SC Considers Mandatory Helmet Law

South Carolina legislators are considering making the mandatory use of motorcycle helmets the law within the state. Governor Nikki Haley is in agreement with lawmakers at the State House that the bill will save both lives and money.

Representatives at the State level, Wendell Gilliard, D-Charleston, Seth Whipper, D-North Charleston, and Carl Anderson, D-Georgetown, have co-sponsored and pre-filed a bill that would require all motorcycle riders to wear helmets in the state of South Carolina because of the growing number of motorcycle fatalities that have occurred in the state.

“This is about saving lives,” Rep. Gilliard said.

Legislators are also aware that such a requirement is bound to be unpopular among motorcyclists and groups that support them. ABATE of South Carolina, a bikers’ rights group, already is calling for people to speak out against the bill.

ABATE spokesman Chad Fuller said, “We don’t believe that helmets save lives. Education saves lives.”

According to experts at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), however, state that the use of a helmet can reduce by 37 percent the likelihood of death in a motorcycle crash. Further, the independent FairWarning.org reported that in 1997, one of every 20 traffic deaths was a motorcyclist. By 2010, that had increased to one in seven.

Recently the S.C. Legislature passed legislation that made it a requirement for riders under the age of 21 to wear a helmet and now they believe increasing the requirement to be the same for all riders of motorcycles, ATV’s and other vehicles.

Because motorcyclists are more exposed to the elements and to the hazards of the road than other drivers are, motorcycle accidents can cause very serious injuries and even fatalities. The statistics are on the side of the advocates of helmet laws. Even though it is unpopular among those who advocate the freedom of riding without the requirement of a helmet, safety equipment on motorcycles in the form of helmets and other protective gear can greatly reduce injury or fatality in the case of an accident.

If you or someone you love has been involved in and injured in an accident involving a motorcycle, give our offices a call. Serious injuries or even death can sometimes be caused as a result of motorcycle accidents. This is why having an experienced attorney is essential. Medical costs, damages and other legal matters can best be addressed through the advice of a competent legal professional. When you call our office, we will take the time to match you with an attorney who is best suited to help you. After listening to the specifics of your case, they will take the time to outline options and help you file any insurance or legal paperwork that is needed. Our lawyers have successfully represented and served many clients in the area for many years. Call our offices for a free initial consultation.

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