Helmet use among motorcyclists has been shown to decrease injury and mortality rates in the event of a motorcycle traffic accident. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Administration, helmets saved the lives of over 1,600 people involved in motorcycle crashes in 2013. Those who are not wearing a helmet when involved in a motorcycle crash are three times more likely to suffer a brain injury.
Helmet laws in the U.S. vary per state. Some states mandate helmet usage for anyone operating a motorcycle, others have limited helmet laws, and select states have no helmet laws. Helmet laws per state are classified as “universal”, “partial”, or “no law”.
Universal helmet laws mandate that all operators wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle, no matter your age or level of experience. Partial helmet laws require that only some individuals, usually those under a certain age, wear a helmet when operating a motorcycle. Motorcyclists living in states with no helmet laws may not be required to wear a helmet.
Across the United States:
- 19 states, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands enforce a universal helmet law;
- 28 states and Guam have partial helmet laws;
- 3 states do not enforce helmet laws.
Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Rhode Island
Rhode Island has a partial helmet law R.I.G.L. § 31-10.1-4, which states that all motorcycle operators must wear a helmet until age 21. In addition, all new motorcycle operators, regardless of age, are required to wear a helmet for one year from the date they were issued a Rhode Island motorcycle license. Under R.I.G.L. § 31-10.1-6, as of 2018, all motorcycle passengers (i.e. those not driving) are required to wear a helmet in the state of Rhode Island. Those found in violation of these Rhode Island helmet laws are subject to an $85 fine under R.I.G.L. § 31-41.1-4.
Wearing a helmet is an important measure that you, as a motorcycle operator, can take to reduce your chance of a serious head injury if you are involved in a motorcycle accident. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, contact us today for a free consultation at 844-567-1185 to learn how we can help you get compensation for your injuries.