helmet on motorcycle; read more for reasons to wear one while traveling

It’s important to exercise care and caution when riding your motorcycle and to obey all of South Carolina’s motorcycle laws. This includes following the state’s rules for wearing a helmet. Though most riders are not legally required to wear helmets, they are the best way to protect against a head injury in the event of a crash.

Regardless of whether you were wearing a helmet, you should speak to a South Carolina motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible after a collision. The personal injury attorneys at Jebaily Law Firm have more than 100 years of combined legal experience. We’ve helped our clients recover millions in compensation for their injuries.

Get a free initial consultation today by calling our office or visiting our contact page.

What Is the SC Motorcycle Helmet Law?

South Carolina’s laws on motorcycle helmets are quite clear. Title 56 of the South Carolina Code of Laws says that all motorcycle riders and passengers must wear a helmet if they are under 21 years old. Riders who are 21 or older are not required to wear a helmet.

Additionally, riders and passengers under 21 years old must wear goggles and a face shield unless the motorcycle has a windscreen. All helmets, goggles, and face shields must meet the state Department of Public Safety standards.

Why Should You Wear a Helmet?

All motorcycle riders and passengers should wear a helmet, even when they’re not required to by law. The reason for this is simple: If you’re in a crash, a helmet is your best chance of avoiding a catastrophic injury to your head and brain.

A hard blow to the head could be fatal. Even in non-fatal accidents, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) could have long-lasting or permanent effects on your life. With 2,098 motorcycle accidents reported statewide in a single recent year – including 434 crashes with severe injuries and 123 fatal crashes – you need to protect yourself whenever you ride.

Do Motorcycle Passengers Have to Wear Helmets?

Motorcycle passengers under age 21 are required to wear helmets, while those 21 and older are not required to use helmets. However, all passengers should wear helmets regardless of their age to protect themselves if they’re involved in an accident.

Motorcycle Helmets FAQs

Motorcycle Helmet

Can I recover compensation if I wasn’t wearing a helmet in a motorcycle crash?

You are allowed to pursue compensation for your injuries after a motorcycle accident, even if you were not wearing a helmet. If you’re 21 or over, not wearing a helmet is legal. If the other driver is responsible for the accident that injured you, they should be held accountable for your losses.

Not wearing a helmet may impact the severity of your injuries if you’re in an accident, but it’s not what caused the accident.

Sometimes, the other driver will try to use the fact that you weren’t wearing a helmet to claim you were negligent, no matter what your age is. However, you shouldn’t be penalized when you’re following the rules of the road. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can work to uphold your right to financial recovery.

How do I pick the right motorcycle helmet?

Here are some tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on choosing the correct helmet:

  • Find a helmet that fits the size and shape of your head. When you try on the helmet, it should fit snugly and apply even pressure without that pressure being overwhelming and painful. Use a piece of cloth tape to measure your head and find the corresponding helmet size.
  • Some helmets include face shields, while others do not. If you get a helmet without a face shield, wear eye protection to protect yourself while you’re riding.
  • Check to see if the helmet has a “DOT” sticker on the back. This stands for “Department of Transportation” and means the helmet meets federal safety standards, giving you greater protection in the event of a crash.

When should I replace my helmet?

A good rule of thumb is to replace your helmet every three to five years, assuming it hasn’t suffered any damage during that time. You should replace a helmet immediately if you’re involved in a crash. The protective foam inside motorcycle helmets is meant to protect you from one hard blow. Continuing to use the helmet after being involved in an accident means you won’t be fully protected if you’re hit again.

SC Motorcycle Fatality Rates

Here are some figures on motorcycle crashes and fatality rates in South Carolina. All numbers come from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

  • There were 2,098 motorcycle accidents reported statewide in a single recent year. Of those, 434 accidents involved injuries, and someone died in 123 accidents.
  • Motorcyclist accidents accounted for just 0.8 percent of total traffic accidents while accounting for about 7.5 percent of all fatal accidents.
  • Motorcyclists accounted for 15 percent of all South Carolina traffic deaths.

Contact Our SC Motorcycle Accident Lawyers for Help with Your Case

Our motorcycle accident attorneys have decades of experience helping people seek fair compensation for their injuries. When you hire our legal team at Jebaily Law Firm, we’ll immediately launch a comprehensive investigation to determine who’s liable for your injuries and what compensation you could be owed.

From there, we’ll take care of all the necessary paperwork to begin your claim and open settlement negotiations with the other parties in your case. If a reasonable settlement can’t be reached, we’re fully prepared to bring your case to trial and aggressively uphold your rights.

Don’t wait to speak to a knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer about your case. Get a free case review by calling our office today, or you can fill out our contact form.