Although there was a recent attempt in Tennessee to eliminate the requirement that motorcycle operators wear helmets, the measure failed in the Tennessee legislature. If an individual is riding a motorcycle in Chattanooga, they have to wear a helmet. If an individual is riding a bicycle in Chattanooga and they are under 16, they also have to wear a helmet. It is state law to protect one’s head in the event that an individual has an accident. Even if they are an experienced operator of a motorcycle, anyone can still make a mistake. A helmet is a key foundation for protecting oneself from a catastrophic injury or death. Read on to learn more about Chattanooga motorcycle helmet laws, as well as the benefits of retaining a professional Chattanooga wreck attorney for your case.
If an individual is operating a bicycle and they are over the age of 16, they are not required to wear a helmet. Unfortunately, Chattanooga motorcycle helmet laws state that if they are on a motorcycle and they do not wear a helmet, that act would be considered a Class C misdemeanor in Tennessee. They will only have to pay a fine, but the event is still going to result in a court date and hassle for the individual.
Individuals must wear a helmet when operating a motorcycle in Chattanooga. The helmet must be approved under federal safety standards and have a sticker on the side that is approved by the agency that approves these safety standards. Wearing a helmet that does not qualify under federal safety standards could subject an individual to a fine in the Class C misdemeanor for not wearing a helmet. It is inadvisable to fail to wear a proper helmet when operating a motorcycle–statistics show that lives are saved when an individual wears a helmet. An individual should make sure that their helmet complies with federal safety standards when riding a motorcycle in Chattanooga.
In Hamilton County, Tennessee in 2016, there were 222 motorcycle crashes. Hamilton County has one of the highest instances of motorcycle wrecks in the State of Tennessee at a rate of 12.34 crashes per motorcycle operator. Nearby, Grundy County, Tennessee has another extremely high rate with 22 crashes per operator. Overall, motorcycle accidents are on the rise in Tennessee since 1990. The Department of Safety and Homeland Security stated that there were 1,967 fatalities in the State of Tennessee between 1998 and 2015.
Tennessee is blessed with sweeping roads, smoky mountains, and the winding canopy of the Natchez Trace Parkway running from Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee. These open roads offer some of the most incredible motorcycle riding in the country, which leads many motorcyclists from the state of Tennessee and beyond to our roads. Because of these scenic rides, the increased volume of motorcyclists means more crashes occur in the state of Tennessee than a state of comparable size. In 2008 alone, there were 3,257 motorcycle crashes in the state of Tennessee.
The CDC has stated that helmets prevent around 37% of collision-related deaths from motorcycle riders. Furthermore, the CDC states that 41% of collision-related deaths for individuals riding motorcycles are prevented by wearing helmets. Helmets will not prevent all injuries, but they go a long way in mitigating the risk one faces when operating a motorcycle on the roads of Tennessee.
Not wearing a helmet is considered comparative fault or comparative negligence on behalf of that individual in Chattanooga. When assigning the fault between a plaintiff, the rider of a motorcycle, and a defendant in a case involving motorcycles, the jury looks at all the facts and circumstances that are relevant and admissible in the court of law. This means that failure to wear a helmet can be considered by a jury when assigning fault.
A situation in which recovery would be reduced is if a rider had head injuries that should have been mitigated by wearing a helmet and complying with the law. A jury may find that those injuries may not have been suffered at all had they been wearing a helmet. Generally, insurance companies hire experts to present evidence and analysis of an accident who could show that the rider would not have suffered their head injury at all but for the rider’s failure to wear a helmet.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to an individual’s disregard of Chattanooga motorcycle helmet laws, reach out to a dedicated Chattanooga motorcycle accident attorney today to gain an aggressive advocate for your compensation and constitutional rights.