Understanding California’s Motorcycle Helmet Law

When a Helmet Must Be Worn | Helmet Requirements

Understanding California's Motorcycle Helmet LawStatistics show that riding a motorcycle is inherently more dangerous that traveling in a passenger vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has concluded that approximately four of every five motorcycle crashes result in death or serious injury. Studies also show that the right type of helmet can significantly reduce your risk of death or serious injury if you’re involved in an accident.

Under California law, all motorcycle operators and passengers must wear a helmet. The operator of a bike may receive a ticket if a passenger is not wearing a legal helmet, and a helmeted passenger may be cited for riding with an un-helmeted driver. California’s statute mandates that the helmet is worn properly on the head, with all chin straps securely fastened. Furthermore, the helmet must be tight enough to reasonably limit excessive movement.

In California, a motorcycle helmet must meet these minimum legal requirements:

  • The helmet must comply with federal weight standards, which require a minimum weight of three pounds.
  • The chin straps on the helmet must be made of sturdy material and attached to the helmet with solid rivets.
  • The helmet must have an inner liner made of polystyrene foam, with a minimum thickness of one inch.
  • The helmet may not have any object or item protruding more than one-fifth of an inch from its outer shell.

All helmets that meet California safety standards should have a sticker attached indicating compliance.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg for Experienced Legal Counsel

At the law office of Weber & Nierenberg, we have successfully represented motorcycle accident victims in California for decades. We understand the serious nature of injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents, as well as the common causes of motorcycle wrecks. Contact our office online or call us at 1-866-288-6010 for a free initial consultation.

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