Reviewing Tennessee's helmet law

There may be many motorcyclists in Shelby who would rather ride their bikes around unencumbered by a helmet. Riding a motorcycle offers a unique feeling of freedom, so it may be understandable why some would view the helmet as hindering that freedom. Yet according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Tennessee ranks among the 19 states that require all riders to wear helmets. Taking the legal aspect of the argument out of the conversation, however, one can still at least two major reasons why one would want to wear a helmet while traveling on his or her bike: safety and liability. 

It may go without saying that a motorcyclist wearing a helmet is better protected in the event of a motorcycle accident. A common reply that those who would rather not have to wear helmets while on their motorcycles might be that the helmet only protects the head, and thus does not drastically reduce their chances of dying due to other injuries. While there may be a nugget of logic in that assertion, it ignores one very troublesome possibility: the potential of sustaining a head injury. Traumatic head injuries can leave those who survive the accidents that cause them needing lifelong care, which can potentially cause expenses even greater than those typically associated with death. Thus, if one is going to be in a motorcycle accident, the one area of the body that he or she should want protected is the head. 

Section 55-9-302 of Tennessee's State Code points out that motorcyclists and passengers alike are required to wear helmets. Those operating the motorcycle are charged with ensuring that their passengers have such protection. Should one ignore that responsibility, he or she could be exposed to liability claims should his or her passenger be injured in an accident.  

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