California Motorcycle Helmet Laws 2024 – All You Need to Know

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Lots of people enjoy owning and riding motorcycles. Although these machines can be a lot of fun, they can also be incredibly dangerous. Because of this, it is important for all motorcycle drivers and riders to be aware of safety laws, regulations, and restrictions. All of these may affect the way that they engage with their motorcycles. Helmets are a central part of motorcycle laws, and each state has different requirements. While there is clear proof that helmets can prevent serious head and neck injuries, many riders do not want to use them when they ride their motorcycles. Before you start to ride, be sure you understand California motorcycle helmet laws. This can prevent you from receiving a ticket or fine.
California Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Helmet Requirements

Unlike many other states, California requires all motorcycle drivers and riders to wear a motorcycle safety helmet that complies with the United States Department of Transportation’s standards. This is true regardless of age, experience, or situation. It applies to those who ride motorcycles, motorized bikes, and motor-driven bicycles.

The law includes these requirements because of the efficacy and impact of helmets. Most motorcycle collisions occur on short trips, or rides of five miles or less. This demonstrates that requiring helmets only on highways and long trips is ineffective. Most collisions also happen when the driver is going 30 miles per hour or slower. Because of this, wearing a helmet can be extremely effective in preventing serious injuries. However, it may not be as effective at higher speeds.

Motorcyclists are also required to wear eye protection while riding. Many U.S. DOT-compliant helmets come with a built-in visor that fulfills the eye cover requirement in addition to satisfying the helmet responsibility.

Helmet Controversies

Helmets have been shown to give motorcycle accident victims a higher rate of survival and a lower likelihood of serious injuries. However, some people still believe that helmet laws are restrictive. Opponents argue that it should be an individual rider’s choice whether to wear a helmet or not, and the risk should be a personal decision. Although this argument has affected helmet laws in other states, California still requires all drivers and riders to wear helmets when on the road.

Personal Injury Claims and Helmet Laws

Although helmets provide safety benefits, they may also help bolster a personal injury claim if another driver hurts you. If another driver causes an accident and you get hurt, the other driver may attempt to blame you for the damage because you were not wearing protective headwear. In many cases, this argument will affect your settlement because California law requires that you wear a helmet while riding.

If you are wearing a helmet, you will have a stronger argument if you ever need to file a personal injury claim. Doing everything that you can to remain safe not only protects you, it protects your right to legal action if someone else harms you.


Q: Can You Get Pulled Over for Not Wearing a Helmet on a Motorcycle in California?

A: Yes. It is against the law for a motorcycle driver or rider to be on a motorcycle without a helmet. Therefore, you can get pulled over if a police officer catches you on your motorcycle without a helmet. For breaking this law, you could face a fine of up to $250 and up to a year on probation. This law was intended to protect the safety of motorcyclists, including against situations beyond their control.

Q: Is a GoPro on a Helmet Illegal in California?

A: California law states that all motorcyclists must wear a helmet that complies with the United States Department of Transportation guidelines. These guidelines state that nothing longer than 5 mm can be attached to a motorcycle helmet. Since GoPros are generally not smaller than 5mm, attaching one to a helmet would make the helmet non-compliant. The rider would also be subject to fines and probation if caught. Attach a GoPro elsewhere if you wish to film your adventures.

Q: What Do I Need to Know Before Buying a Motorcycle Helmet?

A: Not all motorcycle helmets are compliant with the Department of Transportation regulations. Be sure to look up the requirements and find a helmet that meets all the standards. Compliant helmets are usually thick, whereas non-compliant helmets are thinner and easier to break. DOT helmets will have a DOT stamp attached to them that is not easy to remove. Your helmet should fit snugly, be securely fastened while riding, and have no obvious or serious defects.

Q: Do I Need a Motorcycle Helmet in California If I’m Over 18?

A: Yes. Although some states place age restrictions on their motorcycle helmet requirements, California does not. Motorcycle drivers and riders must always wear a DOT-compliant helmet when on a moving motorcycle, regardless of their age or experience with motorcycles. The helmet must fit and be securely fastened. If a police officer discovers that you are riding a motorcycle without a helmet, you may be fined and/or face probation of up to one year.

Trust Kreeger Law Firm

If you get hurt while riding your motorcycle, it is easy to feel helpless. Although motorcycles can be dangerous, they are often a significant part of riders’ lives. You have likely grown attached to the culture and freedom that motorcycling provides, and an injury can put that in jeopardy. Although you may feel downtrodden or anxious about the financial costs that occur after a collision, you do have options. Our personal injury team is here for you. We are here to protect your rights as a motorcyclist. Our firm can ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve when someone hurts you. Kreeger Law Firm is highly experienced in motorcycle accident law. We can provide reliable legal support following a collision. With over 30 years of experience, we are your best option for motorcycle accident representation in California. For more information about our firm, our experience, or how we can help you get the compensation you need after a collision, contact Kreeger Law Firm online today.