Motorcycles are a common sight in Nevada, especially during the warm summer months. People who ride motorcycles are forecasted to rise because of the economy and higher gas prices. If that rise does occur, Nevada will need to prepare for an increase in collisions between motorcycles and passenger vehicles as well as in motorcycle-involved Las Vegas pedestrian accidents.
While there have been many ongoing safety efforts in the state to decrease the number of Nevada motor vehicle accidents, there is an ongoing debate about whether to require experienced riders over the age of 21 to wear a helmet. This debate may have an impact on the number of Nevada motorcycle accidents and on their severity. Proponents of helmet laws say that these rules can reduce crashes by instilling a sense of safety among riders; opponents argue that the additional weight and constrained visibility can increase the likelihood of an accident.
A recent report by the Governors Highway Safety Association showed a slight decrease nationally in motorcycle fatalities in 2009. However, data shows that Nevada maybe the exception. The State office shows that the number of Nevada motorcycle related fatalities has increased in 2010 from 2009. There were 42 motorcycle fatalities in Nevada for 2009. The number currently stands at 43 for 2010. Once various investigations are complete, the number of motorcycle related deaths could climb much higher.
A bill introduced in the 2011 Nevada Legislature, SB 177, created a legal exception for motorcyclists who were 21 and older. It allowed adults choose whether to wear a helmet or not. If passed, the bill would have applied to adults on a motorcycle, both drivers and riders. However, it would have required the driver to have at least a year of motorcycle experience and to have fulfilled certain safety training requirements. The bill was not passed during the legislative session. However, it could appear again in 2013. These motorcycle passengers would have had to bear the full responsibility of any brain damage injuries they suffered as a result of a crash suffered without head protection.
As laws around motorcycles and their place on Nevada roadways changes, a Nevada personal injury attorney can help if you or a loved is harmed by negligence in a motorcycle accident. Contact us today for a free consultation.