Defects in the safety gear a rider wears to protect themselves can be just as dangerous as defects within the motorcycle itself. Wearing adequate safety gear is paramount to safe riding, and can cause severe injury and even fatalities when missing or defective in the case of a motorcycle accident.
There are five pieces of motorcycle gear that most professionals agree are essential to a safe ride:
- Helmet: Many states require riders to wear Department of Transportation (DOT) approved helmets at all times to protect the skull and face from injury in the event of an accident.
- Gloves: Gloves are essential to protecting your hands and wrists in the case of an accident. Understandably, riders often injure their hands when extending them toward the ground to brace or catch themselves in the event of a fall.
- Jacket: Jackets are important not only for protecting a rider from the elements, but to protect skin that might otherwise have been exposed to road rash, and in the case of padded jackets, can even protect organs and bones in the torso during an impact.
- Boots: Boots are essential for protecting a rider’s feet and ankles. Not only can these protect the skin of the feet and ankles, but also the small somewhat delicate bones of that part of the body in the case of an accident.
- Pants: Pants are important for protecting the skin on the legs from road rash and other damages in the event of an accident or fall.
Like any product, motorcycle gear is subject to defects, such as the following:
- Helmet defects: Common defects in motorcycle helmets include helmets that do not meet DOT requirements, which might include faulty chin straps, fasteners, buckles, or insufficient materials that can stand up to impact during an accident.
- Jacket defects: Improper material or stitching which reduces or eliminates the effectiveness of a motorcycle jacket to protect the rider as intended is a defect of some motorcycle jackets.
- Boot defects: A defect of some motorcycle boots is the use of improper or insufficient material, mistakes in stitching, or unsafe tread.
- Pants defects: Defects of motorcycle pants could include improper material or construction, reducing its effectiveness in an accident.
Many companies that distribute motorcycle gear offer warranties for these products in case a defect does appear or the product wears out unreasonably quickly. This is good news as long as the defect didn’t result in a severe injury or even a fatality.
The most common defect in motorcycle gear resulting in severe injuries to a rider occurs in motorcycle helmets.
High-quality DOT-approved helmets can be pricey, but are essential to a safe motorcycle ride. If there is any element of protective gear you plan to spend more money on than the rest, it should be in the helmet. Defects in motorcycle helmets or non-DOT approved helmets can result in the most severe and fatal injuries for riders. It’s a good idea to purchase a brightly colored helmet in order to be more visible to surrounding drivers. Additionally, failing to wear proper protective gear during an accident could affect your potential compensation in a case.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident due to defective safety gear, you might be eligible to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer. Seek legal counsel to learn more about your rights as a motorcycle product consumer and learn what compensation you might be eligible for.
Written by AskTheLawyers.com on behalf of Brandon Beagley with Sloan Firm.