Bicycle Helmet Laws by State

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The popularity of a bicycle has not decreased a bit from ancient times till now. Not only is it an excellent exercise but also it is very environment friendly. But it would be best if you were extra cautious when riding a bicycle cause this two-wheel transportation is prone to accidents.

In the United States of America, more than 35 states have enrolled laws for wearing a helmet when riding a bicycle. It prevents any severe injury caused by a bicycle accident. But more than half of the users do not like this idea of wearing a helmet.

Is it safe not to wear a bicycle helmet is a long-running debate? We have done a little research regarding this matter and found that the advantages of wearing a helmet are more than just safety. Also, you are violating a law of the states by not wearing a helmet. So, it is better to know the laws related to helmet wearing than paying a good number of fines. In this article, we will give you a clear idea about the bicycle helmet laws by state.

Bicycle Helmet Laws of Different States

In the United States of America, around 22 states and localities prohibit riding a bicycle without wearing a helmet. States like Alabama, Alaska, California, Hawaii, Arizona, Maine, Maryland, New York, Ohio, etc., find it necessary to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.

If you have a closer look at the statistic, you will find the rate of death is higher in not wearing a helmet. The helmet has been excellent support for users in overcrowded or busy states and mountainsides.

While most states require citizens to wear a helmet, 13 states of America do not bother riders with such rules. Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming. It’s not like these stated don’t care about people’s safety. Briefly, these states are not prone to accidents.

In other states, helmet law varies according to geographical situation and age limit. Some states impose this law on people aged below 18. But in most states, the main focus of this law is the young generation. Youngsters nowadays pull various stunts using bicycles and e-bikes. But don’t go for doing this fun taking safety precautions. That’s why the state makes this law mandatory to reduce the rate of accidents.

Statewide Laws Regarding Wearing a Bicycle Helmet

Many states require passengers and users to use a helmet while using a bicycle. The age limits vary in different states, but you will not find a single state which does not recommend using a helmet.

As you can see from the statistic in the national research centre, most of these bicycle accidents happen with teenagers. Their reckless riding and creating stunts have had this effect. Also, they are not happy with the fact of wearing a helmet while having fun.

So, most states impose strict rules for teenagers. After making this law a success, the rate of fatal and non-fatal accidents due to bicycles has reduced significantly. But teenagers are losing interest in cycling at the same time.

using a helmet in different states
Using a helmet in different states

Florida, the state blessed with natural beauty, is an excellent spot for having an adventurous trip. But these muddy and slippery roads are precarious. There is a big chance that you might fall on your head. So, wearing a helmet can save you a chance of death.

Bicycle laws in the state of Florida include under-aged youngsters, passengers below 5, and all bike riders under 16 to wear a helmet. This law has improved the statistical bar of bicycle accidents a lot in this state.

California, the home of cycle enthusiasts, has set the age limit at 18 for using a helmet. Bicycle helmet laws in California have been adopted recently due to the increasing number of accidents. Whether you are an expert in this platform or have some influence, that will not matter. You must pay $25 to the state for not obeying the law and not wearing a helmet.

You cannot ride a bicycle on the sidewalk, highway, or pathway. You can ride your bike on the lawn or on private property without wearing a helmet. Otherwise, you can get a ticket for not wearing a helmet.

Some of the states in America are friendly with bikes. They give enough encouragement and inspiration to young teens to ride a bicycle and have set the laws very low.

But there are states like New Mexico where all minors under 18 need to wear a helmet to ride an ATV, snowmobiles, and e-bikes. Minors need to learn road laws from a young age not to break laws and make accidents happen when they grow up.

Now, let’s move to more to the east side of the country. We will mention one of the busiest cities globally—the city of new hope, New York. Here, you need to save your time from heavy traffic. And what can help you more than a bicycle ride?

In New York, most people try to save time. They go for bicycle rides to go to the workplace or lose some weight from a busy schedule. To ensure safety to all kinds of citizens, the New York state government provides bike helmets for free. Bicycle helmet laws in New York have helped to maintain the image as well.

Nowadays people don’t use bicycles just for exercise or recreation. Food delivery men, mail carriers, and even guys from different couriers use bicycle rides to earn their livelihood. For ensuring safety, only a bicycle helmet is not enough. For this reason, New York City advocates have appealed to make a different route for bi-cycle and bike passengers. A two-wheel line can decrease the rate of accidents to a significant number.

Massachusetts is the most populous state in the New England region, and the number of cyclists is also a lot more than other states. You can ride your bicycle on any road or street except the highways. Even riding your bicycle sideways is also allowed. But do you have to wear a helmet in Massachusetts? The answer is yes. If you are younger than 16 years, you need to wear a helmet to be a perfect fit. Otherwise, you have to pay a certain amount of money as a fine.

Some states of America do not emphasize a lot of pressure on wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle. The states don’t implement a mandatory statewide helmet rule. But some towns of these states need you to wear a helmet no matter what your age is. But if you don’t want to wear a helmet for religious purposes, you need to have a legal document with you to prove that.

States which don’t impose laws on people for wearing a helmet has some different reason. It’s not like they don’t care for citizens’ safety. But imposing a law has reduced the number of riders to a tremendous extinct. Professionals suggest that more bicycles on the road can make the road safer. So, motor vehicles need to be more cautious on the road and spare more space for two-wheeled vehicles.

Bike Helmet Law Issuance

Being concerned about safety while riding a bicycle has not started recently. The issuance of helmet law has happened a long ago. Different states of America started to adopt laws on carrying a helmet while riding a bike in 1987. 22 state has statewide mandatory laws for bicycle helmets. Twenty-nine states do not have statewide laws, but these states’ towns have their laws for wearing a bicycle helmet.

The statistic shows each year about 2% of motor vehicle crash happen with cyclists. And most cases, the part which takes most of the injury is the head. And the death rate is higher for any head injury. After issuing the bike helmet law, these injuries have been reduced quite a bit. The helmet uses reduced the statistical bar noticeably.

Now the more important question is it illegal not to wear a helmet on a bicycle? Helmet laws in the states were not organized. And it isn’t easy to keep up with while riding a bike from one state to another because the law differs from one state to another. Most states don’t want to intervene in this case; they let the municipalities make the decision. So, is it illegal to not wear a helmet while riding a bike depends on where your ride.

States That Require a Bicycle Helmet

Twenty-two states have established and adopted statewide bicycle helmet laws. Not just cycling, you need to wear a helmet even while skateboarding or using a mountain bike for adventurous purposes. If you do not intend to wear one, the law will cause you a handful of punishments in the forms of tickets and fines.

Most of the states target teenagers accountable for this law. They don’t impose this law on adults because they are more responsible than young stars. Young stars are prone to head injury because of the lack of concern and reckless attitude.

Following, we have the laws of the state’s breakdown by age.

  • Alabama, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Maryland, District of Columbia, Florida, New Hampshire, and Tennessee: Bike riders younger than 16 or 16
  • Connecticut: e-bike riders of all ages, Bike riders under 16
  • Louisiana and Pennsylvania: Bike riders younger than 12
  • Massachusetts: bike riders under 17, Passengers 5 and smaller
  • Delaware and New Mexico: Bike riders younger than 18
  • New Jersey: Bike riders under 17
  • New York: Passengers 5 and younger, bike riders younger than 14
  • West Virginia: Bike riders under the age limit of 15
  • California: bike riders under 18; Passengers 5 and under; scooter, skateboard, and in-line skate riders 18 and younger.

Bicycle Accidents and Bike Helmet Laws

If you violate any helmet law, it doesn’t just cost you some money; it also hinders your physical safety. Also, it risks a chance of getting compensation from the driver in charge if you crash with a vehicle. Also, if you are injured while ignoring the law, the court automatically chooses you as a negligent person to law.

Bicycle Accidents and Bike Helmet Laws
Bicycle Accident

Wearing a bike helmet is vital while riding an e-bike. Because if you are injured in an e-bike ride or bicycle accident in a state where wearing a helmet is the law, you would be responsible for the accident. So, the state will not give you any compensation at all from the other party. Also, you would find some trouble with health insurance at the same time.

Considering these unavoidable facts, states have suggested that people who ride behind a bike as an uber passenger also need to wear a helmet. It ensures the safety of both riders at the same time. Without bike helmets, it is rarely possible to survive a head injury. As there is no safety belt or precautions that can become your safeguard in a bike, a helmet is the only choice you have.

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Should you wear a bike helmet?


Wearing a bike helmet depends on your personal preference. But we cannot deny the fact that a helmet works as a safeguard for you while you ride your bicycle. From a severe head injury, a fitted bicycle helmet is your first-hand defense.

To wear a bike helmet also goes for e-bikes, commuters, as well as skateboarding. Young stars love to do risky stunts with bicycles and skateboards that can cause a major head injury. Also, adventurous cycling trips can get dangerous without head support. By adopting bicycle helmet laws by state, you can ensure your and others’ safety.

So, abiding by the law or not, we suggest getting a fitted helmet and wearing it regularly no matter your age. No matter which state you belong to or their local law, we suggest protecting your head and life. Cause you only live once.

If you have any quires, please contact us.

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