While Ohio used to have a state law requiring all motorcycle riders and passengers to wear safety helmets while riding, that law was repealed in 1978. Nowadays, only certain types of riders and passengers are legally required to use helmets, with a majority of riders being free to ride without any head protection at all if they choose.

That said, it is still important to understand what state law says about helmet use if you plan to ride anywhere in the Buckeye State—not just to keep yourself safe on the road, but also to preserve your right to file a lawsuit if someone else’s unsafe actions lead to you getting hurt in a wreck. Here is a brief primer on Toledo motorcycle helmet laws and how they might impact a personal injury claim, each aspect of which an experienced motorcycle wreck attorney from our firm can answer further questions about during a free and confidential consultation.

Who Is Required to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet in Ohio?

Under current Ohio law, there are only two types of people who are legally required to wear safety helmets while operating a motorcycle or riding on one as a passenger. No one who has had their motorcycle operator’s license for less than a year can ride on public Ohio roads without a safety helmet on. Additionally, no person under 18 can ride on a motorcycle without a safety helmet, regardless of their experience level. Outside of those two scenarios, safety helmets are not required by law for motorcycle operators or riders in Toledo.

It is worth noting here that if you are legally required to wear a motorcycle helmet, not just any helmet will do. In order to stay in compliance with the law, your helmet must meet the safety standards set by the United States Department of Transportation and/or the Snell Memorial Foundation, which should be indicated by a sticker placed on the helmet. Your helmet must also fit snugly around your head and not be too big or too small.

How Motorcycle Helmet Use Could Affect a Civil Claim

Another thing worth knowing about motorcycle helmet laws in Toledo is that courts and insurance companies can hold your refusal to wear a helmet against you, even if it was legal for you to go without one. Since wearing a safety helmet is a choice for most riders in Ohio rather than a legal requirement, a “defendant” you are trying to sue over a crash could argue that your refusal to wear a helmet shows you were knowingly accepting a risk of injury as a result, and that therefore you are partially at fault for the injuries you sustained.

In accordance with Ohio Revised Code § 2315.33, any percentage of “comparative fault” assigned to you along these lines could be held against you during a civil claim as a proportional reduction in the value of your final damage award. Furthermore, if you are found mostly at fault for your own injuries compared to everyone else involved in your accident, you might not be allowed to recover any compensation at all.

Learn More About Motorcycle Helmet Laws From a Toledo Attorney

Strictly speaking, Toledo motorcycle helmet laws do not require most motorcycle owners to wear safety helmets while riding. That said, it is still a good idea to wear one, both to reduce your risk of suffering a serious head or neck injury and to protect your right to sue over any injuries someone else causes you through their own negligence.

If you have questions about a possible motorcycle accident claim, our team here at Charles E. Boyk Law Offices can provide the answers and information you need. Call today to schedule a meeting.

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