Are you wondering which states give their riders the freedom to ride unhelmeted by law? Currently, as of 2022, only three states allow unhelmeted riding, while 19 states have universal helmet laws. On the other hand, 28 states have liberal exceptions that would enable riders to ride a motorcycle without a helmet. This article will discuss the universal and common helmet laws, including the states where you can ride a motorbike without a helmet.
Here are the three states where you can ride a motorcycle without a helmet:
- New Hampshire.
Now, take a cup of coffee and keep reading this article to understand the helmet laws, the lifestyle of riders in different states, and so on.
Also Read: Pros and cons of wearing a helmet
Why Riding a Motorcycle Without a Helmet Allowed in these Three States?
There are a few reasons why riders in Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire can ride a motorcycle without a helmet. The first reason is that the three states have liberal exceptions that would enable riders to ride a motorbike without a helmet. As a result, the states don’t require all motorcyclists to wear helmets as long as they abide by basic safety precautions.
Second, these states have strong safety cultures in which riders take personal responsibility for their safety while on two wheels. New Hampshire has been ranking for a long time in corrections & public safety. It is because New Hampshire riders have a high level of riding skill and knowledge, contributing to their low fatalities and injury rates.
However, even with these exceptions, it’s still essential for riders to wear helmets when riding a motorcycle. In Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire, law enforcement officers may ticket or arrest riders who ride without helmets if they cause an accident that results in injury or death. So don’t be reckless – wear your helmet every time you ride a motorcycle!
Also Read: Motorcycle Helmet After Accidents: Avoid These Mistakes!
This freedom Doesn’t Mean You Can Ride as You Wish in Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire.
Wait a minute! Don’t think of moving to Illinois, Iowa, or New Hampshire immediately because you can ride unhelmeted. In addition, don’t assume your motorcycling lifestyle would be much easier there because there are some behind-the-scene facts.
While freedom of the road means you’ll not be accepting any helmet laws, it doesn’t mean you can do whatever you please on the streets in these states. In most cases, driving without a license or registration is a criminal offense, and motorists are subject to fines and imprisonment for violating state traffic laws.
Those three states maintain strict road rules for motorcyclists. All drivers must complete a motorcycle training course approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and have their motorcycle license endorsed by the department.
Teen drivers must complete a motor vehicle training course approved by IDOT. They must be 16 or 17 years old to obtain a learner’s permit and complete a motorcycle training course.
There are also a few exceptions in each state where you are allowed to ride without a helmet if you meet specific criteria. For example, you may ride without a helmet in Florida if you have completed an approved motorcycle safety course or have $10,000 worth of medical insurance coverage.
Some states frequently change helmet laws depending on the situation, including the growing number of riders, weather, and ongoing realities. But as of 2022, 28 states have liberal exceptions for motorcyclists.
It means that under certain conditions, riders can choose whether to wear helmets or not in these states.
The below State-by-State breakdown of the laws can help determine if your state requires helmets on motorcycles:
|State||Rider||Applicable Helmet Law|
|Alabama||Riders over 21||They can choose not to wear helmets only if they have completed an approved motorcycle safety education program.|
|Alaska||Operators of Class A motorcycles, those under 18 who are passenger riders on motorcycles with accompanying drivers in uniform, or adult passengers on motorcycles numbered less than 50cc.||Helmets are not required.|
|Tennessee||All Motorcyclists||not required to wear helmets as long as they adhere to the other traffic rules of the state.|
|South Dakota||Riders under 18 & those who hold a valid license endorsement.||Motorcyclists who have passed an approved motorcycle safety course or possess a valid driver’s license with an endorsement for motorcycles are exempt from wearing a helmet when operating their bike on public roads and highways. Riders under 18 years old must still wear a helmet while riding unless they have medical proof that they are emancipated or out of school and taking care of financial responsibilities.|
|South Carolina||All riders||are allowed to ride without a helmet if they have $10,000 worth of medical insurance coverage.|
|Pennsylvania||Everyone||Motorcyclists are not required to wear a helmet under any circumstances. However, the law prohibits riding on extremely steep grades and allows riders 18 years old or younger to ride with an adult rider wearing a helmet.|
|Kentucky||Eighteen years old and younger.||The state must wear helmets when riding on public roads unless they obtain a waiver from the Kentucky Division of Motor Vehicle.|
|Kansas||21years and above, 21 years and below.||All riders are required to wear helmets when they operate a motorcycle. The only exception is for riders age 21 or older who has held a valid driver’s license for at least two years and have not been convicted of any traffic crimes that would prohibit them from operating a motorcycle.|
|Florida||Riders who have completed an approved motorcycle safety course or have $10,000 worth of medical insurance coverage.||Helmets are not required.|
|Delaware||Requires operator Class C license or higher and is at least 21 years old.||You are allowed to ride without helmets.|
|Colorado||Under the age of 21, and riders who have been registered in another state anareis being operated in Colorado.||All riders, including passengers and minors–are exempt from wearing helmets while operating a motorcycle.|
|Oregon||Motorcyclists 21 years of age or younger.||They do not have to wear a helmet if they operate a motorcycle at speeds limited to less than 50 miles per hour, except while driving on a highway dedicated wholly or partially for the exclusive use of motorcycles. Oregon is also one of the states where the helmet-related law changes depending on the situation.|
|Ohio||Novice motorcycle riders.||Ohio novice motorcycle restrictions applies.|