What are the Helmet Laws in Pennsylvania?

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What are the Helmet Laws in Pennsylvania?

by | Jun 21, 2024 | Motorcycle Accident

Motorcycle riding is a popular pastime and means of transportation for many people in Pennsylvania. With the thrill of the open road, there’s also a significant amount of risk. To mitigate this risk, the state has enacted specific helmet laws to ensure the safety of motorcycle riders and their passengers. Understanding these laws is crucial for anyone who rides a motorcycle in Pennsylvania. 

This blog will provide a comprehensive overview of the helmet laws in Pennsylvania, explain the requirements for a compliant helmet, outline the consequences of not wearing a helmet, and offer resources for further legal assistance if needed.

Does Pennsylvania Require You to Use a Helmet While on a Motorcycle?

Pennsylvania law mandates that all individuals who operate or ride a motorcycle (including an autocycle) must wear protective headgear unless they meet certain criteria. Specifically, riders who are 21 years of age or older are exempt from wearing a helmet if they have two years of riding experience or have completed a motorcycle safety course approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) or the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

However, there are exceptions to this rule. Operators or passengers of three-wheeled motorcycles or autocycles equipped with an enclosed cab are not required to wear a helmet. To ensure the helmets used by motorcyclists provide adequate protection, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has established regulations outlining the minimum performance requirements for helmets. These regulations also specify the labeling standards that help identify helmets meeting the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS 218) and Pennsylvania regulations (Title 67, Chapter 107).

More: What is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury in Pennsylvania?

Does Any Motorcycle Helmet Fit Pennsylvania’s Helmet Laws?

Not all helmets conform to Pennsylvania’s helmet laws. To legally ride in the state, you must wear a helmet approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT). These helmets are engineered to provide the essential protection required for motorcycle riders.

To verify if a helmet is DOT-approved, look for a “DOT” sticker on its exterior surface. Furthermore, your helmet must have the following details clearly and legibly labeled:

  • The manufacturer’s name
  • The month and year of manufacture
  • The size
  • The specific model designation

5 Consequences of Not Wearing a Helmet

  1. Increased Risk of Injury or Death: The most severe consequence of not wearing a helmet is the heightened risk of suffering a serious injury or fatality in the event of an accident. Helmets are proven to significantly reduce the severity of head injuries, which are among the most common and deadly injuries in motorcycle crashes.
  2. Legal Penalties: If you are caught riding without a helmet when required by law, you could face fines and other legal repercussions. Pennsylvania law enforcement takes helmet laws seriously, and failure to comply can result in citations and penalties.
  3. Insurance Issues: Not wearing a helmet can complicate matters with your insurance company. In the event of an accident, your insurer might reduce or deny coverage for injuries sustained while you were not complying with helmet laws, arguing that you contributed to the severity of your injuries by not wearing a helmet.
  4. Medical Costs: Without a helmet, the likelihood of severe head injuries increases, leading to potentially exorbitant medical bills. Even if you have health insurance, the out-of-pocket expenses for long-term care, rehabilitation, and loss of income due to the inability to work can be devastating.
  5. Impact on Legal Claims: If you are involved in an accident and decide to pursue a legal claim for damages, not wearing a helmet could adversely affect your case. Opposing parties may argue that your injuries were more severe due to your failure to wear a helmet, which could reduce the compensation you receive.

Contact Our Pennsylvania Motorcycle Accident Law Firm for Help Today

If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident and need legal assistance, Pacin Levine, P.A. is here to help. We understand the complexities of motorcycle accident cases and are committed to pursuing justice on your behalf.

Contact us today at 215-273-6403 for a free initial consultation. Our experienced attorneys will review your case, provide expert legal advice, and help you navigate the legal process to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Stay safe, wear your helmet, and ride responsibly! Your family is waiting for you, and someone else’s family is waiting for them!

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