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Motorcycle Helmets

Motorcyclists are vulnerable to suffering serious injuries, as a result of negligence of car and truck drivers.

The issue of requiring motorcycle helmets is controversial in Arizona. Some argue that laws requiring helmets save lives, reduce head injuries, and medical costs. Further, helmet advocates state that helmets do not reduce visibility or impair hearing. They also argue that helmet laws don't restrict people's freedom any more than other accepted public safety laws, like prohibitions covering drunk driving or using cell phones while driving.

Helmet laws are a matter of state law. In Arizona an operator or passenger of a motorcycle, all terrain vehicle or motor driven cycle under 18 years old is required to wear a protective helmet.

Riders 18 and over are not required to wear a helmet.

However, if an operator or passenger is injured, and not wearing a helmet, in a personal injury case, a jury may consider whether, under certain circumstances, the nonuse of the helmet should reduce the amount of damages that the injured motorcyclist may receive.

The defense would have to prove that use of a helmet would have prevented specific injuries, if so the injured person's damages that are awarded may be reduced.

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