Illinois is very different from most states, in that, the law does not require motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. Riding a motorcycle gives many people a great sense of freedom. In Illinois, there are many who own and ride motorcycles with pride, however without any helmet laws, there are more motorcycle accident injuries in this state compared to states with helmet requirements. This is one reason why it's essential to have a personal injury attorney on your side if you are injured while riding a motorcycle.
History of Illinois Motorcycle Helmet Laws
Because there are no helmet laws in place, Illinois is a state that sees numerous severe and fatal injuries among motorcycle riders. Interestingly, in 1968, a statute was adopted requiring motorcyclists to wear a helmet. It was subsequently overturned by Illinois’ Supreme Court and deemed an “unconstitutional abuse of power,” according to the case of the People v. Fries.
In 2009, the issue of instituting a helmet law arose again in the State Senate. As per the new proposed law, individuals on motorcycles would be required to wear helmets that strapped under the chin, but the measure did not become law. To this day, Illinois does not have a law that requires motorcyclists to wear a helmet.
However, you are required to wear protective eye gear while riding a motorcycle in Illinois. The only exception is if the motorcycle has a windshield.
Advantages of Helmet Laws
According to studies performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motorcycle helmet laws tend to have a greater effect on preventing injuries to motorcycle riders who share the road with other vehicles. The CDC determined that states that have helmet laws in place have a usage rate of close to 100 percent.
Riders who use helmets while riding have less of a risk of suffering serious head injuries. States that have helmet laws also have more savings on healthcare, according to the CDC. Also, the risk of death to motorcycle riders is considerably less in states that require helmets.
Overall, only 12 percent of motorcycle riders who are killed in accidents did not wear a helmet in states that have implemented helmet laws. By contrast, over 64 percent of motorcycle riders in states that don’t have helmet laws are killed in crashes.
Personal Injury Cases with No Helmet Law
In spite of no helmet laws, there are issues that can arise if you are injured in a motorcycle accident in Illinois and were not wearing a helmet when the wreck occurred. If you decide to file a personal injury claim, insurance companies may try to blame you for negligence by not wearing a helmet. However, just because you weren’t wearing a helmet does not mean you are at fault. As a result of this risk, it’s important to speak with a motorcycle accident attorney. You must know your rights when dealing with insurance companies.
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