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Are motorcyclists required to wear helmets in California?

  • By: John Rosenberg
  • Published: 01/23/2020

Motorcycle helmet laws vary from state to state, but when you’re in California, you are required to wear a helmet.

The law in California is referred to as a universal helmet law because it requires all motorcycle riders and passengers of all ages to wear helmets whenever riding. Some states have partial helmet laws that only require specific groups of people to wear helmets. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), after the universal helmet law took effect in 1992, the number of motorcyclist deaths in California decreased by 37 percent.

Under the state helmet law, there is only one exception to the rule. The helmet law does not apply to a person operating (or riding as a passenger in) a fully enclosed three-wheeled motor vehicle that is not less than seven feet in length and not less than four feet in width, and has an unladen weight of 900 pounds or more.

It is important to remember that although helmets can prevent severe head injuries, they do not fully protect a motorcyclist from injury or death. A helmet is not an invitation to ride recklessly or make foolish decisions. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a report that shows that for the same per-mile exposure, motorcyclists are roughly 28 times more likely to die than occupant of other vehicles.

If you were the victim of a California motorcycle accident caused by another person’s negligence in the Los Angeles area, contact the Law Offices of John P. Rosenberg, located in Woodland Hills.

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