Do I have to Wear a Helmet When I Ride a Motorcycle or Bicycle in Utah?
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Do I have to Wear a Helmet When I Ride a Motorcycle or Bicycle in Utah?

As the weather improves more bicyclists and motorcyclists take to Utah roads. At Craig Swapp & Associates we see an unfortunate number of cases involving bicyclists and motorcyclists who are injured in accidents. Regardless of whether a helmet is worn or not, there is legal recourse for the injured party when the accident was caused by the negligence of someone else, but we frequently get questions about whether or not the law in Utah mandates helmet use.

Motorcycles

As of May 2017, no person under the age of 21 may operate or ride a motorcycle without protective headgear that complies with federal regulations.

Simply put, if someone is under 21, they must wear a helmet while on a motorcycle. Those who fail to do so may be cited. The motivation to wear a helmet, however, should come from somewhere other than the law. The following statistics explain why wearing a motorcycle helmet is always the safest choice:

  • Helmets are 37% effective in preventing motorcycle deaths
  • Helmets are 67% effective in preventing brain injuries

Even with the evidence supporting that the use of a motorcycle helmet decreases the number deaths and serious injuries, there are many who choose to ride without one. Common arguments include, “I don’t like how I look in a helmet”, and “I’ve never worn a helmet and I’m fine, so I don’t need one”. Incorrect motorcycle helmet myths include:

  • Helmets impair your hearing
  • Helmets don’t allow for good peripheral vision
  • Helmets don’t work at high speeds

None of those things are true. Helmets protect motorcyclists and are potentially lifesaving for riders of all ages.

Bicycles

There are currently no state bicycle helmet laws in Utah, for minors or otherwise.

Bicycle accidents are a serious issue in the state of Utah. According to health.utah.gov, an average of 370 bicyclists are injured in accidents and about 5 are killed every year. Just like with motorcycle helmets there are statistics showing the safety benefits of bicycle helmet use:

  • Bicycle helmets are up to about 40% effective in preventing head injuries
  • In 2016 fatal bicycle accidents in the US 51% of cyclists were not wearing a helmet compared to 16% that were (in 33% of bicycle accidents helmet use was unknown).

The American Academy of Pediatricians suggests that encouraging people to wear bicycle helmets is best begun when the person is young. A bicycle is generally a child’s first vehicle of independent transportation. Parents should allow children to choose their own helmet because if they like the design they are more likely to wear it. Children who see their parents and other adults using a helmet take it to heart and it sends the message that bicycle helmet use is important, for children as well as adults.

Unfortunately, motorcycle and bicycle accidents are a part of life on Utah roads. Even the best helmets can’t always protect the wearer from injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle or bicycle accident because of someone else’s negligence, you have the right to fair and full compensation.

Call the experienced motorcycle and bicycle accident attorneys of Craig Swapp& Associates today at 1-800-404-9000 or fill out the online form at the bottom of this page to get the help you deserve.

Craig Swapp & Associates
9980 S 300 W Suite 400, Sandy, UT 84070
Map / Directions ? Phone Number: (800) 404-9000