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Motorcycle Helmet Debate Continues in Illinois

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helmet law, motorcycle safety, Illinois personal injury lawyerThe roar of a motorcycle, to many, is one of the most welcome sounds of spring. Warmer weather means that the number of riders on the road will be drastically increased once again. As with any motor vehicle, operating a motorcycle safely is critical to avoiding an accident, and motorcycles accidents, in particular, can have serious or even deadly results.

One topic regarding motorcycle safety that continues to come up year after is the debate over helmet requirements for riders in the state of Illinois. For many riders, the freedom to ride with or without a helmet is seen as a personal choice, inherent to the liberties guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. For others, mandated motorcycle helmet use is seen as necessary step toward promoting rider safety in the event of an accident.

Helmet Laws across the Country

In 19 states and the District of Columbia, all motorcycle riders must wear a helmet. 28 other states have graduated laws, allowing certain riders, based on age, license status, or the completion of safety courses, to ride without a helmet, while requiring one for others. Illinois is one of only three states with no laws regarding the use of motorcycle helmets. Along with Iowa and New Hampshire, the state allows riders to decide for themselves whether or not to wear a helmet, regardless of age or experience level.

Rider's Choice

Those who are opposed to mandatory motorcycle helmet laws tend to base their opposition on personal freedom. Riding without a helmet, they claim, is a decision that primarily affects the person making the choice. A passenger in another vehicle is not impacted by a rider's decision whether to wear a helmet or not, even in an accident. Some even claim that the likelihood that a helmet would save a rider's life in a crash is regularly overestimated, thus there is little reason to make government regulations mandating their use.

Public Concern

The other side of the debate is comprised of those who believe that rider safety translates to a public safety issue. They often point to statistics that indicate when motorcycle helmet laws were enacted, the fatality rate in related accidents dropped significantly. Conversely, when states repealed their helmet laws, fatality rates rose again. Helmet law proponents also believe that the public cost of caring for those hurt in accidents, whose injuries may have been reduced by wearing a helmet, outweigh the relative inconvenience of a rider being required to wear one.

Regardless of your opinion on mandated helmet use, if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, putting your life back together should be your top priority. Contact an experienced Will County personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Cosmo Tedone and Barbara Morton, P.C. We will review your case and help you seek compensation from any party that may be liable for your injuries. Call our office today to schedule your free consultation.

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