more than 20 years, our firm has helped accident victims in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Seymour, and throughout Tennessee, get justice when other drivers cause them harm.
The Tennessee helmet usage laws
Tennessee has a broad helmet usage law. All operators and passengers of a motorcycle are required to wear a proper helmet. This requirement applies to drivers and passengers of any age. The experience and skill of the driver or passenger is not a factor. Everyone must wear a helmet.
The crash helmets used must comply with federal safety standards. For operators and passengers 21 and older, some adjustments to helmets are allowed, though the helmets must still be worn. Helmets for riders 21 and over must meet the safety standards and have a label from one of the following:
- American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM)
- Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
- Southern Impact Research Center (SIRC)
- Snell Foundation
The failure to wear a helmet has more consequences than just a fine and a possible criminal charge. In Tennessee, the negligence of the person filing the claim for injuries is a factor in the litigation. The jury determines that percentage of fault for each side. The failure to wear a helmet can mean that an award is reduced. If the failure is more than half the fault of the plaintiff, the plaintiff will not be entitled to any compensation for fault.
Recent attempts to modify the Tennessee helmet laws have not been successful.
Our experienced Sevierville motorcycle helmet accident attorneys advise operators and passengers to wear proper safety helmets at all times.
What can happen in a motorcycle accident if you do not wear a helmet?
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, helmets reduce motorcycle fatalities by 37% and brain injuries by 67%. This is a main reason Tennessee has such a sweeping mandatory helmet law.
Injuries from motorcycle accidents are often deadly. Survivors, especially those who fail to have a helmet, can suffer traumatic brain injuries. Other common injuries from motorcycle spills and collisions include spinal cord damage and broken bones.
Motorcycle riders are encouraged to have other safety equipment, such as eye goggles and protective clothing. They should be properly trained on how to operate a motorcycle. The motorcycle should also have the proper equipment, such as working lights and handlebars that are the correct height for the driver.
Speak with an experienced Sevierville motorcycle helmet usage attorney today
At Delius & McKenzie, PLLC, our lawyers and staff understand how devastating a motorcycle accident can be. We work to get justice for victims by speaking with witnesses, reviewing police records, conducting extensive discovery, and reviewing the applicable law. To get your case started, please call us at 865-428-8780 or use our contact form to schedule a free appointment or discuss your case. We represent residents of Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Seymour, and throughout the surrounding areas of Tennessee.