Los Angeles, CA

Are Helmets Required for Motorcyclists by Law in Los Angeles, California?

To put it simply, yes – helmets are required for motorcyclists by law in Los Angeles, California. California requires all drivers and passengers of a motorcycle to wear a legally compliant safety helmet. The Golden State has some of the strongest motorcycle helmet laws in the United States.

Wearing a helmet reduces a motorcyclist’s risk of death and life-changing injuries. If you operate a motorcycle or ride one as a passenger, you need to know the law and how to ride to protect yourself best. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need the advice and guidance of an experienced Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney. 

California Helmet Laws

Riding a motorcycle is much riskier and can lead to more severe injuries than driving or riding in a car. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that motorcycle accident deaths were nearly 24 times more than vehicle accident deaths per vehicle miles traveled. 

It is indisputable that helmets save lives. A proper helmet is the most essential safety equipment a motorcyclist can use. 

California Vehicle Code 27803 provides that all motorcycle drivers and passengers in California must wear a safety helmet that complies with the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS 218). This statute even makes it illegal to ride on a motorcycle if the driver or passenger is not wearing a compliant safety helmet.

Requirements for Motorcycle Helmets in California

Motorcyclists must wear a helmet that meets the minimum standards of the California helmet law. It is not acceptable to strap on a cute novelty helmet when riding a motorcycle. You must ensure that your helmet meets the Federal  Motor Vehicle Safety Standard definition of a “motorcycle helmet.”

Your helmet should have a DOT sticker on the back of the helmet. This sticker certifies that the helmet meets or exceeds the FMVSS 218 standards. There are certain features you will notice with a compliant helmet, including:

  • A strong riveted chin strap.
  • A thick inner liner made of firm polystyrene foam.
  • A label with the manufacturer’s name, the helmet size and model, the construction materials, and the month and year of manufacture.
  • The weight of the helmet will usually be about three pounds.
  • The helmet will be designed so that nothing extends more than two-tenths of an inch from its surface. 

If you have a motorcycle accident while wearing a compliant helmet, you are more likely to survive a head injury than if you are not wearing a compliant helmet. 

You may choose a half-shell, three-quarters, or full-face compliant helmet. According to the California DMV, a full-face helmet with a lock-in visor will offer the best protection to the back sides of your head. 

You should replace your helmet about every five years. Of course, if your helmet is involved in an accident or is damaged, you should replace it immediately. 

Consequences of Not Wearing a Helmet in California

The consequences can be devastating for failing to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle in California. Some of the results may include death or catastrophic injury, criminal charges, and negative impacts to a personal injury claim.

Some of the most common severe injuries that occur from motorcycle accidents include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Loss of or damage to bodily organs
  • Dismemberment and amputation
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Disfigurement

Your chances of dying or suffering long-altering injuries are much greater if you are not wearing a helmet during a motorcycle accident. Additionally, you may be assessed a fine for violating the CA helmet law.

If you are injured in a motorcycle accident and are not wearing a helmet, you may not receive full compensation for your injuries. California follows a comparative negligence standard in personal injury cases. 

This means that the amount of damages you recover may be reduced if you are found to be partially responsible for your damages. Thus, if you are not wearing a helmet, you may be found responsible, at least partially, for the damages you suffered. You should consult an experienced Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney to help protect your rights. 

An Experienced Attorney Can Help if You’ve Been Hurt in a Motorcycle Crash

Helmets are required for motorcyclists by law in LA, California. California has stringent helmet laws that require everyone driving or riding as a passenger on a motorcycle to wear a safety helmet that complies with the U.S. Department of Transportation safety standards. 

Motorcycle accidents can lead to death and catastrophic injuries. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in California, consult an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney to understand and protect your rights. 

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA

If you were injured in an accident in Los Angeles, CA or you lost a loved one and you need legal assistance, please contact us to schedule a free consultation. One of our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers will get in touch with you soon.

M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers – Los Angeles Office
4929 Wilshire Blvd Suite 960,
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(877) 300-4535

M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers – Downtown Office
350 S Figueroa St Suite 276
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(877) 751-8953