Washington State Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Regulations in Washington that Motorcycle Helmet Users Must Follow

Your choice to wear a helmet should be in accordance with the Washington state motorcycle helmet, at least while you still reside there. Using a helmet was not compulsory before 1967 when a law was passed, which enforced using a helmet by all motorcyclists. The law was under consideration to be amended for mandatory use of helmet by motorcycle riders of 21 years of age and younger. You can check out the passed legislature under RCW 46.37.530 of 1990.

The motorcycle helmet law is one of the numerous road laws that motorcyclists must obey on the road. Practices such as lane splitting are found to be also prohibited by the law.

Washington State Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Washington State Helmet law demands that all riders of two wheels motor-driven vehicles of which motorcycle and any form of motor-driven vehicle that does not allow for seat belts, steering wheel, or enclosed sitting area must have users wear a helmet. The law does not include windshield, face shield of any kind, or mirrors as an excellent alternative to a helmet.

The amendment to 1967 law is in current deliberation by the Senate Committee on Transportation. The bill is still yet to be implemented as law. It allows for some exceptions, which must all be fulfilled before deciding not to use a motorcycle helmet when riding your motorcycle.

Here is a quick highlight of helmet laws and regulations exceptions:

  • Riders must be above the age of 21. (We guess they are very particular about maturity as other states allow from 18 years old)
  • Rider possesses a vehicle liability policy, self-insurance, or a deposit certificate, also known as a liability bond of a minimum of $25,000 before riding on the road

Safety Requirement of Motorcycle Helmet Approved by the State

U.S Department of Transportation (DOT) has set minimum requirements for helmets manufactured and sold in the United States to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. Helmet certified by the DOT to have reached or passed the minimum requirements have a DOT sticker on the rear side of the helmet. The approved helmet must meet the following features to prevent being tricked by counterfeit DOT stickers:

  • Durable thick inner paddings.
  • Strong chin Strap with suitable lock mechanism.
  • Helmets that meet FMVSS 218 have a weight equal or more than 3 pounds.

Intense testing is conducted by DOT is not limited to, the following:

  • Physical parameters check
  • Minimum and maximum impact limit.
  • The extent of penetration resistance
  • The overall strength of the helmet

There are oppositional opinions to the helmet laws who reason that the helmet restricts the rider’s vision and impairs his hearing significantly. Contrary to this, DOT approval and certification of helmet consider visibility in the physical parameters check to ensure visual conditioning has no effect on riders’ sight.

A helmet that does not attain the FMVSS requirement is referred to as a novelty helmet. The safety of these helmets is not confirmed and may be conferred unsuitable for the public safety-wise.

Use of Helmet & Motorcycle Accident Compensation

A rider decision to wear a helmet is a conflicting choice between personal preference and state laws. Accidents involving riders with or without helmet have been issues of intense argument as claims towards the compensation usually place non-use of a helmet as a significant factor to prevent correction.

Injuries in an accident could cause a rider multiple major broken bones in the legs, arms, spine, back, ribs, chest, and head. There is a large possibility of long-term traumatic brain impact, which could give no leeway to any chance of recovery under intense medical care for in worse cases.

Cases in which a rider is partially at fault, comparative fault laws permit that complainant rider seeks compensation from at-fault drivers. The latter is partly responsible for the accident or collision.

Safety Tips to be Considered before the Choice of Wearing a Helmet

  • Buy DOT and Snell approved helmets.
  • Ensure you buy from recommended brands such as AGV, Shoei, Schuberth, HJC, Freedconn, and Torc.
  • Use a helmet with a clean, clear visor with additional features such as UV protection, Anti-fog, and anti-scratch features.
  • Use Fit helmet: Ensure the helmet is comfortable and precisely to your size.
  • Get dual protected face shield helmets for additional safety and higher temperature for the cold season.
  • Replace your helmet after an accident or three to five years of use.
  • Accidents without a helmet have a statistical probability of three times more risk of brain and head injuries.
  • Suppose you want to ride without a helmet. In that case, it is advisable to have uninsured motorist coverage to prevent accidental collision with an uninsured or underinsured motorist.

Road Laws to Remember while Going on a Ride

  1. Do not drive under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
  2. Avoid any form of distraction, such as texting, eating, talking, or making calls. You can attend to these before riding or getting a place park properly for safety purposes.
  3. Learn to use your mirrors to check blind spots.
  4. Pay attention to road signs and slow road vehicle users.

FAQs

Does Washington State Have a Motorcycle Helmet Law?

It has been considered that wearing a helmet is a personal choice. If you are in Washington, all riders under the ages of 21 must use a helmet.
Rider who does not want use an helmet must have a vehicle liability policy, self-insurance, or a deposit certificate, also known as a liability bond of a minimum of $25,000 before riding on the road

Are helmets required for motorcycle riders in Washington State?

Washington State Helmet law demands that all riders of two wheels motor-driven vehicles of which motorcycle and any form of motor-driven vehicle that does not allow for seat belts, steering wheel, or enclosed sitting area must have users wear a helmet.
For more information, please visit: http://www.wsp.wa.gov/traveler/helmets.htm

Is it legal to lane split?

No, lane splitting is not legal in Washington State.

Are the Motorcycle Helmet Laws Effective?

Most Motorcycle helmet users and health leaders argue that helmet reduces the extent of injury during an accident. The law advocates that fatality, post-traumatic brain injuries, and head injuries are minimized in the presence of a motorcycle helmet.
The legal systems claim that these protective gadgets would reduce the possibility of objects entering riders’ eyes, causing loss of control, damaging other road users.

Why Should you use a Motorcycle Helmet?

The use of a helmet allows you protection and safety, and better legal claim to compensation in case of an accident, but you can decide not to use a helmet if you deem it not fashionable, necessary, or unsafe.