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Maine Legislature Votes Down Proposed Motorcycle Helmet Law Despite Safety Concerns

1331297_old_motorbike sxchu username.jpgIn April, the Maine Legislature voted against a proposed measure to require motorcycle riders across the state to wear safety helmets. Currently, only riders who are under age 18 must wear a helmet on Maine roadways. Representative Paulette Beaudoin of Biddeford introduced the bill, entitled An Act to Require Motorcyclists to Wear Helmets to the Maine House. Beaudoin stated she introduced the measure in response to motorcycle crash statistics collected by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA). According to the NHTSA, head injuries are the number one cause of death in motorcycle accidents. The NHTSA also claims that wearing a helmet may reduce the risk of a fatal motorcycle crash by up to 37 percent.

Senator Margaret Craven of Lewiston said she supported the proposed law because motorcycle helmets normally prevent brain injuries. According to Craven, Maine taxpayers are often required to absorb the high cost of treating such injuries. In addition, long-term institutional care may be required since many individuals who suffer a brain trauma never fully recover. Craven stated those costs are preventable or may be minimized through helmet use. Representative Michel Lajoie of Lewiston disagreed with Craven and said it is unclear whether motorcycle helmets make a significant difference in head injury rates.

The Highway Loss Data Institute recently conducted a study that found that the costs associated with motorcycle accident injuries increased by 34 percent in one year after the State of Michigan repealed its mandatory motorcycle helmet law. The study authors also found insurance payments increased by approximately 22 percent across four states after taking into account a number of external factors such as weather and rider age. Chief Research Officer David Zuby said the increase in cost per injury claim is consistent with other study results that found that motorcycle helmets prevent head trauma in traffic accidents.

People hurt in a motorcycle or other vehicle accident in Maine may be eligible to recover compensation for their harm. Before damages may be collected, a Maine traffic wreck victim must demonstrate that their injury directly resulted from the accident and that the negligent motorist was more responsible for their harm than they were. If you were injured by another motorist anywhere in the State of Maine, you are advised to contact a skilled automobile accident lawyer to discuss your rights.

If you were hurt or a loved one died in a motorcycle accident, please give the attorneys at Briggs & Wholey, LLC a call toll free at (888) 596-1099. The capable Augusta personal injury lawyers at Briggs & Wholey have more than 50 years of combined experience helping people who were harmed in a traffic collision that was caused by another driver. At Briggs & Wholey, our competent attorneys are available to answer any questions you may have and help you file your personal injury or wrongful death case. Our quality lawyers are available to assist injured clients throughout the State of Maine. To schedule a free consultation with a dedicated advocate, contact Briggs & Wholey, LLC through our website.

More Blog Posts:

Study Claims Drivers in Maine and Across the U.S. Are Distracted More Than They Realize, Maine Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, June 13, 2013
One Hurt in Negligent York County Traffic Wreck, Maine Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, June 7, 2013
Photo credit: mzacha, Stock.xchng

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