According to a recent accident report, a motorcycle carrying two riders veered off the roadway and hit a cable barrier. Both riders were thrown from the motorcycle — neither was wearing a helmet. Between 2008 and 2010, 42 percent of all motorcyclists killed while riding were not wearing a helmet.
Oklahoma’s helmet law
Oklahoma is a partial helmet-law state. Under Oklahoma’s helmet law, helmets must be worn by all riders under the age of 18. This means that most motorcycle riders are not required to wear helmets.
Helmet safety guidelines
Simply wearing a helmet is not enough to prevent injuries. To ensure maximum safety, motorcycle helmets must:
- Fit properly and cover the rider’s entire head.
- Include safety features, such as a faceplate, to protect riders from roadside debris.
- Be DOT-approved and tested for adherence to federal safety standards.
In addition, you should never reuse a helmet after an accident, even if it appears outwardly undamaged.
Helmets and contributory negligence
Riding without a helmet can work against you when trying to collect damages. A motorcyclist who suffers injuries while riding without a helmet is often be seen by juries as irresponsible and at least partially to blame for their injuries — which can negatively affect the final damage award.
Motorcycle accidents can wreak catastrophic damage on both a personal and a financial level. The experienced Oklahoma City motorcycle accident lawyers at Cunningham & Mears, PC are committed to helping injured Oklahoma motorcyclists receive the damages that they deserve.
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Ryan Y. Cunningham is a founding partner of Cunningham & Mears. Mr. Cunningham devotes his practice to protecting the rights of injured Oklahoma residents. In addition to assisting injured clients, Mr. Cunningham endeavors to improve personal injury representation by speaking on issues related to personal injury law to attorneys in continuing legal education courses and to law students. Learn More