When it comes to the point of motorcycle safety accessories, helmets are considered the most important of all. Motorcycle helmets cover and save the whole upper portion of your body from severe injuries resulting from motorcycle riding. People who are reluctant to wear motorcycle helmets are more exposed to life-threatening accidents. But there are different regulations about motorcycle helmets in many states, which brings the question again, do you have to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle?
Wearing a motorcycle helmet is equally important for the safety of rider’s life and to follow the imposed laws of different states. Not wearing a helmet can cause fatal problems such as concussion, brain hemorrhage, broken neck, facial injuries. Also, there are legal consequences of state laws such as fine, jail, insurance revoking if someone is found on the streets without a motorcycle helmet.
So, motorcycle helmets are important both for preventing injuries and avoiding punishments of laws. But an interesting fact is the laws have different views about helmet wearing. So in this writing, I will share some interesting facts about helmet-wearing laws and the importance of motorcycle helmets to a rider.
What Happens When You Don’t Wear A Helmet?
Without the protection of a motorcycle helmet, a rider is openly exposed to life taking head injuries. Even if you do recover from these injuries, it can take a toll on your savings. Some of the harsh injuries that can occur by not wearing a motorcycle helmet are :
- Contusions of the brain such as sensitive nerve or blood flow damage.
- Fracture on head skull.
- Fear of losing consciousness.
- Hemorrhage in many parts of the head.
- Neck limbs tearing.
- Eye and facial injuries.
- Jawline breaking.
In addition to injuries, you can also face legal issues such as prison, ticket, fine, case filing if you are caught without a motorcycle helmet.
Will I Be Fined If I Don’t Wear Motorcycle Helmets?
If you are someone who belongs to the states such as Louisiana, Alabama, California, etc, you will be fined a hefty amount if you are found without a motorcycle helmet. There are 19 states following the ‘Universal Motorcycle Helmet Law’ under which all riders must cover them up with only motorcycle helmets. Otherwise, there are penalties they will have to bear like imprisonment, charge, court, and other types of punishments. For the remaining states, the fine punishment is trivial and you are even allowed not to wear a helmet at some places.
Which States Do I Have to Wear Motorcycle Helmets?
You have to wear motorcycle helmets in states that are under the universal motorcycle helmet law. These states have their own set of rules and policies regarding motorcycle helmets. Some of the states that where you are bound to wear helmets are:
- Washington, and many more.
There will be a discussion about it in later parts.
What Is The Minimum Age of Wearing Motorcycle Helmet?
The age of riding a motorbike and wearing a motorcycle helmet is different across states. While some force riders of all ages to cover themselves, others set up a maximum age to continue. Let’s look at the chart for better understanding:
|States||Age of Wearing A Motorcycle Helmet|
|Florida||Till 20 Years.|
|Illinois||No Age Laws.|
|North Dakota||Till 17 Years.|
|Michigan||20 Years or Less.|
|New Hampshire||No Age Barriers.|
|Oklahoma||17 And Less.|
|Kentucky||20 Years or Less.|
Which States I Won’t Have to Wear Motorcycle Helmets?
Three different states don’t have any motorcycle helmet laws. So you are allowed to not cover your head with a helmet in these states. The name of three states are:
- New Hampshire
Will Not Wearing A Motorcycle Helmet Affect My Insurance?
If you don’t wear a motorcycle helmet and that becomes the major reason for any injuries or other’s losses, some states will force you to increase the monthly insurance premium amount. This happens mostly in states where the laws about motorcycle helmets are neither created nor strict. The rate of injuries and motorcycle accidents is gradually increasing in these states and so is the insurance premium level. Many states impose the law over riders that they will have to back up a large amount of medical cost to ride without a helmet. The cost can vary up to $2,00,000 according to states.
Motorcycle Helmet Laws Around US: Here’s What You Need to Know About
The law of the Motorcycle Helmet is not the same across various states of the US. While some strictly impose it, others are not concerned about it that much. Here are some interesting facts about motorcycle helmet laws across the country:
- 19 states follow strict motorcycle helmet laws and they impose severe punishment on riders if they break rules. Some of the states like these are Alabama, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, Washington, Virginia, California, etc.
- Some states have a maximum age of helmet wearing while few of them allow you to ride without bringing a motorcycle helmet.
- The consequences of breaking motorcycle helmet law differ across states. For example, in California, you could be imprisoned and fined a large amount, or sued by other parties for their losses. While states like Missouri will keep raising your insurance premium level.
- The laws of Texas charge you around $200-$500 if you are unable to show the motorcycle helmet and motorbike insurance papers.
Will I Be Fined If I Wear a Non-Motorcycle Helmet on Ride?
You will be fined if you cover yourself with a helmet that is not made for motorcycle riders. Also, the helmet has to bear safety approval. The motorcycle helmet laws have made it mandatory that any motorcycle helmet has to pass quality tests such as DOT, SNELL, ANSI. You may have to spend amounts if you are charged with the accusation of an unapproved helmet.
Which Helmets Do I Have to Wear for Motorcycle Ride?
There are different motorcycle helmets for different types of riders. If you are a new rider and confused about choosing the right helmet, here are some tips for you to identify your kind of helmet:
- If you ride in cities and mostly for work, safety is your priority. Full-faced, modular helmets are perfect for you then.
- If you belong to a less crowded area, Open helmets or quarter helmets are good for you.
- An adventure-loving or long-distance rider can use off-road helmets as they are lightweight with good protection.
- For people who love to ride in cold or rainy conditions, snowmobile helmets are a good choice. They come with some modern technologies such as heat generators, face shield cleaner, etc.
5 Qualities You Should Look for In A Motorcycle Helmet:
A quality helmet is necessary to ensure topmost safety of yours. When you go for a motorcycle helmet, look for these qualities :
- Helmet material. Try to look for carbon, fiber, styrofoam made helmets.
- Safety standards. Try to identify which safety standards it has passed.
- Quality of helmet accessories such as chin and neck guard, face shield, etc.
- Correct size as the wrong size can lead your head stuck inside.
- The width of the visor to look around. The more narrow it is, the more likely it is going to block your visuals.
Motorcycle helmets are necessary for the safety of your riding life as well as to protect you from any legal issues. Try riding motorbikes with a good quality helmet as it can save you from many unwanted injuries and losses.
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