A motorcycle on the side of the road with a helmet hanging from the handlebars.

Every state has varying regulations concerning motorcycles, including the use of helmets. With that being said, it’s important to know that helmets are indeed a necessity for riders throughout California. Wearing one can not only save a life but also prevent dealing with potential legal consequences. 

If you’re involved in a motorcycle collision in the Golden State, consult with a local motorcycle accident lawyer right away.

Helmets Help Prevent Injury and Save Lives

Motorcycles are more dangerous than traditional vehicles as they provide riders with no form of protection, and head injuries are among some of the worst injuries a motorcycle accident victim can sustain. They often require extensive medical treatment and can result in long-term health issues. Injuries to the head and brain can also end in a victim’s death.

As such, many states legally require helmets, as they are the only thing that can protect riders in case of a collision and thus save their life. While some riders feel wearing a helmet is a burden, the pros clearly outweigh the potential cons.

Are Motorcycle Helmets a Requirement Under California Law?

Under California law, all motorcycle riders are required to wear helmets while riding. More specifically, the law states both drivers and passengers must wear safety helmets when riding motorcycles, motor-driven cycles, or motorized bicycles.

Surprisingly, however, California is only one of a few states with a universal helmet law. Many others either have not enacted such laws or only require helmets for riders of a certain age. 

Helmet Requirements in California

Not just any motorcycle helmet will do in California. The law states riders must wear helmets that meet specific conditions.

The state’s laws and regulations fall in line with those provided by the Department of Transportation (DoT), requiring that all motorcycle helmets adhere to the following characteristics:

  • Weigh at least three pounds
  • Be lined on the inside with polystyrene foam that is at least one inch thick
  • Have a secure chin strap that is attached with sturdy rivets
  • Do not have anything that protrudes further than two-tenths of an inch from the surface, like decorative features

Furthermore, it’s important to understand what it means to actually “wear” a helmet in California. For a rider to properly wear a helmet, the following conditions apply:

  • It must fit the rider’s head properly
  • It must be strapped on correctly
  • It must not make any movements once fastened

If all of the above boxes are checked off, riders can take to the streets safely and in compliance with the law. 

Potential Consequences of Failing to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet

Because riding a motorcycle without a helmet is illegal, a rider who is caught not wearing one could face criminal penalties, including fines of up to $250 and up to one year of probation. 

In the Event of an Accident, a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help You

If you’re involved in a motorcycle accident, don’t wait to consult with a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer. Motorcycle collision cases can be challenging to navigate, but an attorney can fight diligently on your behalf for the best possible case result.

The accident lawyers at Steinberg Injury Lawyers are ready to help you. Contact our firm today to request a complimentary case evaluation. 

Peter Steinberg
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Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Since 1982
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