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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.