Riding a motorcycle legally in Virginia is not as straightforward as simply making a purchase and setting out on your journey. Firstly, riders are expected to hold a valid Virginia title, registration card as well as a license plate. Furthermore, there are laws in place to ensure that motorcyclists wear protective headgear.
Often, riders believe it is their own free choice whether to wear a helmet or not. However, the state of Virginia does impose regulations on this issue. Importantly, there are various studies that indicate that wearing a helmet could help to prevent traumatic injuries during an accident.
What does the law say about helmets?
The law relating to motorcycle helmets is contained in the Virginia Code § 46.2-910. The provisions of the statute clearly state that riders ought to wear protective eye equipment or have their motorcycle fitted with effective safety glass. Furthermore, the code authoritatively states that all operators of motorcycles are required to wear helmets.
What difference does wearing a helmet make?
According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), riders who do not wear helmets are 40% more likely to suffer fatal head injuries. Furthermore, the same study suggests that protective headgear is effective in reducing fatality by 29%, as well as 67% effective in preventing Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs).
Additionally, not wearing a helmet could have a significant impact on any legal case. Insurers may argue that by not wearing protective headgear, the rider caused their own injuries, or at least contributed to them.
Knowing the law relating to motorcycle helmets could be in your best interests. If you have been involved in a road traffic accident, it is important to understand that you have legal rights to compensation for your losses.