San Mateo Motorcycle Helmet Laws

San Mateo Motorcycle Helmet Laws

You get a motorcycle to feel the pull of the open road. The experience is unlike anything you can get in a car. Some people think safety equipment lessens the feeling of wild freedom that comes with riding your motorcycle. However, the reality is that safety gear dramatically reduces your chance of severe, life-altering injuries.

A helmet is probably the single most crucial piece of safety equipment for any motorcycle rider. State law requires that people wear a helmet when riding motorcycles or motorized bicycles. Plus, it specifies the type of helmet — it should be U.S. Department of Transportation compliant. Understanding San Mateo motorcycle helmet laws not only helps you follow the law but also reduces your chance of injury if you get in an accident. Consult one of our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys to learn more about how this protection could help you in a case.

Helmet Laws and Highways

California Vehicle Code § 27803 requires that bikers and their passengers wear helmets while on a motorcycle, motorized bicycle, or moto-driven cycle. The law applies to people riding on the highways. A highway is any street, way, or place that is open to the public and publicly maintained. So, the law applies to streets, avenues, freeways, etc.

The law is also specific about how people wear helmets. It is not enough to simply put a helmet on the head. The person must fasten the helmet’s straps. Plus, the helmet must be the correct size, without any excess movement. San Mateo’s laws are the same as the state’s helmet laws, and the U.S. DOT motorcycle gear safety standards can provide additional guidance.

Exceptions to the Helmet Law

Some states allow bikers to forego a helmet if they meet specific requirements. The motorcycle helmet laws in San Mateo do not contain those exceptions. Regardless of training, experience, age, or insurance status, all bikers and passengers must wear protective headgear.

The only exception to the rule is for people on or in fully enclosed three-wheel vehicles. This exception does not apply to the vehicles commonly known as trikes — essentially motorcycles with three wheels instead of two. They are not fully enclosed. Instead, it applies to vehicles people describe as autocycles, a designation that indicates the vehicle is fully enclosed.

If a person is unsure whether helmet laws will apply to their vehicle, they should consult an attorney. The lawyer can investigate whether the state considers that type of vehicle a motorcycle.

Helmets Save Lives and Brains

While a motorcycle wreck can lead to various severe injuries, the significant risk is traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). TBIs include any injury to the brain that is caused by trauma, such as a head hitting concrete after a wreck. Wearing a helmet is vital on all rides since wrecks are much more common when someone is close to home. Even low-speed wrecks can be deadly for bikers.

Wearing a U.S. DOT-compliant helmet reduces the chances of death and head injuries. They are superior to non-compliant helmets because they are thicker and with better padding, providing more cushioning in an accident. While they may be offered in the same stores, compliant helmets will feature a certification sticker.

If a biker is not a fan of the way helmets look, they can always personalize them. Using stick-on accessories will not alter how the helmet functions or violate San Mateo motorcycle safety laws. This allows bikers to express their individuality while still tripling their odds of survival in a wreck.

Talk to a Motorcycle Helmet Law Expert in San Mateo

If you are uncertain about whether your helmet complies with the law, you do not have to consult an attorney. You can look for the DOT certification. However, a lawyer can help you if you have been in a bike accident. We can provide you with the information you need to determine whether you should pursue a claim against a wrongdoer. The more steps you take to comply with San Mateo motorcycle helmet laws, the more likely the other party will be deemed responsible for your injuries. Call today to speak with one of our team members to learn more.

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