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A look at motorcycle protective gear

Most West Virginia residents understand the importance of protective equipment for motorcycle riders. However, many may not be aware of the quality differences between certain types of motorcycle protective gear.

Protective gear is important for motorcycle riders to wear, but not all forms of protective gear provide adequate protection. Due to helmet laws, some motorcyclists are just concerned with the fact that he or she is wearing a helmet versus the quality of the product. Novelty motorcycle helmets do not meet the Department of Transportation safety standards for crash protection; however, these items are frequently sold and marketed for on-road use by motorcycle riders. This means that many helmeted riders are not properly protected.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of NHTSA conducted a study in 2013. According to that study, the death of motorcycle riders is disproportionally high when compared to other motor vehicle deaths. Roughly 4,668 motorcyclist deaths occurred in 2013, and the NHTSA believes that the use of proper protective helmets could have saved lives and reduced injuries. Because of the data in this report, the administration also issued a notice for a proposed law that would protect motorcyclists from using unsafe helmets while also enforcing already existing helmet laws.

Ensuring motorcycle riders wear adequate protective gear approved by the Department of Transportation is crucial in the safety and protection of motorcyclists; however, these measures unfortunately do not eliminate all injuries and deaths caused in a motorcycle crash. When such an accident does occur, those involved and their family members should understand what options are available to them.

If it is determined that another party is responsible in a motorcycle accident, those harmed in the crash could seek compensation through a civil action. A personal injury claim could help victims recover a monetary award for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, rehabilitation and other related damages.

Source:, "NHTSA looks to crack down on novelty helmets," May 21, 2015

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