Beaufort Motorcycle Helmet Laws
Riders in Beaufort and throughout South Carolina are known for loving the freedom of the open road. While many riders prefer driving without a helmet, there is no doubt that proper protective gear can save lives. Understanding the motorcycle helmet laws in Beaufort is important for any rider, as a helmet could reduce the severity of an injury from a crash.
The Center for Disease Control identifies the use of helmets as the most effective way to prevent fatal motorcycle accidents. In fact, they estimate that nearly 2,000 lives were saved due to the use of helmets in 2016 alone. They affect more than just fatalities, as head injuries are also reduced by nearly 70 percent when using a helmet.
Helmet Laws for Minors
There are strict motorcycle helmet requirements for anyone under the age of 21 in South Carolina. South Carolina Statute §56-5-3660 sets the helmet requirements for motorcycle riders across the state. It is unlawful in Beaufort for anyone under the age of 21 to operate a motor vehicle without wearing a safety helmet. Riders that fail to comply with these requirements could be ticketed and fined. These requirements change once a rider reaches the age of 21, however.
Helmet Laws for Adults
Unlike minors, there are no requirements for adults to wear motorcycle helmets while traveling on Beaufort roads or highways. While there is no doubt that these helmets could greatly benefit adult riders in the event of a crash, they are optional for over the age of 21. While South Carolina at one time had a universal helmet law, those requirements were eliminated beginning in 1980.
The Importance of Motorcycle Helmets
Motorcycles lack the cushioning and structural protection offered by larger passenger vehicles. While cars and trucks can absorb a significant amount of impact, motorcycles offer little in the way of protection.
Many motorcycle crashes are caused by a direct impact with another vehicle. At high speeds, this impact can be devastating. Fortunately, a helmet can offer valuable protection against traumatic brain injuries.
Another common type of motorcycle accident involves a rider falling from their bike and skidding. Not only can a helmet prevent road rash to the protected area, it also reduces the risk of injury if the rider collides with something while skidding on pavement.
The failure to wear a helmet could potentially impact a rider’s personal injury claim as well. An insurance company could argue the rider was partially responsible for their injuries by failing to wear a safety helmet. This is especially true for anyone under 21 that is injured while in violation of the state helmet statute. A Beaufort motorcycle accident attorney could help advise an injured rider on the viability of their claim, whether they wore a helmet or not.
Contact A Beaufort Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Motorcycle accidents can results in devastating injuries, especially when the rider fails to wear a safety helmet. When these accidents happen, an injured rider could recover compensation for their injuries if they were caused by another person.
If you suffered an injury in a Beaufort motorcycle accident, you could have a viable claim for damages, even if you were not wearing a helmet. For help with your case, call Schiller & Hamilton today.