Wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle is always a good idea, regardless of the legal bindings or not. It may be essential for so many reasons, including insurance claims in accidents. It is incredible to have a direct touch of wind on your face and scalp, but that may cost your life! So, we think even if your state allows motorbiking without a helmet on your head, you should practice wearing for the sake of your safety.
The state where you’re residing may have its helmet safety law or no law at all. But most of the states that have their own ordinances propose the use of helmet subject to a specific age recommendation, while few other states have laws with no age limit. And, they clearly show with what safety features a motorcycle helmet should be equipped! Interestingly, motorcycle helmet laws are different in different states of the USA. However, states with motorcycle helmet laws, that is what we are going to explore in this article.
Different Helmet Law Categories
According to statistics and current practice, motorcycle helmet (including bike helmet) laws fall into several categories as such:
- Everyone- applicable for everybody without age limitation,
- Under 21- applicable for everybody under 21 years old,
- Under 18 – applicable for everybody under 18 years old,
- No Law – not applicable to anybody.
States have the discretion to determine different rules for the riders, passengers, bike engine power limitation, maximum speed, riding approach, insurance policy with or without a helmet, and many other related things as the state authority thinks fit from time to time.
For your better understanding, we’ve enlisted all the states and their current condition about laws on helmet safety as given alphabetically.
|Alabama: Everyone||Louisiana: Everyone||Ohio: Under 18|
|Alaska: Under 18||Maine: Under 18||Oklahoma: Under 18|
|Arizona: Under 18||Maryland: Everyone||Oregon: Everyone|
|Arkansas: Under 21||Massachusetts: Everyone||Pennsylvania: Under 21|
|California: Everyone||Michigan: Under 21||Rhode Island: Under 21|
|Colorado: Under 18 (passengers included)||Minnesota: Under 18||South Carolina: Under 21|
|Connecticut: Under 21||Mississippi: Everyone||South Dakota: Under 18|
|Delaware: Under 19||Missouri: Everyone||Tennessee: Everyone|
|Florida: Under 21||Montana: Under 18||Texas: Under 21|
|Georgia: Everyone||Nebraska: Everyone||Utah: Under 21|
|Hawaii: Under 18||Nevada: Everyone||Vermont: Everyone|
|Idaho: Under 18||New Hampshire: No law||Virginia: Everyone|
|Illinois: No law||New Jersey: Everyone||Washington, D.C.: Everyone|
|Indiana: Under 18||New Mexico: Under 18||Washington (state): Everyone|
|Iowa: No law||New York: Everyone||West Virginia: Everyone|
|Kansas: Under 18||North Carolina: Everyone||Wisconsin: Under 18|
|Kentucky: Under 21||North Dakota: Under 18||Wyoming: Under 18|
You can see the current status that only three states have no law at all, while 19 states have implemented universal helmet safety laws for everyone, and the rest states focus on rules for young riders (only 18 or 21 years old young riders are required to wear a helmet). In some states, bikers are allowed to ride without helmets, and they need to be covered by a certain amount of insurance. As regards off-road or dirt biking safety, most of the states strictly ask for supervision from professionals and safety certificates, especially when it comes to riding by minors. Laws used to get changed from time to time subject to necessities.
Helmet Law Violation and Result
The states where you need to wear a helmet will typically ask you to buy a DOT approved helmet that can cost you an amount around $150 to more than $500. The price will vary for different models, sizes, features, and brands.
Where you’re legally bound to wear a helmet, you may be warned and (or) fined for violation of that binding, which is pretty high compared to the price of an affordable DOT-approved standard motorcycle helmet.
If you violate the law and ignore wearing a helmet where asked and end up with an accident causing head injury, you are at risk of getting no compensation (or enough compensation) from the driver or person who was at fault. It can also impact your insurance claim.
Riding through the road or terrain with a motorbike is always thrilling! Sometimes, riders love to get a direct touch of wind on their face and scalp for more thrill, better feeling, and adventure! But this can cost their life, and that is the point why most states emphasize on helmet use! As teenagers or young adolescents want more thrill and do reckless or uncontrolled driving more, so almost all states focus more on them. Anyway, whoever you are – a young adolescent or older, it is your responsibility to ensure riding safety, and using a helmet is an essential safety condition.