Laws And Injury Prevention On Motorcycles In The US

Laws And Injury Prevention On Motorcycles In The US

Laws And Injury Prevention On Motorcycles In The US

Are you planning on taking a motorcycle for a spin anytime soon? If so, it’s important to keep up with all the relevant laws and injury prevention on motorcycles in the country. This article will look at some of the key safety considerations when riding in the USA, such as federal and state laws and accident prevention protocols. And if you happen to get involved in a motorcycle crash, you will also find a discussion on what to do and why it’s important to seek legal help after a crash.

Jared Spingarn is an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Hollywood, Florida. If you are in a legal bind involving a motorcycle crash, it is best to schedule a free consultation with Jared’s team immediately to seek legal representation.

Motorcycle Crash Casualties

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 88,107 motorcycle casualties occurred in 2020. Although this figure is lower than the 88,858 recorded in 2019 and significantly less than the 109,779 total casualties seen in 2016 – a reportable decrease – it still shouldn’t be taken lightly. It is worth noting that the data on motorcycle crash fatalities have been steadily increasing since 2018, with 5,038 deaths to an alarming number of 5,579 in 2020.

The repercussions of motorcycle accidents are both heartbreaking for the victims and devastating for the economy. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2017, deaths and injuries from motorcycles totaled a whopping $75 billion expense across America. These costs can never be brought back or reversed, yet they are an essential reminder that motorcycle riders must take every precaution when it comes to their safety on the roads.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

There can be many causes of motorcycle accidents, such as driver error, road conditions, environmental factors, and more. But some of the most common causes include the following:


Riding at a reckless speed can increase the chances of accidents. Many motorcycle crashes have involved motorcycle riders who were speeding, enjoying the freedom of the open road and the cool breeze. However, going beyond the speed limit is also illegal, and the number of motorcycle crash fatalities reported by the NHTSA only shows how dangerous riding can be.

Failure to Wear Protective Gear

Motorcycle helmets and other protective gear are essential for motorcycle riders to protect themselves from serious injuries. As motorcycles do not provide the same protection as passenger cars or trucks, motorcycle helmet laws have been put in place to help reduce the number of fatalities. However, many motorcycle riders still fail to wear their motorcycle helmets correctly or at all.

Failure to Wear Protective Gear


Alcohol or drugs can impair your ability to make sound decisions while riding, leading to crashes. Driving under the influence is a common cause of motorcycle crashes, as it is more difficult for riders to maintain their balance on their motorcycle when intoxicated.

Road Hazards

Poor road conditions, such as potholes, scattered debris, and uneven pavement, can lead to accidents. Even when motorcycle riders follow all the precautions, such as wearing their motorcycle helmets and protective gear, poor road conditions can still cause the rider to lose their balance.

Mechanical Issues

Faulty motorcycle parts can cause motorcycle riders to lose control of their bike, resulting in crashes and injuries. It is important for motorcycle riders to ensure to keep their bikes well-maintained to prevent this type of crash.

Riding Risky Motorcycle Types

Sportbikes and cruisers top the list of riskiest motorcycle types. These are high-powered machines with limited brakes, which makes them more dangerous especially for an inexperienced rider.

Common Injuries Seen in Motorcycle Crashes

In the event of a motorcycle accident, the type and extent of your injuries depend on multiple factors, such as the speed at impact, protective gear worn, and the types of vehicles involved. Some common injuries from motorbike accidents include the following:

Broken Bones

Bones in the arms, legs, wrists, feet, ribs, and collarbone are often broken in motorcycle crashes. Due to the high impact of a motorcycle crash, several fractures may also occur at the same time.

Bruises and Lacerations

Soft tissue injuries such as bruises, cuts, and scrapes are also common in motorcycle accidents. Although this type of injury is considered to be minor, if left untreated, it can lead to infections and more serious medical conditions.

Head, Brain, and Spinal Cord Injuries

Severe spinal cord trauma can occur from the impact of a crash, leading to partial or full paralysis. Head and brain trauma are also serious, life-altering injuries that motorcycle crashes can cause.

Federal Laws on Motorcycles

At the federal level, multiple laws regulate the safety of motorcycle riding in the US.

Universal Helmet Laws

The first and most important law is known as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Final Rule on Enhanced Motorcycle Helmets which requires all riders to wear a helmet approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT).

The said law came under criticism from some proponents of motorcycle helmet law repeal. Supporters of the repeal argue that mandatory helmet laws restrict riders’ freedom and reduce their vision and hearing capabilities, thus increasing their risk of an accident.

Before the mandatory helmet-wearing laws were passed, only 20 states had a universal helmet law. Now, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have some form of helmet-wearing laws with varying levels of enforcement. Many studies have shown that the implementation of universal motorcycle helmet laws has significantly reduced the risk of severe head injuries in the case of an accident.

Other Federal Laws that Regulate Motorcycle Safety

Below is a list of some more laws and regulations that seek to protect motorcycle riders and prevent accidents.

  • The Motor Vehicle Safety Act (MVSA) regulates the safety standards for motorcycles and their components.
  • The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (NTMVSA), regulates vehicle safety, including brake systems, lighting devices, handlebar height, rearview mirrors, brake systems, and tire safety to ensure rider safety.
  • The Highway Safety Act (HSA) provides funds to states for motorcycle safety programs as well as research and education initiatives.
  • The NHTSA has also set a minimum level of protection for all riders in the form of protective clothing, such as jackets and trousers, that meet specific requirements.
  • The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) has created a list of safety courses designed to teach riders the basics of bike operation, laws, and accident prevention.

State Motorcycle Helmet Laws

In addition to federal regulations, there are also specific state motorcycle helmet laws that govern motorcycle riding in the US. As mentioned, all states require all riders to wear a DOT-approved helmet at all times, regardless of age. An example of this is the California motorcycle helmet law.

State Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Additionally, many states have instituted laws regarding passenger restrictions, age limitations, and noise limits. Some states also require mandatory insurance coverage for riders and bikes alike.

In particular to Florida, the state requires all riders over the age of 21 to either have a valid driver’s license or a specialized motorcycle license. It is important to note that each state has its unique regulations, so make sure to do some research before hitting the open roads.

How Motorcycle Helmet Usage Prevents Serious Injury and Death

Motorcycle helmets are designed to protect riders from head injuries and have been proven to reduce the risk of death in an accident significantly. A helmet’s ability to absorb and disperse the energy transmitted during impacts works by reducing the effectiveness of rotation, which is a major cause of serious brain injury. The foam liner inside motorcycle helmets also helps to absorb the energy from an impact and spreads it evenly across a wider surface area.

For motorcyclists, wearing helmets is one of the best ways to protect yourself in the event of an accident. The CDC conducted a study and found that motorcycle helmets saved almost two thousand lives in 2017. Not only did wearing them decrease fatalities by 37% for riders and 41% for passengers, but it also drastically reduced the chances of getting head injuries by 69%. Clearly, helmet-wearing has proven to be an invaluable resource when it comes to rider safety.

Other Accident Prevention Protocols

In addition to wearing a helmet, there are other important safety protocols that motorcyclists should be aware of.

  • Always maintain an appropriate distance between your bike and other vehicles on the road.
  • Wear brightly colored apparel with reflective materials so you’re visible to oncoming traffic.
  • Make sure all your lights are working properly before driving and stay away from the blind spots of other vehicles.
  • Practice defensive driving techniques, such as scanning your surroundings before making turns or changing lanes.
  • Stay aware of the road conditions and adjust your speed accordingly.
  • Antilock Breaking Systems (ABS) are also highly recommended for bikers since they can help you maintain control of your bike when making sudden stops.
  • Be sure to get regular check-ups on your bike and replace any worn-out parts before taking it out for a ride.

By following these protocols and wearing a helmet, motorcyclists can greatly reduce their risk of getting injured in an accident. Motorcycle safety is no joke, so make sure to stay informed and take the necessary steps to ensure your well-being while riding.

What to do after a motorcycle accident in Hollywood, FL?

If you get involved in a motorcycle accident, it is important to remain as calm as possible. First, check yourself and your passenger for any injuries that need immediate medical attention. If needed, call 911 or have someone else do so on your behalf.

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Make sure to document the scene of the accident by taking photos or videos of the location, the damage to both vehicles involved, and any injuries sustained. Once the authorities arrive, give a concise yet thorough account of what happened leading up to and during the accident. Also, do not admit fault for the incident or sign any documents without consulting a motorcycle accident attorney from Jared Spingarn’s firm in Hollywood, Florida.

The next step is to contact your insurance provider as soon as possible. The company will assess the damage and provide you with advice on how to proceed.

Do I need a lawyer?

Even with the utmost safety precautions, motorcycle accidents can still happen. If the unfortunate event happens, do not hesitate to reach out to the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn immediately – they specialize in personal injury cases and will fight for you to receive the compensation you deserve.

Jared Spingarn has years of experience navigating the legal system and has a proven track record of positive outcomes for his clients. Jared understands that no two cases are exactly alike, which is why he can provide personalized attention and counsel every step of the way.


Laws and injury prevention on motorcycles are important to ensure motorcyclists stay safe while riding. Wearing a helmet, following safety protocols, and having an attorney on your side in the event of an accident can help protect you from harm. Remember to ride safely and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

>> If you’re involved in a motorcycle accident in Florida, don’t hesitate to reach out to Jared Spingarn, Accident Attorney, at 1-954-781-2316 for a Free Case Review or drop a message on their Contact Us page.