Riding a motorcycle provides a sense of freedom and adventure. However, it's crucial to prioritize safety while enjoying the open road. One key aspect of motorcycle safety is wearing a helmet. In this blog post, we will explore the motorcycle helmet laws in Missouri, focusing on the changes implemented in 2020 and the importance of helmet usage.
Understanding Missouri's Helmet Laws
Prior to 2020, Missouri had a universal helmet law, which required all motorcycle riders, regardless of age, to wear a helmet. However, the state's legislation underwent a significant change, resulting in modified regulations concerning helmet usage. Under the current law, individuals aged 26 and above are not required to wear a helmet while operating or riding a motorcycle. Riders who are 25 or younger must wear a helmet in compliance with the law.
The Importance of Helmet Usage
While the updated Missouri helmet law grants certain age groups the option to ride without a helmet, it is essential to remember that wearing one significantly reduces the risk of severe injury or fatality in motorcycle accidents. Here are some compelling reasons why helmet usage is crucial for all riders:
Head Injury Prevention: The human head is incredibly vulnerable in the event of a crash. Wearing a helmet provides a protective barrier against head trauma, reducing the risk of traumatic brain injuries, skull fractures, and other life-altering consequences.
Impact Protection: Helmets are specifically designed to absorb and distribute the force of impact during an accident. The outer shell of a helmet and its inner lining work together to cushion the head, safeguarding it from severe blows.
Road Debris and Weather Protection: Helmets shield riders from potential hazards on the road, such as flying debris, bugs, and inclement weather. This protection enhances visibility and reduces the chance of distractions or discomfort while riding.
Visibility Enhancement: Many helmets feature reflective elements, bright colors, or additional lights that improve a rider's visibility to other motorists, particularly during low-light conditions. Enhanced visibility can help prevent accidents caused by other drivers not noticing motorcyclists.
Promoting Motorcycle Safety
Regardless of the legal requirements, responsible motorcyclists understand the significance of personal safety and the positive influence they can have on others. Here are some additional safety measures riders can adopt to ensure a safer riding experience:
Invest in Quality Gear: Alongside a helmet, motorcyclists should wear proper protective gear, including gloves, boots, jackets, and pants designed specifically for riding. These items provide additional protection in case of a fall or accident.
Continuous Training and Skill Development: Motorcyclists can enroll in safety courses or training programs to enhance their riding skills and learn defensive driving techniques. Knowledge and experience play vital roles in preventing accidents and responding effectively to potential hazards.
Regular Motorcycle Maintenance: Ensuring that your motorcycle is in optimal working condition by performing regular inspections, maintenance, and repairs is crucial for safety. This includes checking tire pressure, brakes, lights, and other essential components.
While the motorcycle helmet laws in Missouri underwent a significant change in 2020, it remains crucial to prioritize safety and wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. The protective benefits provided by helmets are undeniable, reducing the risk of head injuries and increasing the likelihood of survival in the event of an accident. Regardless of age or legal obligations, all motorcyclists should recognize the benefits of wearing one.
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident in Missouri, Lowther Johnson Attorneys at Law, LLC can provide the legal representation you need to protect your rights and seek compensation. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.