Ohio Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Am I Required to Wear a Helmet?

Ohio law only requires a motorcyclist to wear a helmet if he or she is under 18 years of age or if he or she is within the first year of getting a motorcycle license (a novice) or driving with a temporary permit. If the operator of the motorcycle is required to wear a helmet, any passenger must also wear one.

Eye protection is required in Ohio unless the bike is equipped with a windscreen.  Both the helmet and safety glasses/eye protection must meet minimum standards set out by Ohio’s Director of Public Safety. 

Why You Should Choose to Wear a Helmet

Motorcyclists are about 26 times more likely to die in a crash and five times more likely to be injured in a crash than a person in a passenger vehicle. Motorcyclists who choose not to wear a helmet are three times more likely to suffer a brain injury than motorcyclists who do wear helmets. The goal of helmet laws is to reduce head injuries sustained by the rider in the event of a crash.  The most common head injury is a Traumatic Brain Injury, which can cause permanent impairment of higher level cognitive functioning.

Will I Get a Ticket if I Violate the Helmet Law?

Those who violate the motorcycle helmet law are guilty of a minor misdemeanor. The level of misdemeanor will increase if the offender has previously violated the law. 

Will my Failure to Wear a Helmet Bar Me from Recovering Damages if I am Injured?

The answer to this question will depend on the laws of the state in which the accident takes place.  Since Ohio law does not generally require helmet use by adult motorcyclist with normal operator’s licenses, there is no duty on the part of a motorcyclist to anticipate another person’s negligence and to protect oneself by wearing a helmet.  Generally, in a legal action, it cannot be considered that the use of a helmet may have reduced injuries unless there is factual evidence to support contentions that the injuries sustained by the motorcyclist would have been reduced or prevented by the use of such devices.  Ohio is a comparative negligence state, which means that even if the you are determined to be negligent in failing to wear a helmet, you may not be entirely barred, if at all, from recovery. 

Posted in Personal Injury, Safety

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