What are Ohio’s Helmet Laws?
Helmet laws differ by state for motorcyclists. Some states require a helmet for all riders, while others do not. In Ohio, helmets are required for novice riders, as well as those under the age of 18.
Ohio Novice Riders
A novice rider is someone who has had their license for less than one year. Their motorcycle license would have a “novice” designation on it, requiring that they operate their motorcycle with a helmet.
Ohio Revised Code 4501-17-01 Protective helmet, chin strap, and eye device describes the laws surrounding novice riders and helmet use. This area of the law states that no person who is under the age of eighteen or has a novice license shall operate a motorcycle unless they are wearing a protective helmet with a chin strap properly fastened.
Motorcyclists Under 18 Years Old
As explained above, motorcyclists under the age of 18 are also required to wear helmets while on their bike. This would mean that even if an individual had their license for over one year, yet are under 18-years-old, they would still be required to wear a helmet.
The helmets that must be worn, for both those under the age of 18 and novice riders must meet the specifications found in Ohio Revised Code 4501-17-02 Test standards – protective helmet. This area of the law states that all helmets must meet the federal motor vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) 218. These specifications can be found here.
Passenger’s Helmet Requirements
The passenger on a motorcycle is required to follow the same helmet specifications as the operator. Therefore, if an individual is the passenger of a motorcyclist under the age of 18 or has a novice license, they are required to wear a helmet as well. If the operator is over 18 and does not have a novice license, the passenger would not be required to wear a helmet.
Motorcycle Helmets in Ohio
Contrada & Associates has helped numerous motorcycle accident victims after they have been injured while on their bike. From the extensive experience representing these victims, attorney Charlie Contrada believes that no matter the helmet law, it is imperative for motorcyclists and passengers to wear helmets.
There are some motorcyclists who believe that helmets reduce visibility as it prevents them from seeing with their peripheral vision. Motorcyclists also believe that they can hear better without wearing a helmet, so they can react better to their surroundings while operating their motorcycles. The claim that helmets reduce both vision and hearing contributes to motorcyclists believing that they are safer without helmets because they can better avoid accidents.
However, attorney Charlie Contrada reminds readers that motorcyclists do get into accidents and that helmets do help to prevent injuries.
The best piece of advice given by attorney Contrada to Ohio motorcycle operators is to always wear a helmet. Helmets and other protective gear can help to save the lives of motorcyclists and their passengers. We have listed additional information on the subject in our blog post, Ohio Motorcycle Accidents: Facts & Prevention. If you have any questions regarding the legal options of a motorcycle accident victim, call the Contrada & Associates office at 419.841.4400.