What Is Michigan’s Motorcycle Helmet Law?

Not every U.S. state requires its motorcycle riders to wear helmets. In Michigan’s largest city, those who end up in the hospital after a traffic mishap often call a motorcycle accident attorney in Detroit. After consulting with a competent lawyer who specializes in traffic and other personal injury issues, people are often surprised to learn the fine points of the state’s laws pertaining to helmets.

What Is Michigan’s Motorcycle Helmet Law?

Michigan is one of the “lenient states” when it comes to rules about wearing motorcycle helmets. However, the law itself is a bit complicated. In general, anyone under the age of 21 must wear a helmet while driving or riding a motorcycle. The rules for those who are over 21, whether drivers or riders, are different.

– For drivers:

As noted above, a driver of a motorcycle must be over the age of 21 to choose not to wear a helmet. In addition, the driver must carry, at minimum, $20,000 in first-party medical benefits and must have either passed an approved safety course or held a motorcycle license for more than two years.

– For riders:

In addition to being over 21, the rider must carry his or her own $20,000 (minimum) medical first-party insurance. This amount of insurance cannot be the same as the insurance carried by the driver.

Note that the Michigan law allows those who have met the criteria above to “choose” whether they wish to wear a helmet. Good judgment dictates wearing a helmet even when the law does not. Helmets do much more that prevent scrapes and scratches. In fact, motorcycle helmets do much more than is commonly thought. Here is a short list of the advantages of wearing a motorcycle helmet:

Why Motorcycle Helmets Make Sense

  1. Helmets protect the brain and the head. Head/brain injuries are the primary cause of death for people who are in motorcycle accidents in the U.S. No, a helmet will not prevent every instance of head/brain injury, but the fact remains that they do prevent a huge percentage of serious head injuries.
  2. Helmets improve the driver’s and passenger’s visibility. Motorcycle helmets are designed to be seen by other drivers and even by pedestrians. Riders and drivers without helmets are at a much higher risk of not being noticed. That means more accidents, more injuries, and more deaths when helmets are not worn.
  3. Helmets offer face protection in accidents. There’s so much focus on the serious injuries to the brain and head that the face protection afforded by helmets is often neglected.
  4. Helmets with visors greatly improve driver visibility. Air, dust, rain, snow, and other impurities in the air can decrease visibility quickly. Wearing a helmet with a good visor eliminates this problem completely.
  5. Helmets will save you money on your motorcycle insurance. If you have an accident while wearing a helmet, some insurance companies will view that as a plus, notate the fact that you are a conscientious driver, and give you a more lenient medical payout.

Alabama Car Accident Statistics 2018

It is always interesting to see the numbers for vehicular accidents at the end of each year. They show whether safety programs and new laws had any discernible effect. They point to the leaders and to those lagging behind.

Every state generates its own reports, and these are compiled to create a national database. The final report for 2018 is not yet out, but some data from the first half of the year is already available. The Alabama car accident statistics 2018 can be found on the website of the National Safety Council. In fact, the NSC has data for every state in the US.

A Small Drop in Fatalities

The council compared the best estimates from 2017 and 2018. According to their findings, the frequency of motor vehicle deaths actually declined by a small amount in the year—a one-percent reduction, to be exact. A few states experienced a significant decline in fatalities, including Wyoming, Kansas, Maine, and New Jersey—each posting reductions of at least 9.4%.

Unfortunately, there were also others that registered an increase of more than 5.8%. These include Oregon, Nevada, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Florida, and New Hampshire. Alabama is not an outlier like these states, but the figures show a rise in crash fatalities of up to four percent.

Note that the final reports for 2018 are likely to come out in August of 2019, so these are only estimates for now. Still, it is good to know that the roads do not seem to have gotten more dangerous in the past year despite the rise in vehicle registrations and other factors which could have pushed the figures up.

The total deaths for the US remain around forty thousand in 2018, with there being just 231 more in 2017. Focusing on Alabama, there were 1,044 fatalities in 2016, 914 in 2017, and 948 in 2018.

Road Safety Strategies

Avoid being part of the statistics by driving carefully. Follow all the traffic rules but be wary of those who don’t. Stay clear of alcohol, drugs, phones, and other things that could impair your driving. Focus on the road at all times. If you are less than one-hundred percent, then ask your friends to drive you home. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Leave early, so you do not have to race towards your destination. If you do get involved in a crash, then call an Alabama auto collision lawyer immediately for assistance.