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ACCIDENT RENEWS DEBATE OVER MOTORCYCLE HELMET USE

Motorcycle Helmet Use

Utah residents know the risks motorcycles pose. Recently a 46-year-old motorcyclist from Brigham City was killed. He crashed after hitting a discarded mattress on I-15.

According to the Utah Safety Office, the accident is the 8th motorcycle accident in Utah this year. Last year during the same period there were only five.

The driver in this particular case was not wearing a helmet. Debates over motorcycle helmet laws are common in Utah, and this case has brought renewed interest to the issue. Current law in Utah does not mandate use of a helmet.

Data and Arguments

Part of the problem is the data is evenly split on both sides of the issue. Additionally, both sides of the debate have valid arguments.

Four out of the eight riders in the Utah fatalities this year were wearing helmets. Last year, three out of the five riders were wearing helmets, reflecting an even split for both years.

Those against helmet use say helmets make it difficult to see and hear. They also claim they are more fatigued when wearing a helmet and adults over the age of 18 should be able to choose whether or not they wish to wear a helmet. They feel better motorcycle safety education is needed, not a mandatory helmet law.

However, advocates for helmet usage say that motorcycles are not as safe as cars or trucks and point out death from wearing a helmet rarely, if ever, occurs. They also claim that no matter how careful riders are, they cannot prevent a car suddenly pulling out in front of them. A helmet would protect them in this situation.

Tips for Safe Motorcycle Riding

There are many safety tips motorcyclists should keep in mind. First, all motorcyclists should enroll in a motorcycle training course. This will help them learn the skills to safely operate a motorcycle.

Motorcyclists must also remain visible to other vehicles at all times and try to stay out of the blind spots of other vehicles. This is especially important at intersections, where a majority of motorcycle accidents occur.

Additionally, motorcyclists must anticipate what drivers of other vehicles may do. Drivers may make sudden turns or back their vehicles out of driveways without seeing the motorcyclist.

Finally, it is important for motorcyclists to be extra cautions when driving in poor weather conditions and avoid the use of alcohol when riding. Approximately half of all fatal single vehicle motorcycle crashes involve alcohol.

An individual injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another may be entitled to compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney can provide knowledge and guidance as well as assist with obtaining any available compensation.