Do You Have to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet in New York City?

If you enjoy riding your motorcycle throughout New York City’s boroughs, you need to know whether or not you must wear a helmet. Abiding by safety standards is crucial so that you can get the compensatory damages you deserve in a motorcycle accident lawsuit.

All motorcyclists and passengers have to wear a helmet in New York City. Helmets must meet the safety standards set forth by the federal motor vehicle safety rules, so just any helmet won’t suffice. If motorcyclists don’t meet New York City’s safety standards for helmets and are injured in a collision caused by a negligent driver, they can have difficulty recovering damages. Although it may cramp your style, wearing a motorcycle helmet is important to protect yourself and your access to compensatory damages in a lawsuit against a negligent party.

Our skilled Utica motorcycle accident lawyers care about helping motorcycle accident victims get the damages they deserve. For a free case evaluation with the New York City motorcycle accident lawyers at The Carrion Law Firm, call us today at (718) 841-0083.

Why Do You Have to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet in New York City?

In New York City, all persons riding on a motorcycle must wear a helmet, including operators and passengers. Failure to wear a helmet is unlawful and puts you at risk for severe injuries in a motorcycle accident.

Although some motorcyclists would prefer not to wear a helmet, they have little choice in the matter. According to G.O.B. Law § 381-6, motorcyclists must wear an approved helmet at all times. That’s not all the protective gear you must wear either. Motorcyclists must have protective eyewear, whether in the form of goggles or a face shield. The purpose of all this proactive gear, most notably helmets, is to keep riders safe on the streets of New York City.

Regardless of where you live, operating a motorcycle can be dangerous. In New York City, the danger seems to double when you consider the crowded streets and constant traffic. Motorcycle helmets protect your head in case of an accident, preventing serious traumatic brain injuries and possible death. Motorcycles themselves offer little to no protection to riders, increasing the risk of injury. Wearing a helmet as the law requires offers an added bit of protection that can make all the difference in a motorcycle accident in New York City.

What Are New York City’s Safety Standards for Motorcycle Helmets?

While New York City doesn’t have its own safety standards for motorcycle helmets, it does require bikers to meet federal safety guidelines. Failing to wear an approved helmet can have dire consequences, so New York City motorcyclists need to understand the safety standards for helmets.

In New York City, motorcyclists have to wear protective headgear that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards. The requirements are lengthy, which is why asking a Queens personal injury attorney if your helmet meets the necessary criteria can be wise. Wearing just any old helmet won’t do; it must meet the safety standards.

When in doubt, check for a sticker. Suitable helmets should have a DOT-approved sticker on the surface. In New York City, motorcycle helmets cannot have rigid interior projections and must have a curved protective surface. In order to meet safety regulations, a helmet must allow a motorcyclist to see peripherally at all times.

Approved helmets undergo rigorous testing to ensure they provide the most protection possible to motorcyclists in New York City. The goal is to protect riders’ heads from potential traumatic brain injuries during an accident. Remember, just wearing any type of head protection probably won’t be adequate. Motorcyclists in New York City must wear headgear that meets safety standards at all times.

What Happens if You Did Not Wear a Helmet During a Motorcycle Accident in New York City?

The main reason you should abide by New York City’s motorcycle helmet laws is to protect yourself in case of an accident. That being said, failure to abide by safety regulations for motorcycle protective headgear can impact your potential compensatory damages in a lawsuit against a negligent party.

New York City operates under comparative negligence laws. That means that while a plaintiff can recover damages for sharing some degree of liability, their awarded damages may be reduced. This relates to New York City’s motorcycle helmets laws in the sense that bikers are required to wear approved helmets at all times when operating their vehicles. Failure to wear a helmet can make a rider partially responsible for their injuries if they sustain head injuries in a motorcycle accident.

That is why wearing a helmet is essential when operating a motorcycle in New York City. While your New York City personal injury lawyer will strive to recover the most compensatory damages possible, comparative negligence laws may inhibit you from receiving the amount you deserve. Luckily, if you wear a helmet at all times and are injured by a negligent driver in a motorcycle accident, comparative negligence laws won’t apply.

While motorcyclists should certainly consider eligibility for compensatory damages when deciding whether or not to wear a helmet when riding, they should do so primarily for their safety. Traumatic brain injuries are common in motorcycle accidents, and wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of sustaining such a damaging injury. When motorcyclists wear an approved helmet in New York City, they reduce the risk of death or sustaining life-altering injuries during an accident. Your Niagara Falls personal injury lawyer can explain further.

Call Our New York City Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today

Don’t let a motorcycle helmet be the difference between recovering sufficient damages and not. Our Albany motorcycle accident lawyers can help. For a free case evaluation with the Staten Island personal injury lawyers at The Carrion Law Firm, call us today at (718) 841-0083.