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Regulators Aim to Eliminate “Novelty” Motorcycle Helmets

by on August 20, 2015

The Department of Transportation (DOT) says that fatalities from motorcycle accidents are disproportionately high across the nation, a problem which may be partly attributed to the use of substandard or “novelty” helmets. Such helmets are often cheaper and more fashionable than federally-approved versions, but their flimsy design and cheap materials put riders at risk for catastrophic injury.

Proposed safety regulations for motorcycle helmets

According to the agency, these helmets are frequently sold with disclaimers cautioning that they are not intended for highway use, “yet they are sold to highway users and used in great numbers by motorcyclists.” In an effort to prevent unnecessary injuries and motorcycle crash deaths, the DOT has proposed additional safety requirements so that all helmets comply with federal standards.

New regulations may be enforced within the next two months, making it easier for authorities to prosecute sellers of noncompliant helmets. 

Here in Arizona, such changes would affect motorcycle operators and riders under the age of 18 – the only group which is required to use a helmet. Considering that traumatic head injuries are one of the leading causes of death in motorcycle accidents, those who don’t use this protective gear are more likely to suffer life-threatening harm in the event of a crash. Moreover, studies have demonstrated that wearing a helmet is the single most important factor in preventing neck and head trauma during a motorcycle crash.

Motorcycle accidents and legal recourse

If you are considering legal action in the wake of a motorcycle accident, you need an attorney who is well-versed in Arizona laws regarding motor vehicle liability. Negligent drivers, poor road conditions or even faulty motorcycle parts are all possible causes of collisions that can leave victims saddled with exorbitant medical bills, lost income and permanent disabilities.

For some victims, litigation is the most effective means to recoup the money needed to cover such losses and pave the road to recovery.

Available compensation to plaintiffs includes:

  • Damages for motorcycle repairs and/or replacement
  • Past, present and future medical costs
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Physical rehabilitation
  • Pain and suffering

At Wattel &York, our capable Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyers will immediately begin investigating the cause of your accident while working with industry experts to determine the value of your claim. Depending on the circumstances of the case, we may decide the best legal strategy is to negotiate an insurance settlement, or take your case to trial, where jurors may award both compensatory and punitive damages.

Motorcycle accident lawyers Phoenix trusts

With convenient office locations in Yuma, West Valley, Tucson and the greater Phoenix area, Wattel & York Attorneys at Law offer legal advice to AZ residents who’ve been injured in a motorcycle crash. We leverage more than four decades of experience litigating motor vehicle accidents, ensuring your family receives the compensation to which they are rightfully entitled.

We invite you to reach out to us for a free case review, with no obligation to proceed. If you have a viable claim for damages and wish to proceed filing a lawsuit, our fees are waived unless we procure a verdict or settlement on your behalf. Contact us at (877) 572-4143 to speak with an Arizona injury attorney who specializes in motorcycle accident cases.

Resources:, U.S. aims to crack down on ‘novelty’ motorcycle helmets

Arizona State Legislature, 28-964. Motorcycles; all-terrain vehicles; motor driven cycles; equipment; exception; prohibition

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