There’s nothing quite like the freedom of riding a motorcycle in breathtakingly scenic Idaho. You’re closer to the wind and the land than you could ever be in a car. Some drivers decide to forego their helmets for an even greater thrill. In fact, in states that do not have helmet laws, only three out of five riders choose to wear helmets.

Driving laws can vary greatly from state to state. It’s vital to understand what’s legal and what’s recommended in every place you may travel. If you’re planning to ride in the state, make sure you fully understand helmet laws in Idaho before you go.

Any motorcycle collision lawyer in Idaho can tell you: they see a big difference in outcomes between riders who wear helmets and those who don’t. But, before deciding, read on to learn about the law and other concerns for yourself.

Is it legal not to wear a helmet on a motorcycle in Idaho?

Idaho is one of several states that does not have universal helmet laws.

Adults over the age of 18 are not required by law to wear helmets. Moreover, no rider over the age of 18 is required to wear a helmet if they opt for a moped instead of a motorcycle. By state law, a moped has an engine size of 50cc or less and a maximum speed of 30 mph.

As noted earlier, people who live in states without helmet laws are far less likely to wear motorcycle helmets. In states with helmet laws, around 94% wear helmets every time they ride. That number drops to 60% in states like Idaho without helmet laws.

A motorcycle collision lawyer in Idaho will zealously defend their client whether they wore a helmet or not. But, we’ve learned that helmets can make the difference in the severity of damages. And, it can mean the difference between a personal injury lawsuit filed on behalf of a rider and a lawsuit filed by surviving family members after a rider’s death.

Age restrictions and motorcycle helmets

While helmets are not required for adults, those under the age of 18 need to wear their helmets when they ride. Also, the helmets used by underage riders need to meet the latest safety guidelines outlined by the state’s director of transportation.

The law applies to both drivers and passengers. So, if you are over 18 but taking a minor out for a ride, make sure they have the proper gear.

Helmet laws in Idaho: Penalties for not wearing a helmet

Since it’s not illegal for an adult to ride without a helmet, there’s no fine or penalty for foregoing them. That said, if you are in a motorcycle accident in Idaho, failure to wear a helmet still may have a cost.

A motorcycle accident in Idaho or anywhere else may result in serious injuries. A personal injury case may be harder to prove without a helmet. Even though there is no law to require them, juries may still consider riders who are injured without a helmet at least partially responsible for their injuries.

Can a helmet save your life?

Motorcycle accidents can happen any day of the year. And, it seems you never go long without reading news about a deadly crash. One recent summer, a single day brought news of three separate crashes with injuries, one of which was fatal.

There is not a motorcycle crash lawyer in Idaho who hasn’t met family members who wonder if their loved ones may have survived a crash had they just been wearing a helmet. While there is no one factor that governs whether someone will be in a crash, there are several that can play a part in how serious the resulting injuries may be.

Nationally, 41% of motorcycle riders who die in accidents were not wearing helmets at the time of the crash. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that helmets saved over 1,800 lives in 2017 alone.

Differences between crashing with a helmet and without

Death is not the only risk of a motorcycle accident in Idaho or any other state. Wearing a helmet reduces your risk of a head injury by 69%.

Concussions are the most common type of traumatic brain injury after an accident. They happen most commonly when the rider’s head makes contact with the pavement, their cycle, a car, or another object during the collision. While most people recover completely after a concussion, some have symptoms that include headaches, vision problems, and speech problems long after the crash.

Penetration injuries are another type of common injury that can happen during a motorcycle accident. Without the protection of a helmet, sharp objects can pierce the skull. The resulting brain injuries can cause permanent damage, and may even be fatal.

Contusions are also common after motorcycle crashes. These are areas of localized bleeding on the brain, and usually happen as a result of direct impact. If a blood clot results, surgery may be needed.

A motorcycle accident lawyer in Idaho has likely seen clients with all of these injuries and many others. No matter how remote you think your chances of being injured in a crash may be, you significantly reduce your odds by wearing the proper protective gear.

Why else should I wear a helmet?

We get it. Riding a motorcycle sans helmet may look cooler. You may feel more comfortable on hot days riding without a helmet.

But, helmets are one of the most important ways you can protect yourself from injury on the roads.

Not only can motorcycle accidents result in injuries or deaths. They are also expensive, with any crash victims needing extensive medical treatment or even accommodations for years after the accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that, if all motorcycle riders wore helmets, it would save $1.5 billion in economic costs every year.

If you are injured, a Motorcycle accident attorney in Idaho will fight to have your costs covered. But, taking proper precautions can help you avoid potentially serious injuries before they ever occur.

How a motorcycle accident attorney can help

If you are in a motorcycle accident in Idaho, you need representation from skilled attorneys like those at Craig Swapp & Associates. A motorcycle accident lawyer in Idaho can help you establish liability and ensure that you are defended against any claims and properly compensated for your injuries.

If you are injured in an accident, you need to contact a motorcycle crash lawyer in Idaho as soon as possible. Your motorcycle crash lawyer in Idaho can help you understand your rights and responsibilities under the law. They can help you begin making a plan to ensure that any injuries you have are compensated.

If you are injured in a crash, our motorcycle accident lawyer in Idaho will fight for you. In the meantime, our wish is for you to stay safe while enjoying the freedom of the road. Make sure you and your passenger are properly protected with helmets every time you ride. Stay safe and healthy and continue to enjoy Idaho’s unparalleled scenery out on the open roads.

Do I Need to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet in Idaho?

Written By: Ryan Swapp     Legal Review By: Craig Swapp