West Virginia Helmet Law

December 29, 2020

Helmets save lives. Whether a person is riding on a motorcycle or a bicycle, wearing a helmet can help prevent severe traumatic brain injuries and death in the event a person is involved in an accident. Every state has unique laws pertaining to bicycle and motorcycle helmets, as well as laws pertaining to the use of other vehicles such as mopeds, electric scooters, and motorized bicycles. It is crucial that West Virginia residents know these laws so they can remain safe on the roadway and avoid any fines.

West Virginia Bicycle Helmet Laws

West Virginia only enforces helmet usage for bicyclists aged 15 and younger. Any riders who fit this age group must wear appropriately fitting bicycle helmets that are fastened on with a strap under the chin. There are a wide variety of bicycle helmets available in stores and online, but a bicycle rider needs to choose one with verified safety capabilities and good consumer satisfaction scores.

It is important to realize that counterfeit bicycle helmets have a heavy presence in online stores, so it may be a better bet to purchase a helmet in-person at a reputable retail outlet.
Additionally, it is strongly recommended that all riders, regardless of their age, wear a helmet to remain safe on the roadways. Bicyclists are incredibly vulnerable roadway users, but a helmet can significantly reduce the risk of a serious or fatal head injury.

West Virginia Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle in West Virginia is even more important than wearing one on a bicycle. Due to the nature of motorcycle riding, these vehicles are inherently more dangerous than just about any other vehicle on the roadway. According to information available from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), motorcycle helmets can reduce the risk of a fatal head injury by as much as 37% and reduce the risk of a severe head injury by as much as 67%.

West Virginia law requires that every motorcycle operator and passenger wear a helmet at all times. The helmet used must meet the Department of Transportation’s safety criteria:

  • The helmet must have a thick inner layer of polystyrene foam.
  • The chinstrap must be secured on the helmet with rivets.
  • Helmets should weigh approximately 3 pounds.
  • Projections from the helmet may not exceed 2 millimeters outward.

Motorcycle riders should look for helmets that have “DOT Certified” stickers or labels on them. Operating or riding on a motorcycle without an approved helmet could result in a traffic citation, fines, and a potential suspension of a license. However, these penalties pale in comparison to the potential injury consequences of not wearing a helmet when an accident occurs.

Speak with a Lawyer Today

If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a motorcycle or bicycle crash caused by the careless or negligent actions of another driver on the roadway, contact the team at Manchin Ferretti Injury Law today. Our qualified and experienced accident attorneys in Martinsburg will work diligently to obtain the evidence necessary to prove liability for your crash. Our goal is to ensure that you receive full compensation for your losses so you can get back to living your life. We understand how complicated motorcycle accident cases can be, so let us get to work immediately. When you need a motorcycle or bicycle accident lawyer, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case online or by calling (304) 264-8505.


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