Some people may feel funny wearing a helmet, but the protection helmets provide is unmatched—especially for motorcyclists. That’s why New York State Law supports the use of helmets by legally requiring them to be worn.

Here’s the important take away to remember: Not only do helmets protect you from fatal or catastrophic head injuries, they also protect you from liability in lawsuits! If you’re ever in an accident and not wearing a helmet, you might be held accountable for partial—or even full—liability for your associated damages, including injury.

The Helmet Laws That You Need To Know

All riders—motorcyclists and bikers alike—must wear an approved motorcycle helmet in New York. NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law, Section 381(6) states: “It shall be unlawful for any person to operate or ride upon a motorcycle unless he wears a protective helmet of a type which meets the requirements set forth in section 571.218 of the federal motor vehicle safety standards…”

You might not have been aware of this law either, but motorcyclist must also be wearing the appropriate eyewear or goggles while riding, too.

When you violate this law, you’re doing these 3 things:

1.    Increasing your chances of suffering a head injury or death.

2.    It potentially makes you liable for the damages associated with the wreck, (and decreases your family’s potential right to compensation if you were to pass away).

3.    You’re violating the law which can allow the state to fine you up to $100 and even possibly 30 days of imprisonment!

Make Sure Your Helmet Meets The Law’s Requirements

When selecting a helmet, you can’t just choose any one. According to our motorcycle accident lawyers, it is a state law in New York that the helmet meets FMVSS 218 requirements.

Here are some tips to help you choose a helmet that meets state law requirements:

  • Check the manufacturer’s label. It should include the name of the manufacturer, month and year that it was manufactured, model, size, owner’s information, and the materials used to construct the helmet. The information on this label can prove (or disqualify) the helmet meets the Federal safety standard.
  • Look for a DOT sticker, certifying the helmet meets the FMVSS 218 requirements.  The outside of the helmet should have a sticker on the back that reads “DOT.”
  • Check for an ANSI or Snell label. These non-profit organizations are dedicated to promoting helmet safety, and their standards meet FMVSS 218 standards.

Injured in A Motorcycle Accident? Call A Rochester Motorcycle Accident Lawyer!

As mentioned above, not following New York State’s helmet laws can negatively affect your personal injury case. However, if you are following them, you have a strong chance of being compensated for your damages when you have a professional attorney on your side.

If you or your loved one were hurt in a motorcycle accident, call our local firm to have our motorcycle accident attorneys review the details of your case. This is the best first step to determining who may be liable for paying the damages related to your case.