Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Nevada
Riding your motorcycle offers a great deal of freedom and convenience. It allows you to use less gas, lets you enjoy the wind roaring around you, and enhances that sensation of speed. While riding, however, you must take care to adhere to the law. In addition to following the same rules of the road required of the drivers of larger vehicles, Nevada drivers must adhere to motorcycle helmet laws that can help provide vital protection in the event of a Nevada motorcycle accident.
Nevada’s Motorcycle Helmet Requirements
Both motorcycle drivers and motorcycle passengers must wear helmets when riding a motorcycle in Nevada. The state’s helmet laws also extend to riders and passengers of mopeds and trimobiles with saddle seats. Three-wheeled vehicles that have enclosed cabs and steering wheels, rather than handlebars, do not require helmet use for drivers or passengers.
When in doubt, wear a helmet when riding any open vehicle in Nevada. Not only do helmets ensure your legal compliance, but they can also provide vital protection to your head in the event of an accident. Helmeted riders may have as much as a 73 percent lower fatality rate than those that choose not to wear helmets, even during similarly devastating accidents. Helmets also offer protection against traumatic brain injury: helmeted riders may avoid traumatic brain injury altogether, or when they do suffer a brain injury, have less severe injuries than riders that chose not to wear helmets.
If You Do Not Wear a Helmet, Can You Still File a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
If you do not wear a helmet, it can significantly worsen your injuries and increase your medical expenses. Helmet-less victims who survive motorcycle accidents may suffer severe traumatic brain injuries that can cause long-term consequences. While that lack of helmet use may leave victims partially liable for the accident, that does not mean that the victim does not have the right to file a motorcycle accident claim. Your lack of a helmet doesn’t excuse another motorist from driving drunk, blowing a stop sign, texting while driving, or otherwise negligently hurting you in a motorcycle accident.
Accident victims should contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney if they suffered injuries in Nevada, even if they weren’t wearing appropriate protective gear at the time of the accident.
How Much Protective Gear Do You Need?
To fully abide by the law, you must wear a helmet that meets the standards set by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Most helmets meet the same standards regardless of what state you buy them in; however, if you buy a helmet in a state like New Hampshire, which does not have a motorcycle helmet requirement for any rider, you may want to carefully check for DOT certification to ensure that your helmet meets the standards needed to keep you safe.
Just because your helmet meets the minimum protective standards, however, does not necessarily mean that your helmet will keep you safe in the event of an accident. Advances in protective gear occur regularly, and these technological advances can offer a higher level of protection when you ride, decreasing your risk of traumatic brain injury. In addition to your helmet, you can also purchase gloves, jackets, and even full protective suits that can protect against road rash if you suffer an accident on the road.
To choose the right helmet, consider your answers to the following questions:
- Where do you plan to ride? If you plan to hit the dirt, rather than a paved road, for example, you may want to use a helmet that adheres to dual sport standards. Off-road riding poses its own set of challenges and dangers, and you want to be sure that you have a helmet up to the task. On the other hand, if you plan to stick to the road, you can choose a full-face helmet, a 1/2 helmet, or even a 1/4 helmet. Keep in mind that the more ground the helmet covers, the more protection it can offer in an accident.
- Does the helmet fit your head well? You want a helmet with a good fit. Some helmets will allow you to add additional padding to provide more protection for a user with a smaller head. In other helmets, on the other hand, you may need to change your size or even look for another brand. Make sure you try on the helmet before you buy, if possible, to ensure that you get a good fit. To test it, put the helmet on and slide the chin strap into place. Look down at your chest. Try to move the helmet from side to side. If the helmet moves at all, you may need to choose a different size helmet. On the other hand, your helmet should not cause excessive discomfort. If it starts to feel too heavy or uncomfortable after wearing for several minutes, you may want to look into a different brand of helmet. You want a comfortable, snug fit that will help keep you safe, not an accessory that you dread wearing every time you get on your motorcycle.
- Does the helmet allow room for eye protection, including sunglasses or glasses, that you plan to wear regularly? When you try on your helmet, make sure you try it on with any extra gear you plan to use regularly while riding. Many riders have discovered too late that their helmets can make it hard to slip on a pair of sunglasses, which can leave them blinded by the road.
- What other protective gear do you plan to wear? You may need to make sure that your helmet fits well with your jacket or suit, for example. While avid riders may attempt to match their gear, all riders should make sure their helmets fit properly even when wearing full protective gear, and that the gear does not interfere with the helmet’s fit.
Did you suffer severe injuries in a motorcycle accident? Regardless of whether you wore your helmet at the time of the accident, you may qualify for compensation for your injuries. Contact an experienced Nevada personal injury accident attorney as soon after your accident as possible to learn more about your rights following an accident, including your right to compensation when another driver’s negligence caused your motorcycle accident.