In 2003 the Pennsylvania legislature repealed the law that required motorcycle riders to wear helmets, allowing most motorcycle riders the choice of whether or not to wear a helmet, notes Bucks County personal injury lawyer, Michael L. Saile, Jr. Motorcycle accident statistics studied in the two years immediately following the repeal showed a 66 percent increase in head injury fatalities and a 78 percent spike in head injury hospitalizations over the two years prior to the repeal of the helmet law.
Current law allows motorcycle riders 21 or older to ride without a helmet if they have been licensed to operate a motorcycle for at least two years or have completed a motorcycle safety course approved by PennDOT or the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
Motorcyclists are uniquely susceptible to injury if they are involved in a Bucks County or Philadelphia area accident. Unlike drivers of cars and trucks, they do not have the additional “protective bubble” of plastic, metal and air bags around them. As a motorcyclist, you may wear head-to-toe protective gear including a helmet, specially designed clothing, boots and gloves. For winter riding, that might be comfortable, but in the warmer weather it’s likely you’ll want to shed some of that gear, including the helmet. And many motorcycle riders do abandon their helmets in the spring and summer, leaving themselves vulnerable to serious head injuries.
There are other inherent risks to motorcycle riders that are less risky in other types of motor vehicles:
- Lack of visibility to other drivers;
- Passing other vehicles;
- Road hazards such as large potholes or general disrepair; and
- Sudden changes in the weather from clear to inclement
Most PA and NJ motorcycle accidents happen in one of four ways:
- While traveling around a bend on unfamiliar “back roads”,
- While passing another vehicle,
- At intersections, or
- By loss of control.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Bucks County motorcycle accident, it is very likely you have broken bones, a head injury and/or “road rash”, the common term for brush burn injury you may have gotten as your body dragged over paved roadway, gravel or concrete during the accident.
The Bucks County personal injury attorneys at Cordisco & Saile LLC believe you can protect yourself from head injury in the event of a motorcycle accident by wearing a helmet. We understand that in PA if you are 21 or older, you have the freedom to choose not to wear a helmet. In our practice, we help Bucks County and Philadelphia area accident victims and their families obtain the compensation they need to recover from accident injuries caused by another’s negligence. If you have been injured in a NJ or PA motorcycle accident, whether or not you were wearing a helmet, call our office toll free at 1-800-680-5801 for more information about personal injury claims.