Motorcycle Helmet Use in Alaska: Reasons to Wear One You Did NOT Consider

For motorcycle riders in many other US states, the primary reason to wear a helmet is a legal one. Motorcyclists can get a traffic citation for not donning proper headgear, though the laws vary according to age, training, and other factors. However, Alaska’s motorcycle helmet statute is quite permissive by some standards. Authorities cannot require you to wear a helmet if you hold the proper license to operate a motorcycle, but riders under 18 years old must do so. All motorcycle passengers of any age and anyone driving one under an instructional permit must also have a helmet on when the vehicle is underway.

Many riders view the permissive helmet law as beneficial from the standpoint of freedom, but some information about the risks might make you take a second thought. There can even be implications for your legal rights, and an Anchorage motorcycle accidents attorney can explain the details. Still, here are a few reasons to wear a helmet that may not have come to mind.


Helmets Save Lives 

You have heard the statistics, but a reminder may be helpful. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), proper headgear saves an estimated 2,000 lives every year. Had all motorcyclists worn helmets, another 800 riders would be alive today after being involved in a collision. This essential piece of safety equipment reduces the risk of death in a motorcycle crash by approximately 37%.


Protecting Against Head Injuries

Helmets do not just save lives; they also prevent serious trauma to the head, including concussion, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and brain damage. Surviving a motorcycle crash, only to be subjected to a severe, catastrophic head injury, can lead to devastating losses. CDC reports that helmets reduce the risk of serious head injuries by 69%.


Secondary Impacts in Motorcycle Crashes

In almost every motorcycle accident, the rider will be subjected to a secondary impact when being tossed onto the ground, another vehicle, or other hard surface. Your head is at serious risk with the first violent blow, so another impact doubles the chances that the rider will be killed or sustain severe head injuries.


Implications for Your Legal Rights

Your safety and well-being are obviously top priorities, but not wearing a helmet could also impact your rights. In a motorcycle accident claim, you can recover compensation by proving that the at-fault motorist failed to exercise reasonable care while driving. However, Alaska’s contributory negligence law also puts the focus on your own actions. If you also failed to exercise reasonable care – by not wearing a helmet – your compensation could be reduced.


Consult with Our Alaska Motorcycle Accidents Lawyers About Your Options

A helmet may not be required by state law, but there are many other reasons it is wise to wear one. For more information on the legal process, please contact Power & Power Law to schedule a no-cost case evaluation. You can reach our offices in Anchorage, Alaska by calling 907-222-9990 or visiting us online.