Operating a motorcycle means knowing motorcycle safety rules, regulations, and laws as well as the traffic safety regulations for every state you travel through. When it comes to motorcycle helmet laws, the states are divided. Some states allow you to choose whether to wear a motorcycle helmet, or to choose, over a certain age, whether you want to wear a helmet when you ride. In Mississippi, however, motorcycle riders must wear a helmet any time they operate or ride on a motorcycle.
Mississippi’s Motorcycle Helmet Laws
In Mississippi, all riders must wear motorcycle helmets at all times when on their motorcycles. This means both drivers and passengers of any age who are on the motorcycle at any time. Motorcycle helmets in Mississippi must be approved by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, meaning they may need to meet reasonable safety standards to help keep both drivers and passengers on motorcycles safe from the risk of head injury.
Mississippi motorcycle helmet law also extends to other single-passenger conveyances on the road, including:
- Motorized bicycles
When in doubt, wearing a helmet while operating a motorized vehicle can add greatly to overall safety.
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Penalties for Failing to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet in Mississippi
Riding without a motorcycle helmet is considered a misdemeanor crime. Riders, including both drivers and passengers, who fail to wear a motorcycle helmet while on a motorcycle or other qualifying vehicle may face a fine of up to $100 and as much as 10 days in jail for the crime.
A second conviction could result in a fine of as much as $200 and up to 20 days in jail, and a third conviction could result in up to a $500 fine and as much as 6 months in jail. Tickets may also lead to points on your license, which could, over time, prevent you from operating a motorcycle in Mississippi.
Why do Mississippi Laws Require Motorcycle Helmet Use?
Wearing a motorcycle helmet may feel inconvenient for some drivers, especially those from states where motorcycle helmet use is not as common. Drivers from Florida, for example, may not have to wear a helmet if they are 21 and older. As they pass through Mississippi, they may find themselves wondering why they have to wear a helmet when operating a motorcycle.
Helmet use, however, has a number of clear advantages.
Wearing a properly certified helmet correctly can help improve driver visibility. Many helmets have face shields that help protect against bugs, wind, and other hazards that could make it more difficult for a motorcycle rider to see clearly while operating his motorcycle on the road. Visibility can prove incredibly important, since motorcycle riders need to react quickly to any potential hazard they might encounter while handling their vehicles.
Wearing a helmet with a shield can substantially improve or protect visibility. Some riders even choose to wear tinted shields that help protect against some sunlight, which can improve visibility on Mississippi’s bright days.
Head Injury Reduction
Wearing a motorcycle helmet during a collision can help reduce the risk of a head injury by as much as 69%. When you do suffer injuries in an accident despite helmet use, you may find that wearing a helmet reduces the severity of those injuries.
Head injuries can create immense challenges that may impact every area of your life. Often, patients with severe head injuries, particularly brain injuries, will discover that their injuries can impact their creative thinking, their focus, their concentration, and even their ability to interact normally with others. Severe head injuries can impact speech and motor skills.
Wearing a helmet can help reduce those injuries and keep motorcycle riders safe.
Neck Injury Reduction
In addition to protecting the head, helmets can help provide a layer of protection against severe neck injury, including protecting against some spinal cord injuries. In a motorcycle accident, the body has relatively little protection against the road or against anything that might hit the rider. A motorcycle helmet can help protect the neck, reducing the risk of paralysis or long-term pain from a collision.
Facial Injury Reduction
Facial injuries can occur all too easily in a motorcycle accident, especially if the rider does not wear a helmet. Wearing a helmet, however, offers protection between the face and the ground, preventing the face from sliding directly across the pavement. A helmet can also protect against some of the force of the accident, reducing the risk of crushing damage to the face.
A Decreased Risk of Death
According to the CDC, wearing a motorcycle helmet reduces the risk of death from a motorcycle collision by an estimated 37%. Traumatic head and neck injuries often cause death in motorcycle collisions. Wearing a helmet can help protect against those injuries and reduce your risk of dying in a motorcycle accident.
Injury Claims and Motorcycle Helmets
Wearing a helmet can also increase the odds that you will have the right to compensation through an injury claim if you suffer head, neck, or facial injuries in a motorcycle accident. While you still have the right to file a claim if someone else’s negligence caused your accident, even if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, wearing a helmet can increase the odds that you will recover the full compensation you deserve and make your claim progress more smoothly.
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Contact a Lawyer for Questions about Motorcycle Helmet Use and Injury Claims
If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, regardless of whether you chose to wear a helmet or not, you may have grounds for an injury claim. An experienced Mississippi motorcycle accident lawyer can help guide you through your claim and provide more information about your right to compensation. Contact Morris Bart today for more information.
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