Does Michigan have a helmet law for people who ride motorcycles?

Find out Michigan motorcycle helmet law and headgear safety requirements for bikers and passengers, including age limits and more.

Question

Does Michigan have a helmet law for people who ride motorcycles?

Answer

Yes, but wearing a helmet isn't mandatory for all motorcycle riders and passengers, just those under 21 years of age. Riders and passengers who are 21 or over can ride without a helmet in Michigan if they meet a number of requirements.

Motorcycle riders (the person operating the motorcycle) can ride without a helmet in Michigan if they:

1) are at least 21 years old, and

2) have had their motorcycle endorsement for at least two years OR have passed a qualifying motorcycle safety class, and

3) have qualifying insurance coverage that provides at least $20,000 in medical benefits for themselves, and at least $20,000 per passenger (unless the passenger has qualifying coverage him/herself).

Motorcycle passengers can ride without a helmet in Michigan if they:

1) are at least 21 years old, and

3) have qualifying insurance coverage that provides at least $20,000 in medical benefits for themselves OR the motorcycle operator has qualifying coverage that provides $20,000 in medical benefits for each person on the motorcycle.

For more details and to see the full text of recent changes to these laws, see Michigan Vehicle Code section 257.658.

If you're found to be in violation of Michigan's motorcycle helmet law (whether as an operator or as a passenger), you can be cited for a civil infraction. But that may not be all you need to worry about.

If you get into a motorcycle accident and you're not wearing a helmet when the law requires you to, that could have a negative effect on any personal injury lawsuit you file against the driver who caused the accident.

If your case goes to trial and the jury finds that your violation of the helmet law amounts to negligence -- and they very well could make such a finding, especially if you're seeking compensation for head injuries -- any damages award you receive will be reduced according to the share of blame that's apportioned to you. Learn more about Michigan's shared fault rules in our Michigan Car Accident Laws article.

by: , J.D.

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