When the Michigan legislature repealed the mandatory motorcycle helmet law in 2012, it was big news for bikers across the state. However, not everyone is legally allowed to ride without a helmet, including passengers. Here’s what you need to know to ride safely and stay in legal compliance with Michigan motorcycle helmet laws.Do You Have a Case?
Michigan motorcyclists have the legal right to ride without a helmet, as long as they meet certain requirements.
According to Michigan law, motorcycle operators may ride without a helmet if they:
Motorcycle passengers who wish to ride without a helmet must:
When searching for your next helmet, Michigan motorcyclists need to find a reputable source for DOT approved helmets. The list of minimum requirements can be found below and a more comprehensive guide can be found by clicking on the link above.
Thick Inner Liner
Helmets meeting the minimum Federal safety standard have an inner liner usually about one-inch thick of firm polystyrene foam.
Sturdy Chin Strap and Rivets
Helmets meeting the DOT safety standard have sturdy chin straps with solid rivets.
Weight of Helmet
Helmets meeting FMVSS 218 generally weigh about three pounds. These helmets provide a more substantial feel.
Helmet Style and Design
The DOT safety standard does not allow anything to extend further than two-tenths of an inch from the surface of a helmet.
You’ll need to check for weight, thickness, sturdy chin straps, as well as the “DOT” and manufacturer’s labels.
In Michigan, helmets may be optional but eye protection is required by law.
To operate a motorcycle on a public highway at speeds of 35 mph or faster, motorcyclists must have at least one of the following:
Furthermore, motorcycle safety experts recommend additional protection even when the bike has a windshield. These include helmets with full-face coverage and energy-absorbing liners.
Motorcyclists who choose to ride without a helmet must carry a minimum of $20,000 of first-party medical benefits (Personal Injury Protection, or PIP). In addition, passengers riding without helmets must also have at least $20,000 of their own medical coverage.
Yes. If you are seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, you are entitled to sue the at-fault party regardless of whether you were wearing a helmet. However, your choice to ride helmet-less is likely to have a significant impact on your settlement. Here’s why.
In most personal injury cases, non-economic damages such as pain and suffering are determined using Michigan’s “modified comparative negligence” doctrine. First, the plaintiff cannot be more than 50% at fault in order to receive these third-party damages. Then, the victim’s compensation is reduced according to their degree of fault. For example, if you are considered 25% at fault for riding without a helmet, you would collect 75% of the non-economic, or third-party, damages you would have otherwise received.
To succeed, the at-fault driver and their insurance company must prove that your injuries would have been less severe if you had been wearing a helmet. Numerous studies show that helmets protect riders from traumatic brain injuries and skull fractures. In addition, helmets with face shields can also help minimize facial injuries. Therefore, motorcyclists who choose not to wear helmets are likely to be assigned a percentage of fault if they are injured in a crash.
Motorcyclists under 21 who ride without a helmet may be ticketed and fined, depending on the circumstances. Because younger riders tend to be less experienced, it’s especially dangerous – and illegal – to ride without a helmet.
Head injuries are the leading cause of death for motorcyclists who are involved in accidents. While most Michigan motorcyclists can choose to ride without a helmet, it’s not recommended. Here are a few reasons why bikers and passengers who wear helmets will enjoy safer and more comfortable rides:
Below are a list of safety tips concerning motorcycle helmets:
Many of our lawyers and staff members ride motorcycles. Therefore, we understand first-hand the joy and the challenges that bikers experience. And, we take these cases personally because we know how devastating a motorcycle accident can be.
Our entire legal team is well-versed in the complexities of motorcycle accident law. We know what it takes to win your case, and we are ready to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Motorcycle accident law is complicated, but finding the right Motorcycle accident attorney is simple.
Click the button below to fill out a quick form or Call 1-800-CALL-SAM today for a free, remote no-obligation consultation from the safety of your home.Do You Have a Case?
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