Is there an Arizona motorcycle helmet law for riders and passengers?
There is, but it only applies to people who are under 18. Arizona’s law states that any motorcycle operator or passenger who is “under eighteen years of age shall wear at all times a protective helmet on the operator's or passenger's head in an appropriate manner.” You can see the full text of this law -- which includes other safety equipment requirements for motorcycle operation in the state -- at Arizona Revised Statutes section 28-964.
So, stated another way, motorcycle riders -- and passengers for that matter -- who are over 18 aren’t required to wear a helmet under Arizona law. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wear a helmet, however. It’s always a good idea, obviously in terms of protecting your health, but also when it comes to protecting your legal rights.
If a motorcycle rider or passenger who is under 18 violates Arizona’s helmet law and ends up getting injured in a motorcycle accident, the state’s “pure comparative fault” rule could very well kick in to decrease any damages award the injured person might be entitled to collect from other at-fault drivers, since violation of the law would amount to shared negligence. To learn more about how Arizona’s shared fault rules work, check out our article on Arizona Car Accident Laws.
Even for motorcycle riders and passengers who are over 18 (and who aren’t required to wear a helmet under state law) the court could still find that they were partially negligent by failing to wear a helmet, since a reasonably careful person might choose to wear a helmet regardless of what the law says. But it’s safe to assume that the fault percentage assigned to the injured person in that case would be much lower than it might be for a minor rider or passenger who actually violated a helmet law and was injured in an accident.
Learn more about Motorcycle Helmets and Injury Cases.
by: David Goguen, J.D.