State-by-State Motorcycle Helmet Laws
Motorcycle helmet laws vary from state to state. Currently, only three U.S. states don’t have motorcycle helmet laws. The states not requiring motorcycle helmets are Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have universal helmet laws. The remaining 28 states have helmet laws that vary by age and/or experience.
- 3 states don’t have motorcycle helmet laws
- 19 states & D.C. have universal helmet laws
- 28 states have helmet laws based on age and/or experience
The following states require helmets for all motorcyclists and passengers;
Alabama, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.
State-by-state helmet laws for states with age and experience restrictions can be found at the Governors Highway Safety Association website.
Motorcycle Helmet Laws & Interstate Travel
When a rider takes a journey that encompasses several states, complying with motorcycle helmet laws gets a bit complicated. Some states have a list of approved helmets that comply with their individual laws. Others make mention of a list but the list is incomplete or outdated. Some states even have helmet laws that seem to contradict federal laws.
For these reasons, many motorcyclists contest helmet law violation tickets because they find helmet laws too confusing. This is where an attorney’s skills come into play. They decipher individual state motorcycle helmet laws.
Consult a motorcycle accident attorney if you’ve been cited for a helmet law violation out of state. A good lawyer determines whether or not your case warrants argument in the courts at no charge to you.
Many bikers protest motorcycle helmet laws as a restriction of their freedom. Equally as many proclaim the importance of helmet laws in saving lives. As one motorcyclist put it, “If you value your face and the contents of your skull, put on a helmet!”.
The higher likelihood of being in an accident leads many motorcyclists to opt for the safe approach. Following helmet laws is simply a matter of self-preservation and common sense to these riders.
Of course, just like state seat belt laws, complying is an individual choice. If you check the list above, you’ll know the helmet laws in each state you ride through. You know that opting for the wind in your hair results in a citation in many states!
Helmet Laws and Lawsuits
If you sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident while not wearing a helmet, you could still receive a settlement. Compensation for injuries and damages resulting from an accident isn’t based solely on compliance with motorcycle helmet laws. These laws prevent or minimize injuries when followed. They do not excuse others’ reckless behavior.
It is important to follow all laws while driving any vehicle. At the same time, non-compliance does not exclude you from just compensation when you are not entirely at fault. Partial liability on your part decreases the value of your settlement. However, it doesn’t release others from their responsibility in contributing to the accident.
Contact a motorcycle accident attorney if you have questions about a motorcycle helmet law citation or a motorcycle accident. In doing so, you will save a lot of time and trouble. This is especially true when you, or a loved one, were in an accident while not following motorcycle helmet laws.
An experienced injury lawyer will help determine your eligibility for compensation. In addition, a lawyer provides valuable information on the road to recovery.