Why Is It So Important To Wear a Helmet on Motorcycles?

Overturned motorcycle after collision

Why is it so important to wear a helmet on motorcycles? Motorcycle helmets can reduce the risks of head injuries by more than 50%. They prevent the risk of death by 37% for riders and 41% for passengers. With helmets on during a crash, riders and passengers may be able to avoid serious injuries, disability, or loss of life.

With little protection for the rider in a collision or crash, the injuries victims sustain in motorbike accidents are often more severe and deadlier than in other motor vehicle crashes. The NHTSA reports for Nevada show that motorbike crashes represented 19 % of all fatal crashes in 2021.

Does Nevada Require Motorcyclists to Wear Helmets?

Nevada requires all motorcyclists to wear helmets. The rule applies to riders and passengers alike. The helmets have to comply with specific minimum safety standards set by the Department of Transportation. Besides a helmet, riders must wear goggles and face shields if the motorbike doesn’t have a windshield. 

Helmet Requirements in Nevada

Mandatory helmet rules apply to motorcycles, trikes, and mopeds. The state’s requirements for helmets are based on the design standards of the US Department of Transportation. In Nevada, motorcycle helmets must:

  • Have an inch-thick polystyrene foam in the outer shell
  • Be 3 pounds in net weight and have robust chinstraps for safer fastening
  • Cover the top and the entire head and sides

 When shopping for a motorcycle helmet, look for covers with a US DOT stamp on the back to ensure that your purchase meets safety standards. 

Why Is It So Important to Wear a Helmet on Motorcycles?

Helmets shouldn’t just be worn to avoid legal repercussions. Practicing motorcycle safety in Las Vegas by wearing a helmet and other safety gear protects riders from sustaining catastrophic injuries in a crash. Helmets also protect riders against fatal accidents, as nearly half of all motorcycle accident fatalities are helmetless riders. 

Helmets Improve Rider Safety

Wearing a helmet helps you be safe on two wheels.  Motorcycle accidents can cause various injuries, but the most common are traumatic brain injuries.

Motorbike crashes are among the leading causes of brain injuries. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can lead to permanent disability, affecting a victim’s overall quality of life indefinitely. Helmets are designed to absorb the impact from crashes and protect the rider’s skull from grinding against the road when ejected from a bike. You will suffer less harm when your head hits a vehicle, tree, or the road if you are wearing proper safety gear at the time of the crash.

What Happens If You Don’t Wear a Helmet on a Motorcycle?

If you choose not to wear a helmet on a motorcycle, you run the risk of suffering injuries to your face, brain, or skull. These injuries are typically catastrophic in motorcycle accidents, as riders are exposed to direct impact with the road or another vehicle. In many cases, motorcycle crashes involving riders without a helmet are fatal. 

In addition to sustaining a serious injury, it can be considered a minor offense if you don’t wear a proper helmet when riding a motorbike in Nevada. You can expect to pay a misdemeanor fine of  $205 in Las Vegas. The state counts each misdemeanor offense as two demerit points on the driver’s record. You risk losing your license if you get 12 or more demerit points within a year.

Does Not Wearing a Helmet Affect a Motorcycle Accident Claim?

As a motorcycle rider, you have grounds to sue a driver who hits you on the road, regardless of whether you are wearing a helmet. However, in cases where motorcycle crash victims were not wearing helmets, compensation amounts are reduced compared to those involving helmet-bearing riders.

When you fail to wear a helmet, the defendant, or his or her insurance company, may argue that you are partially to blame for the injuries you sustained in a motorcycle accident. They may present the case that, had it not been for your neglect of safety protocols, you would not have sustained any injuries. They may also argue that your injuries were only severe because you weren’t wearing a helmet. 

While the at-fault driver’s actions are still the direct cause of your motorcycle accident injuries, it may be difficult to prove without the help of a motor vehicle accident lawyer. Additionally, though the liable party bears the majority of the fault for your case, your percent of liability will have a direct impact on your settlement award. 

Comparative Negligence in Nevada Motorcycle Accident Claims

Nevada follows a comparative negligence structure when considering fault for motorcycle accident claims. This means you can recover damages against the liable party, so long as he or she carries at least 50% of the fault. However, your settlement award will be reduced by the percent of liability you carry. Therefore, if a defendant can successfully argue that your neglect to wear a helmet contributed to the severity of your injuries, and you are assigned a percent of fault as a result, it will reduce your motorcycle accident settlement. 

How Much Is My Motorcycle Accident Settlement Worth?

Three types of compensation can be awarded in motorcycle accident cases. The damages you claim are directly related to the injuries you sustained and the circumstances leading up to the crash. In motorcycle accident cases, victims can claim economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages represent the financial costs of an accident. These include medical bills, lost wages, costs for medical equipment, reduced earning capacity, and any other expenses directly related to the crash.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages compensate victims for the consequences of a crash that don’t have financial ties. These include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, disability and disfigurement, and any other emotional injuries.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are rarely awarded in cases not involving intentional torts, as they exist purely to punish the at-fault party. Therefore, the court will only award them under circumstances of egregious acts of violence or negligence.