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By Neil Davis

Riding a motorcycle offers a convenient, cost-effective, and fun means of commuting, running errands, and enjoying Michigan’s natural beauty. Yet with these advantages comes an increased vulnerability. Motorcycles are less visible than other motor vehicles, increasing the risk that inattentive drivers might cause accidents. Furthermore, motorcycles do not offer the same level of structural protection as passenger vehicles, exposing riders to a higher likelihood of severe injuries in the event of a collision.

For these reasons, Michigan has in place many safety laws that apply to motorcyclists. Chief among these regulations are the laws regarding motorcycle helmets. According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates, motorcycle helmet use saved over 1,800 lives nationwide in a recent year. Following Michigan’s motorcycle helmet laws can help you avoid fines, license suspensions, severe injuries, and even death.

Helmet Requirements for Motorcycle Operators

In Michigan, motorcycle operators under age 21 must wear an approved crash helmet at all times while riding. However, operators aged 21 and older can choose to ride without a helmet if they meet certain conditions. 

To legally operate a motorcycle without a helmet, the operator must have at least $20,000 in first-party medical benefits insurance. They must also have either held a motorcycle endorsement for at least two years or passed an approved motorcycle safety course. It is essential for operators to be aware of these requirements and ensure they meet them before deciding to ride without a helmet.

Helmet Requirements for Motorcycle Passengers

Passengers on motorcycles in Michigan are also subject to helmet laws. Passengers under age 21 must wear an approved crash helmet at all times, regardless of the operator’s age or qualifications. 

Passengers aged 21 and older can ride without a helmet only if they have at least $20,000 in first-party medical benefits insurance in addition to the insurance carried by the motorcycle operator. This means that even if the operator is legally allowed to ride without a helmet, the passenger must still meet the insurance requirement to do so.

Approved Crash Helmet Standards

When wearing a helmet, both motorcycle operators and passengers must ensure that their helmets meet the safety standards set by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). DOT-approved helmets have undergone rigorous testing to ensure they provide adequate protection in the event of an accident. 

Wearing a non-DOT-approved helmet, such as a novelty helmet, does not comply with Michigan’s helmet laws and may not provide sufficient protection. Always look for the DOT certification sticker when purchasing a motorcycle helmet.

Penalties for Violating Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Violating Michigan’s motorcycle helmet laws can result in fines and legal consequences. Operators and passengers who do not wear helmets when required may be subject to citations and significant fines. Precise penalties vary by jurisdiction.

More importantly, failing to wear a helmet significantly increases the risk of severe head injuries or death in an accident. While helmets cannot prevent all injuries, they can significantly reduce the severity of head trauma and improve the chances of survival in a crash. Motorcyclists must understand and follow Michigan’s helmet laws to protect themselves and their passengers.

Injured in a Motorcycle Accident in Farmington Hills? Call Davis Law Center Today

While drivers aged 21 and older who meet the appropriate qualifications are not required to wear helmets in Michigan, helmet use can save your life and prevent severe head trauma in the event of an accident. However, even if you are not wearing a helmet, you have a right to file a claim against an at-fault driver who injures you in a motorcycle crash. Working with an experienced Michigan motorcycle accident attorney can optimize your chances of a successful outcome for your case.

The skilled and knowledgeable legal team at Davis Law Center has fought on behalf of injured motorcyclists for over 30 years. We are ready to use our experience to fight for the maximum compensation available in your claim. Call us today or contact us online for a free consultation with a Michigan motorcycle accident attorney.

Davis Law Center: your trusted partner for personal injury accident cases. Serving Detroit, Farmington Hills, Southfield, Macon County, Wayne County, Oakland County, and all of Michigan.

About the Author
Neil Davis, owner of Davis Law Center, is a seasoned attorney specializing in personal injury cases. With over 30 years of experience, he has successfully secured millions in compensation for injured individuals. Neil is a dedicated advocate for justice and an active member of legal associations. Personal injury law is complex and best handled by a competent attorney who can effectively evaluate, prepare, present, and fight to win your case. Neil prides himself on doing all these things for his clients and would be honored to have the opportunity to discuss your case with you.