Ohio Motorcycle Helmet Law
The Ohio helmet laws allow riders to generally make their own decisions.
Eye protection is mandatory for everyone, but there are only three circumstances where a motorcycle helmet is required in Ohio.
You must wear a helmet if you fall under one of these categories:
- You are a novice rider, meaning that you have had your motorcycle license for less than one year;
- You are a rider under the age of 18; or
- You are a passenger on a motorcycle and the motorcycle operator is a novice or under 18 years old.
An experienced adult rider does not have to wear a helmet under the Ohio motorcycle helmet law.
Why You Should Wear a Motorcycle Helmet
Despite the fact that helmets are largely optional according to the Ohio motorcycle helmet law, there are a lot of reasons you should consider wearing one anyway. According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, there were 160 deaths from motorcycle accidents state-wide in 2019.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) did a deep dive into motorcycle safety in 2017. It was estimated that helmets saved the lives of 1,872 motorcycle riders nationally in 2017. The organization found that helmets may be as much as 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries.
Other Ohio Motorcycle Laws
Though the Ohio helmet law is not as stringent as other states, there are other safety rules that you must follow when riding a motorcycle.
- You have to be seated in the regular seat attached to the bike while it is in motion;
- You cannot carry a package or anything that would prevent you from keeping one hand on the handlebars;
- The handlebars cannot be higher than your shoulders if riding on the highway; and
- There cannot be more than two motorcycles next to each other in a single lane.
Lane splitting is not against the law in Ohio, but you may be cited if you are driving without caution or disobeying other traffic laws.
Motorcycle Accident Injury
In some states, not wearing a helmet could make you partially negligent, and this could reduce the amount of compensation you are eligible for. Because Ohio motorcycle helmet laws only require helmets in certain circumstances, it is unlikely to change the outcome of your case.
It’s worth noting, however, that most people with loved ones involved in a motorcycle accident case would rather be bringing a claim for personal injury than for wrongful death.
If you are in a motorcycle accident that was caused in part by the negligence of another party, it is important to seek an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer.