Motorcycle Safety & Missouri’s New Helmet Law

 In Financial Planning, Insurance Advice

Missouri motorcyclists age 26 and older may now ride without a helmet, as long as they have medical insurance and proof of financial responsibility.

Supporters of the new motorcycle helmet law, which took effect on August 28, 2020, say it gives riders more freedom to make personal decisions. Opponents of the law express concerns about the risk of fatalities and brain injuries.1

According to the most recent figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle helmets saved 1,872 lives in 2017. If all motorcyclists had worn helmets, another 749 lives could have been saved.2 The type of helmet worn also makes a difference. Helmets that meet federal safety standards include a thick inner liner, sturdy chin straps and other rigorous design criteria. Those that don’t comply are known as “novelty helmets” and offer less protection.3

With the new helmet law taking effect, now is a good time to review other motorcycle safety tips, whether you’re taking a weekend trip or just riding to work.

Defensive Driving & Motorcycle Safety Awareness

Defensive driving is just as important when riding a motorcycle as when driving a car, truck or van.

Stay alert, with your eyes and your mind on the road.4 Scan your environment for potential hazards, such as gravel, sand or spilled oil.5 Use caution when crossing railroad tracks or rounding curves.6

Use your mirrors, but don’t rely on them exclusively.5 Glance over your shoulder before turning or changing lanes. Notice whether other drivers appear to be paying attention to you.

Remember that most drivers are not in the habit of noticing motorcycles. On top of that, motorcycles are often harder to see.4 Avoid other vehicles’ blind spots,7 and wear bright colors to increase your visibility.5 Keep your headlight on and use your turn signal.7 When passing other vehicles, do so between exits and cross streets, and never get between another vehicle and an off-ramp.5

Cargo must be securely fastened to the motorcycle. Keep loads low, balanced and centered to prevent the motorcycle from tipping over, pulling to one side or overloading either tire.8

Avoid driving while tired, and take rest breaks on long trips.4 Eat a light, protein-rich meal to help you stay calm and alert, and never drink and drive.8

Get Prepared Before You Ride

In addition to defensive driving, there are things you can do before you start the engine to make your ride safer.

  • Choose the right motorcycle: Look for a bike that fits your size and that’s easy to get on and off. Your feet should rest comfortably on the ground when you are seated. All controls should be easy to reach,6  and choose a model with antilock brakes.9
  • Wear the right gear: Besides a proper helmet, wear boots that cover your ankles, long pants, gloves and a jacket.4 If you have a passenger, they should also wear the appropriate clothing.
  • Inspect before you go: Check the lights, mirrors and tire pressure. Look for loose bolts and leaks. Take care of regular maintenance to prevent unexpected mechanical problems when you’re on the road.
  • Check the weather: Be prepared for whatever Mother Nature dishes out on your ride. Precipitation hurts your visibility, especially since you don’t have a windshield. Wet and icy weather make the road less safe for everyone, especially motorcycles.6
  • Take a motorcycle safety course: Especially if you’re a beginner, take the time to learn the basics before you go on that first ride.9

In addition to these safety tips, you also need a motorcycle insurance policy to protect you in the event of an accident. Liability coverage is required in most states, and other recommended coverages include collision and comprehensive.

If you need to choose a motorcycle policy, reach out to us at The Resource Center. We’ll answer your questions and help you select the best policy to meet your needs.




Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM). AEWM and The Resource Center, Inc. are not affiliated companies. 734408 – 10/20

Recent Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search