It’s always a good idea to wear a bicycle helmet, regardless of what your state’s law says about it. However, you should be aware that helmet laws can have a huge impact on any personal injury claim you make after you have been in an accident involving a vehicle.
No part of the United States makes it a legal requirement for adults to wear bicycle helmets. However, just less than half of all states have a law that states cyclists under a specific age should wear helmets. You should be aware that the town or city that you live in may have its own rule that refers to the use of bicycle helmets by both adults and the young.
Let’s imagine that you live in Texas and you plan to go for a ride on your bicycle. While there is no specific helmet law in Texas some cities such as Houston, Dallas, Austin and Fort Worth state that anyone under 18 years of age has to wear a helmet. This means that anyone under the age of 18 has to wear a bicycle helmet, regardless of what the state’s law is.
Helmet Laws and Bicycle Accidents
If you are required by law to wear a bicycle helmet, you should do so every time you get on your bike. If you fail to wear a helmet and you’re involved in an accident you could have a hard time getting any compensation from the driver of the vehicle that hit you, even if they were at fault. This because your failure to wear a bicycle helmet was a violation of the law. This means that you were the one who was negligent in the accident. This means that your state’s law on shared-fault could reduce how much money you receive from the driver. Alternatively, you may not receive any compensation at all.
Please read our article on Contributory negligence and Comparative negligence for more information.
In some personal injury cases, you may be required to show that you would have sustained a head injury even if you were wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. However, this can be very hard to prove.
Bicycle Helmet Laws by State
Below you will find details of the states that require people under a specific age to wear a bicycle helmet. If your state is not listed it means that at the time of writing there were no state-level laws that require helmet use.
State Cyclists Required to Wear a Helmet
Alabama — Under 16 years of age
California — Under 18 years of age
Connecticut — Under 16 years of age
Delaware — Under 16 years of age
District of Columbia — Under 16 years of age
Florida — Under 16 years of age
Georgia — Under 16 years of age
Hawaii — Under 16 years of age
Louisiana — Under 12 years of age
Maine — Under 16 years of age
Maryland — Under 16 years of age
Massachusetts — Under 17 years of age
New Hampshire — Under 16 years of age
New Jersey — Under 17 years of age
New Mexico — Under 18 years of age
New York — Under 14 years of age
North Carolina — Under 16 years of age
Oregon — Under 16 years of age
Pennsylvania — Under 12 years of age
Rhode Island — Under 16 years of age
Tennessee — Under 16 years of age
West Virginia — Under 15 years of age
If you are currently suffering from a personal injury and are unable to read ‘Bicycle Helmet Laws’ please watch our Injury Pedia video so you can gain the Personal Injury Information and Answers you are seeking.