There are a number of unsafe motorcycle helmets on the market and the Department
of Transportation, or DOT, has recently taken special action seeking to
prevent them from getting into the hands of motorcyclists. The National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, is also on board with
the movement. A little less than two weeks ago, the NHTSA announced that
it would be helping in the effort to keep motorcyclists safe from dangerous
novelty helmets. A "novelty motorcycle helmet" is any kind of
poorly constructed helmet that fails to meet DOT regulations.
These helmets are often inappropriately sold to motorcyclists as if they
were safe for road use, when in fact they are not. According to the U.S.
Transportation Secretary, the number of
motorcyclist deaths is higher than it should be, and in 2013 alone, the country saw 4,668
The NHTSA estimates that the DOT's safety regulations save over 1,000
years annually, but so-called novelty helmets do not fit into those regulations.
Among motorcyclists who were injured in wrecks, statistics show that 56
of the ones who wore a novelty helmet suffered a serious
head injury -- whereas just 19 percent with a certified helmet had such head injuries.
The benefit of wearing an appropriate helmet ad other safety equipment
while riding a motorcycle is clear, and the smart motorcycle riders make
an effort to ensure that their helmets are approved for use. From the
perspective of making a personal injury claim, a motorcyclist without
an approved helmet (or without a helmet at all) who is injured in a Texas
automobile crash due to another driver's negligence may still be able
to pursue personal injury claims relating to his or her injuries. However,
having an unapproved helmet or no helmet at all could serve to reduce
the negligent driver's liability in the crash.