There's no question that riding a motorcycle can be dangerous. Motorcyclists have little to protect them from injury or death in the event of an accident. Not only do motorcycles lack the protective exterior and steel frame of passenger vehicles, they're often much less stable than vehicles with four wheels. As a result, motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in an accident than drivers of other vehicles.
However, decades of research indicates that wearing a motorcycle helmet can be literally life-saving. In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, helmets are approximately 67 percent effective in preventing traumatic brain injuries; and roughly 37 percent effective in preventing motorcycle accident fatalities. Yet, helmet use is only mandated in approximately one-third of U.S. states.
In Pennsylvania, only motorcyclists 21 and younger are required to wear helmets while operating or riding motorcycles.
Motorcyclists over 21 who have two years of riding experience, or who complete a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation or Motorcycle Safety Foundation-approved safety course, aren't required to wear a helmet. Operators and riders of three-wheeled motorcycles with enclosed cabs are also exempt from helmet requirements.
Motorcyclists for whom helmet use is mandated must wear helmets that meet U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) standards in order to comply with Pennsylvania state helmet laws. DOT-approved helmets include the following:
- Manufacturer name or identification
- Helmet model number
- Helmet size
- Month and year of manufacture
- DOT sticker on the helmet's exterior
The required information must be labeled permanently and legibly, and located where it can be seen without removing parts of the helmet.
While helmet use is optional for most Pennsylvania motorcyclists, the use of protective eye wear is mandatory.
Do You Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident in Pennsylvania, the motorcycle accident attorneys with the Accident and Injury Law Group can help you protect your rights and explore your options for compensation. Contact our firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.