There is already a consensus that driving a motorcycle without a helmet is dangerous.
A number of fatalities have been caused recently due to a lack of a helmet but there is still a large number who would prefer to ride their motorcycles without a helmet.
Since people want this choice, you may ask, “Do you have to wear a motorcycle helmet in Oklahoma?” The answer depends on your age. In Oklahoma, people under 18 are mandated to wear helmets while riding a motorcycle.
This might look like a simple enough law to wrap your head around. However, there is quite a bit of detail that you would like to know regarding it.
This is why I have summarized it as much as possible while still keeping the most important parts there. So, I highly encourage this article till the end to better understand it.
Motorcycle Helmet Laws And Rules In Oklahoma
Originally, every state was required to have a universal law that enforced riders to drive a motorcycle with a helmet on. This means everyone was legally supposed to wear a helmet regardless of age.
Failure to implement this law would result in a deduction in the highway funds for that respective state. However, this changed in 1976 when congress removed this universal motorcycle helmet law mandate.
Even before the removal of the mandate, the state of Oklahoma did change the law in 1969 to allow people over the age of 21 to drive without a helmet.
This was reversed in 1975, only to be changed again the next year when the mandate was removed. Today, the law states that anyone under 18 is legally required to wear a motorcycle helmet as a driver and passenger.
For those over 18, the law states that they may drive a motorcycle without a helmet if they choose to do so. However, like the under-18 riders, they must wear eye protection.
This can be in tight-fit motorcycle glasses, a face shield, or eye protection goggles. For motorcycles equipped with a windshield, this eye protection is not necessary.
These motorcycle helmet laws are governed by the Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety and are also subject to change.
Motorcycle Helmet Requirements In OK
The state of Oklahoma has mentioned detailed requirements that must be met for a helmet to be legal. These standards are based on the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218.
The standards are enforced by the Department of Transportation (DOT). So, it is important to do your research when you are out shopping for a motorcycle helmet.
Generally, all major manufacturers in the United States get their helmets approved by the DOT. Any motorcycle helmet that has been approved will have a DOT sticker showing that that is the case.
However, there have been reports of third-party manufactured and some imported helmets that have forged DOT stickers. So, just to be safe, you should ensure that your motorcycle helmet meets the following requirements.
Your helmet must have an inner foam layer with a thickness of at least 1 inch. It must also have a sturdy chin strap, and its rivets must be solid.
These standards are set by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and are known as the Snell standards.
If you do not want to get into trouble with local law enforcement, you should ensure that your helmet meets or surpasses these standards.
For someone under the age of 18, the law is pretty concrete. If a minor is caught riding a motorcycle without a helmet, they will be fined for it. However, the difference comes in for those over the age of 18.
Although they may be fined if they do not wear eye protection on a motorcycle without a windshield, the main issues regarding legality come in when an adult is involved in an accident while not wearing a helmet.
This is because the state of Oklahoma follows a rule called the comparative negligence system. This means that a person may be at fault for causing their injuries.
In motorcycle accident cases, the victim is assigned a percentage of the fault. Based on this percentage, their compensation is reduced.
If the fault percentage of the victim is higher than the other parties involved, the victim may even be barred from receiving any compensation.
This system allows insurance companies to appeal the number of damages they would have to pay you for your injuries in the accident.
If you received a head injury in a motorcycle accident and were not wearing a helmet, the insurance company may claim that you were responsible for your injuries.
Hence, you may receive a reduced amount of the damages than you may have received if you wore a helmet.
Motorcycle Helmets And Accidents In Oklahoma
Motorcycle accidents are known to cause some of the most life-altering injuries. Various motorcyclists will testify that their lives have been saved specifically due to motorcycle helmets.
Legal penalties aside, there are a lot of real dangers to your life if you drive without a helmet. If the word of everyday motorcyclists is not enough, here are a few statistics to help persuade you.
Many studies have shown the dangers of riding a motorcycle without a helmet. One such study from 2017 showed that 5172 people died from motorcycle accidents that year.
The chances of a motorcyclist having a fatal accident are 27 times more likely than a driver or a passenger in a car.
The study also showed that in that year, 2017, 1872 lives were saved because of wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle.
It also stated that approximately 749 additional lives could have been saved were they wearing a helmet when they got involved in the motorcycle accident that killed them.
Currently, the latest numbers suggest that two cyclists are killed every day. This is a 6.8% increase from the year 1990, when a lot of states had universal motorcycle helmet laws.
Get In Touch With Experienced Motorcycle Attorneys In Oklahoma
As mentioned above, the chances of you getting hurt in a motorcycle accident are high, regardless of whether you are wearing a helmet.
You may need to consult an attorney to represent you in the unfortunate event that you get involved in an accident.
Here are some of the best in Oklahoma below:
1. Law Tigers Motorcycle Injury Lawyers – Oklahoma City
Law Tigers Motorcycle Injury Lawyers represent motorcycle accident victims. Their vast experience in dealing with insurance companies who back out of their claims makes them a great candidate to be on your list.
Phone Number: 1-888-863-7216
2. Abel Law Firm
Attorneys at the personal injury law firm Abel Law Firm believe that you are not the sole responsible party in an accident. They are experienced lawyers committed to getting you the compensation you deserve.
Phone Number: (405) 591-3108
3. Cain Law Office
Cain Law Office is a personal injury law firm that claims that they aim to remove the burden of your case from you. They offer free consultations and claim advice which makes them the perfect fit.
Phone Number: 855-759-7874
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Is It Ok To Wear An Open Face Helmet In Oklahoma?
As long as the helmet is DOT certified, an open-face helmet is fine to be worn in the state of Oklahoma. However, if your motorcycle does not feature a windshield, you must wear eye protection goggles or glasses.
Q2. How Much Is The Fine For Not Wearing A Motorcycle Helmet In Oklahoma?
There is no fine for adults who drive without a helmet in Oklahoma. However, for anyone under 18, the court may set a fine if they are caught.
Q3. When Did Motorcycle Helmet Become Law In Oklahoma?
The current standing law was set in 1976. This was right after the removal of the universal motorcycle helmet law mandate by congress.
Q4. Should Passengers Wear A Helmet In Oklahoma?
Passengers under 18 are required to wear a helmet, but if you are an adult passenger, you are not required to wear one. Passengers do still have to wear eye protection regardless of their age.
Q5. Are Moped Drivers Required To Wear A Helmet In Oklahoma?
Since moped motorcycles are classified as motorcycles, the state of Oklahoma deems it necessary to wear a helmet while riding one if the person is under 18. Hence the passengers and the driver are required to wear helmets as well.
Finally, I would like to stress that these laws exist for a reason and that reason is to protect you and other citizens.
If someone is killed in an accident, the other party has to bear with that on their conscience as well as the grief it will cause to the afflicted family.
So, do you have to wear a motorcycle helmet in Oklahoma? As an adult, not necessarily! However, you should still choose to wear one for your safety.
As a minor, it is necessary, and failure to do so will get you in trouble with the local authorities.