Are you required to wear a motorcycle helmet in Washington? Learn about Washington’s helmet law and the benefits of wearing a DOT helmet if you’re in a wreck.

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Reasons You Should Wear a Motorcycle Helmet Every Time You Ride Your Motorcycle

how helmets protect ridersWhile some motorcycle riders want to increase the experience of freedom in riding a motorcycle by not wearing a motorcycle helmet, this is never a good decision. A motorcycle helmet and a rider’s clothes are his only protection if a negligent driver causes a motorcycle accident. If you are involved in one of these crashes and are not wearing a helmet, you are risking much more serious injuries due to the lack of protection to your head. In addition, you could be seriously hurting your claim for compensation against the negligent motorist who hit you because you could be found partially at fault in causing your injuries.

Are You Required to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet Under Washington Law?

In the state of Washington, motorcycle riders are required to wear a motorcycle helmet when riding their motorcycles. However, not all motorcycle helmets are permissible. Riders are required to wear a United States Department of Transportation (DOT)-approved motorcycle helmet.

Here is how to tell if a motorcycle helmet meets the DOT requirements. It should have the following:

  • The helmet should have an inner lining of firm energy-absorbing material of about one-inch thickness.
  • The helmet should have a chinstrap that is thick and well-riveted.
  • The helmet will have an inside label with the manufacturer’s name, helmet model, size, month and year of construction, and construction materials.
  • The helmet will have a permanent label on its inside or outside that states that it has been constructed to DOT standards.

Benefits of Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet

Wearing a motorcycle helmet has definite benefits that should make you put it on anytime you get on your bike. Here are some reasons why you should always wear one:

  • Avoid a head injury. Wearing a motorcycle helmet can literally save your life and prevent you from suffering a devastating brain injury that can cause permanent disability and changes to your vision, hearing, mobility, and cognitive abilities.
  • Improve visibility. Many motorcycle accidents are caused when the driver of another vehicle does not see a motorcycle. Wearing a motorcycle helmet and reflective clothes can improve your visibility and reduce your chances of being hurt in a crash.
  • Law. You would be violating Washington’s law if you fail to wear a DOT-approved helmet.
  • Debris protection. You protect yourself from debris and flying objects on the road by wearing a motorcycle helmet that has a faceguard.
  • Avoid hurting your claim. If you fail to wear a motorcycle helmet, you could be considered partially to blame for causing your injuries. Under comparative negligence laws, your compensation could be reduced by your percentage of fault. While you could still be entitled to compensation, it may be less than if you had worn a helmet.

Were you or a family member injured in a motorcycle accident? Call our office today to schedule a free consultation to learn about your rights to compensation.