Helmet Laws In New York

Helmet Laws In New York

Only 18 states, plus Washington D.C., require all motorcyclists to wear helmets. New York was the first state to pass one of these universal helmet laws in New York. Wearing a helmet when you ride in New York, New York, complies with the law and significantly reduces your odds of suffering head trauma in a motorcycle accident.

After a motorcycle crash in New York City, NY, your compliance with the helmet laws in New York could determine your injury compensation. A New York motorcycle accident lawyer from Rosenbaum Personal Injury Lawyers can evaluate your claim, including your helmet use, and pursue fair compensation for the injuries you suffered.

Contact our legal team today at (212) 514-5007 to schedule a free consultation with our New York motorcycle accident attorney. 

How Rosenbaum Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After An Accident In New York, NY

Rosenbaum Personal Injury Lawyers opened its doors more than 40 years ago to represent clients in New York, New York, against the people who injured them. Our New York motorcycle accident lawyers have decades of experience fighting insurers and at-fault parties for fair injury compensation.

After you suffer an injury due to another’s negligent or intentional actions, our New York personal injury attorneys will provide the following:

  • Legal advice to counsel you about your rights under New York law
  • Preparation of your insurance claim and an aggressive strategy to settle it
  • Litigation experience to take your case to a jury when the insurer refuses to settle

Motorcycle crashes can cause disabling or even fatal injuries even when motorcyclists wear helmets per helmet laws in New York. Contact Rosenbaum Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation. Our New York motorcycle accident lawyers will discuss your injuries and the compensation you may seek under New York law.

How Often Do Motorcyclists Suffer Head Injuries?

In a crash, the most likely body parts you will injure include your arms and legs. This makes sense because your motorcycle typically tips over after a collision, trapping you underneath it or ejecting you onto the road. Statistics suggest that roughly half of all motorcycle crash victims will injure their upper or lower extremities.

But when you look at fatal motorcycle collisions, the most common injuries involve the head. When motorcyclists die from a single injury, over half of them die from head trauma. And roughly two-thirds of motorcyclists who die from multiple causes have a head injury.

These grim studies have a silver lining. They show that motorcycle helmets work. Motorcycle operators who wear a helmet during a crash are 37% less likely to die and 69% less likely to suffer a head injury.

Helmet use is mandated for at least some motorcyclists in 47 states plus Washington, D.C. Only Iowa, Illinois, and New Hampshire allow all motorcyclists to ride helmetless. In 29 states, only young motorcyclists are required to wear helmets. New York, along with 17 other states, requires all motorcyclists to wear helmets regardless of age or experience.

New York State’s Helmet Laws

New York’s helmet law is very simple. All motorcyclists, including operators and passengers, must wear a protective helmet. This helmet must comply with U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) regulations. These regulations require helmets to meet certain testing standards to ensure that they protect the user from head and brain injuries.

If a helmet meets federal standards, it will have a marking or sticker on its back. This marking should read, “DOT, FMVSS No. 218, CERTIFIED.” Novelty helmets do not carry these markings because the manufacturer has not paid to have the helmet tested and certified.

When you choose a helmet, you should make sure it fits properly around your head. It should fit snugly. It may even feel a bit tight. But the pressure will prevent it from shifting while you ride and blocking your vision. You should always fasten the chin straps when you ride so it does not fall off in a collision.

The helmet law also requires riders to wear goggles or a face shield. Many helmets include a face shield. You should leave the shield in place when you ride. If your helmet does not include a shield, you should wear USDOT-approved goggles.

New York’s helmet law does not provide any medical exceptions. The only exception happens when riders appear in a parade or public exhibition. The organization that sponsored or organized the event can apply for a permit from local authorities to allow riders to go helmetless during the event.

Consequences of Riding Helmetless

Riding helmetless exposes you to injury or death. A police officer can issue a citation for violating the helmet law. The citation carries a fine of up to $100 and up to 30 days in jail.

More importantly, you could lose your right to injury compensation by riding helmetless. Under the doctrine of comparative fault, a claims adjuster or jury could assign you a share of the fault for your injuries. Your share will reduce the damages you recover. Thus, if a jury finds you 35% at fault for riding without a helmet, you can only get 65% of your damages.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our New York Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

You can suffer severe injuries in a motorcycle crash even when you wear a helmet in compliance with helmet laws in New York and are properly licensed. Contact Rosenbaum Personal Injury Lawyers at (212) 514-5007 to discuss your injuries and how our New York motorcycle accident attorney can help you pursue financial compensation.