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California Remains Leader of the Pack: Enforcing Helmet Laws Since 1992

Driver with Green HelmetAlthough there has been many a heated debate between government leaders and motorcycle enthusiasts regarding the use of helmets when riding, for those riders residing in California, state law, since 1992, has required all riders to wear a helmet while cruising the open road.  

Historically, these debates have been ongoing since 1967 when the federal government mandated that states enact universal helmet laws in conjunction with the application and receipt of federal highway safety funds. By 1975 only three states had failed to comply, Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire. In 1976, as the federal government relinquished the authority to assess penalties for non-compliance, individual states began to weaken helmet laws.

Helmets Save Lives

California resisted and since 1992, the Golden State, under California Vehicle Code, Division 12, Chapter 5, Article 7, Section 27803 requires all motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. Furthermore, under California statute Section 27892 requires that all helmets follow specific federal guidelines as the number of motorcycle related deaths and debilitating injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries has increased by 55 percent since 2000.

According to federal findings, the helmet is the first line of defense against sustaining a traumatic brain injury or death. Helmets must meet federal safety standards as they are equipped with a hard outer shell designed to evenly distribute the force of an impact and possible penetration of objects. The inner liner limits the impact of force by absorbing a portion of the energy that otherwise would affect the head and the brain.

The effects of a motorcycle brain injury relatable to a defective helmet or failure to wear a helmet can be devastating often resulting in such long-term injuries as:

  • Loss of motor and cognitive skills;
  • Paralysis or seizures;
  • Memory loss and short-term memory deficits;
  • Depletion of intellectual facilities; and
  • Depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders.

In conjunction with the California Vehicle Code, all indicators support the importance of wearing a helmet when operating a motorcycle. Research further indicates that by wearing a helmet, the risk of sustaining a brain injury during an accident is reduced by 85 percent.

If you or a loved one has sustained a traumatic brain injury while involved in a motorcycle accident and believe that your helmet did not follow specific federal safety and manufacturing guidelines, contact the skilled Monterey personal injury attorneys of Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. Our firm offers free consultations and you pay nothing unless we win your case. Contact us at (408) 289-1417 to discuss your legal options today.

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I absolutely cannot speak highly enough of CMA Law, particularly of Mr. McMahon, with whom I have had the most experience. My entire family and I trusted CMA with our case following a significant and life-altering vehicle accident, and to say they delivered is putting it lightly. They were reachable & personable at every stage of this arduous, complex, and scary process, made things easier at every stage, inspired us with confidence, and delivered results. If you're looking for a law firm to place the trust of you in your family in, look absolutely no further than CMA - this is your firm. Declan O.
I suffered a severe spinal injury while working as a farm mechanic in the Salinas Valley. The attorneys -Tim McMahon and Mark Sigala were fantastic from the beginning. They fought for me over 3 long years and in the end, we won a difficult liability case against the farm company who was using dangerous equipment. The defendants in the case tried everything to put the blame on me and even claimed I was their employee in order to avoid civil responsibility. Tim and Mark never gave up on me and my case. I cannot recommend them highly enough. They are fighters. Adrian A.
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