Prince George’s County Motorcycle Helmet Laws

The traffic congestion in Prince George’s County entices many commuters to drive motorcycles rather than cars. They are nimble and use less fuel than a car or SUV. Other people have motorcycles for weekend rides along the shore or up into the mountains. Getting into the open air and escaping the city helps many people clear their heads.

Of course, anyone riding a motorcycle must obey all vehicle and traffic laws. In addition, local bikers must be aware of Prince George’s County motorcycle helmet laws. An attorney can help you understand these important regulations.

Maryland Has a Universal Helmet Law

Maryland is one of 18 states, plus the District of Columbia, that requires all motorcycle riders to wear a helmet regardless of age. Maryland Transportation Code § 21-1306 codifies the requirement to wear an approved motorcycle helmet.

Since 1973 all motorcycle helmets sold in the United States must comply with Federal Vehicle Safety Standard 218 (FVSS2180). FVSS218 is the minimum standard for helmets in Prince George’s County. The manufacturer affixes a label to the back of the helmet to show it meets the standard. Some non-compliant helmets enter the country illegally; riders should not purchase them.

Helmets must fit snugly and have chin straps. A person must fasten the chin strap when the bike is in motion. In addition, riders must wear approved eye protection unless their bike has a windscreen.

Consequences of Not Wearing a Helmet

Failing to obey the helmet law is a misdemeanor in Prince George’s County, and a non-compliant biker could face a fine of up to $500. Apart from the hefty fine, a biker’s motorcycle insurance rates could rise after receiving a no-helmet ticket.

In addition to the financial penalties, riders who do not wear helmets put their well-being at risk. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, motorcycle helmets reduce severe head injuries by 67 percent. Helmets reduce the risk of fatal injuries by 37 percent for drivers and 41 percent for passengers.

Failure to Wear a Helmet Not Evidence of Negligence

The same law that requires motorcyclists to wear helmets also prevents a party in a civil lawsuit from raising a failure to wear a helmet as evidence of negligence. In fact, the law prohibits any mention of helmet use in a civil claim for damages.

This provision in the law is critically important to bikers’ rights, as the state follows the harsh contributory negligence standard. Contributory negligence means that if someone claiming damages is just one percent responsible for their injuries, they cannot collect any damages from any other party.

A motorcyclist who suffers head or facial injuries while not wearing a helmet contributes to their injuries, and under other circumstances, the court would bar them from collecting damages. The provision in the motorcycle helmet law allows an injured biker in Prince George’s County to collect damages from other negligent parties if their only fault in the incident is a failure to wear a helmet.

Contact an Attorney to Discuss Prince George’s County Motorcycle Helmet Laws

When you were in a motorcycle crash, you could seek damages from the at-fault driver. You are entitled to compensation when you had no responsibility for the accident.

Your injuries are probably more severe if you were not wearing a helmet. However, whether you obeyed Prince George’s County motorcycle helmet laws is irrelevant to your claim for damages.

Contact a local attorney immediately when you were injured in a crash that was not your fault. With the help of an experienced lawyer, you can collect financial damages to compensate for your losses.

Prince George’s County Motorcycle Accident Lawyer