Buffalo Motorcycle Helmet Laws Lawyer

Riding a motorcycle can be a thrilling, cost-effective, and convenient way to travel and experience your surroundings. However, these motor vehicles also have increased risks that passenger vehicles and trucks do not. Their smaller size and lack of protection from impact make riders more vulnerable to experiencing serious injuries and damages in the event of a collision.

Adhering to safety regulations, including licensing, wearing the appropriate protective gear, and following traffic laws, is important to protect yourself and others on the road. Additionally, failing to uphold these standards could impact the amount of your recovery should you become injured in a motorcycle accident and plan on pursuing compensation. Reach out to our team at Richmond Vona, LLC to learn more about Buffalo motorcycle helmet laws, and how they can impact your case.

Are Bikers Required to Wear Helmets in New York?

Under New York State law, helmets are required by all riders and passengers on motorcycles to be compliant with Section 571.718 of the federal motor vehicle safety rules. Unlike some other states, if an individual is operating or acting as a passenger on a motorcycle, there are no circumstances where they do not have to wear a helmet. The laws also require helmets to meet the standards outlined in Section 571.218 of federal motor vehicle safety rules. Some of these include:

  • No rigid projections inside the helmet shell and none that protrude more than 0.2 inches from the outer helmet
  • The DOT symbol must be located between one to three inches from the bottom of the helmet
  • Peripheral vision clearance of at least 105 degrees
  • A continuous protective curved surface

On certain smaller motorbikes, including motorized scooters, it is recommended to wear a helmet, but not required. This depends on the engine size and how fast the motor vehicle can go. If the scooter’s maximum speed is below 20 miles per hour, Buffalo motorcycle helmet laws do not apply.

Legal Consequences of Not Wearing a Helmet

Wearing a helmet is crucial. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, head injury is the leading cause of death and catastrophic injury in motorcycle collisions. Choosing to forego this critical requirement can also result in legal issues. Individuals caught riding a motorcycle in Buffalo or other areas of the state without a helmet on can be fined and/or potentially go to jail, according to the law in New York.

In addition, if they are not wearing a helmet and are involved in an injury accident, comparative fault will play a factor in how much compensation the court awards them. The State’s comparative fault rule requires that each person involved in an accident be assigned a portion of the liability for that event. Any awarded settlement amount will be reduced by the percentage an injured party is found to have contributed to their own injuries.

This means that even if the individual is involved in an accident that was not their fault, they can still get a reduction in their award for breaking the law and exposing themselves to potentially more injury than they would have had if they were wearing a helmet.

Rely on a Buffalo Attorney for Help Understanding Motorcycle Helmet Laws

When you are involved in a motorcycle collision, you will likely have numerous questions about what steps to take next. Let our team take the lead in helping you understand and protect your legal rights. For more information about Buffalo motorcycle helmet laws or other personal injury-related issues, reach out to Richmond Vona, LLC for a free consultation.

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