Motorcycle Helmet Law Is Good for Massachusetts

Last week, a group of 75 motorcyclists rode to Beacon Hill in Boston to support 2017 Senate Bill 1923, which would make helmets optional for motorcycle riders and their passengers. The bill was introduced by Senator Anne Gobi of Spencer and is co-sponsored by representatives Angelo Puppolo, Todd Smola, Angelo De-Emilia, Kenneth Gordon and Kevin Kuros, as well as Senator Richard Ross.

Both Vermont and Massachusetts have strict motorcycle helmet laws that require all motorcycle riders and passengers to wear helmets. New Hampshire, Maine and Connecticut do not require helmets, and Rhode Island only requires helmets for passengers.

Motorcyclists who argue against the Massachusetts helmet law do so at their own peril. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that helmets were 37% effective in preventing deaths and 67% effective in preventing traumatic brain injury, based on 2015 motorcycle accident data from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Arguments against “nanny state” policies and arguments that suggest Massachusetts helmet laws discourage riders from other states from coming to the Commonwealth ignore what decades of traffic data reveal: helmets save lives and prevent debilitating lifetime injuries. A rider only needs to hit their head once without a helmet to suffer a life-altering brain injury. Falling off a motorcycle at low speed can be enough to cause permanent disability.

At Sheff Law, we have extensive experience with the impact of motorcycle accidents on riders and their passengers. We support mandatory helmet laws because we know how severe injuries can be, even in low-speed accidents. The growing body of evidence on the dangers of concussions is not limited to professional athletes. Anyone who suffers brain trauma could be at risk for CTE or other long-term complications. There are simply too many good reasons to wear a helmet, and no arguments that mitigate the risk motorcyclists face every time they’re on the road.

We provide compassionate, expert support for riders and passengers injured in motorcycle accidents, and there is no fee for our services unless a case leads to a cash award. For a free, no-obligation consultation on any motorcycle accident case, contact us online or call us at 1-888-423-4477.

Stock image of a rider on a yellow motorcycle in an urban setting

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