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What are the Las Vegas Motorcycle Helmet Laws?

Motorcycle Off Road From Las Vegas Crash
Nevada law requires motorcyclists to wear helmets that conform to U.S. Department of Transportation standards. However, even motorcyclists who take all necessary precautions can sustain injuries in accidents, so if you or a loved one were recently injured in a motorcycle crash, it is critical to contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney who can help explain your legal options.

Nevada Law

All motorcyclists traveling in Las Vegas must have protective face shields or goggles in addition to their helmets. The only exception is for motorcycles equipped with transparent windshields or screens. In these cases, riders are only required to wear a helmet.

Nevada law also requires that all helmets meet the safety standards put in place by the U.S. Department of Transportation. These regulations allow for the use of two types of helmets, those with three-quarter coverage and those with full face coverage. To satisfy federal requirements either type of helmet must:

  • Be equipped with an inner liner that is approximately one-inch thick and made of firm polystyrene foam;
  • Have a sturdy chin strap with solid rivets;
  • Weigh no less than three pounds;
  • Have nothing on the helmet that extends further than two-tenths of an inch from the surface of the helmet;
  • Have a sticker on the back of the helmet with the letters DOT;
  • Have a label on or inside of the helmet showing the manufacturer’s name, as well as the helmet’s model, size, the materials used in construction, and the month and year of manufacture;
  • Fit snugly all the way around the head; and
  • Have no defects, including cracks, loose padding, or frayed straps.

A failure to wear a helmet while riding can result in fines, two points on a driver’s record, and devastating head injuries.

The Consequences of Failing to Wear a Helmet

Although some people may see helmets as a nuisance, the evidence overwhelmingly indicates that states with no helmet law have a higher incidence of head injuries amongst motorcyclists. For example, in 2012, Michigan repealed its helmet law, allowing riders under 21 years of age to opt-out of wearing a helmet. Unfortunately, within weeks of the repeal, hospitals noticed a significant increase in the number of patients arriving who required treatment for injuries sustained in motorcycle crashes. For instance, around ten percent of riders who failed to wear a helmet and were brought to the hospital for treatment passed away, compared to three percent of patients who had been wearing helmets at the time they crashed. Additionally, among riders who died at the scene of the crash, the percentage of those who weren’t wearing helmets rose from 14 to 68 percent.

Contact an Experienced Las Vegas Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today

Motorcycle accidents can have devastating and often deadly consequences for riders, so if you were injured or lost a loved one as a result of a motorcycle crash, please consult a professional at Ladah Law Firm at (702) 570-1264 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer who can assess your claim.

Frequently Asked Questions About Motorcycle Helmet Laws

I wore a helmet but still suffered a concussion; how is this possible?

Helmets definitely can reduce the likelihood of suffering a traumatic brain injury, but nothing can completely eliminate the risk of suffering a concussion or TBI. Some accidents are so serious that a biker will still suffer brain trauma even with a helmet on.

What are the legal consequences of not wearing a helmet?

Nevada recognizes comparative fault, meaning that an accident victim can contribute to their injuries by the mistakes that they have made. Not wearing a helmet could qualify as negligence on a rider’s part, so any injuries he or she suffers could be partially attributed to the victim.

Under Nevada law, the amount of your financial recovery will be reduced by your percentage of fault. So if you suffered $100,000 worth of damages but were 40% to blame for your head injury, you can receive $60,000 maximum in compensation.

Nevada’s law has a twist. If you are 51% responsible for the injury or more, then you can’t receive any compensation. In other words, you cannot be more responsible for the crash than the other parties involved in the lawsuit. If your refusal to wear a helmet is the major contributing cause of your injuries, then you will likely walk away with no money. To protect your right to compensation, wear a helmet.

Helmets are bulky and annoying to carry around; any tips?

We actually think carrying a helmet into a restaurant or store is a fashion statement and something people should be proud to do! However, you should also be able to get a helmet lock that will lock the helmet to your bike.

Should I buy a helmet that is SNELL certified?

It’s up to you. The SNELL certification system sets high standards for helmet safety. Essentially, SNELL’s standards go above and beyond the federal Department of Transportation (DOT) standards, so you might think that a SNELL certified helmet is especially safe. Realize, however, that a helmet needs to meet DOT requirements to satisfy Nevada law. SNELL certification alone is not enough.