Do You Have to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet in Pennsylvania?
Ryan Zavodnick | March 7, 2022 | Motorcycle Accident
If you ride a motorcycle for the thrill alone, we don’t blame you. There is nothing more exhilarating than feeling the wind on your face as you take to the open road. However, loving the thrill doesn’t mean you should neglect considering the risks of riding a motorcycle. No one would blame you for taking some time to think about your safety.
When it comes to motorcycle safety, a helmet approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT) is your first line of defense. In fact, states that impose helmet laws have a 33% lower fatality rate for head-related injuries than states that don’t have helmet laws. But are you legally required to wear a helmet in Pennsylvania? Keep reading to find out.
How Dangerous Is It to Ride Without a Helmet?
Riding without a helmet can have devastating consequences. Head injuries are a leading cause of injury, disability, and death among motorcycle riders. When you wear a helmet, you protect yourself from these devastating consequences.
Plus, helmets also protect you against spinal injuries. Because they keep your head more stationary in an accident, you are less likely to injure your spine and neck.
If you wear a helmet with a faceguard, you can also protect against facial disfigurement. Road rash on your face can leave you with permanent scarring.
While a helmet won’t eliminate these risks, it will reduce them.
What Does Pennsylvania Law Say About Motorcycle Helmets?
In Pennsylvania, all riders under the age of 21 are required to wear a helmet when riding their motorcycle. You must also wear a helmet if you have less than two years of riding experience unless you have completed a PennDOT-approved motorcycle safety course.
Additionally, you are required to wear protective eye gear while riding your bike. This will protect you from wind, bugs, dust, and other debris that may hinder your vision. It’s recommended that you wear shatter-resistant eye gear to protect against impact.
Are All Motorcycle Helmets Created Equal?
Not all helmets are created equal. You are only in compliance with Pennsylvania law when you wear a DOT-approved helmet. These helmets are specifically designed for motorcycle riders. You can tell that a helmet is DOT-approved when it has a “DOT” sticker on the outside surface.
Your helmet must also be labeled with the following information:
- The name of the manufacturer
- The month and year it was manufactured
- The size
- The precise model designation
With this information legible, you will be able to prove you are following the helmet law should an officer pull you over.
What Other Protective Gear Should You Be Wearing?
In addition to a helmet and eye gear, it’s also wise to wear full-body protective garb while riding your motorcycle. That may include any items from the following list:
- A sturdy jacket made of leather, nylon, or denim
- Long pants
- Closed-toed shoes, like boots
- Motorcycle gloves
Additionally, if you plan to ride after dark, you should wear bright or reflective clothing so you can stay visible to other travelers. You might even invest in some disposable foam plugs to protect your eardrums on the road.
What Should You Do After a Motorcycle Accident?
After a motorcycle accident, your first concern should always be your safety and the safety of others. If you can, move yourself and your vehicle away from the road. Then, call the police to report the accident and request an ambulance if necessary.
Once the dust settles, consider contacting your attorney. That way, you are prepared well in advance should the accident require legal action. A personal injury attorney will assess the circumstances of your accident to determine why it happened, who was at fault, and what steps to take to protect your rights.
Contact Our Motorcycle Accident Law Firm in Philadelphia Today To Get Help With Your Case
To learn more and get the help you deserve, call Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers at (215) 875-7030 or contact us online.
You can also visit our law firm at 123 S Broad St #1220, Philadelphia, PA 19109.