If you own or ride a motorcycle in Wyoming, you should understand the laws and regulations that apply to motorcyclists. Continue reading to learn more about Wyoming’s motorcycle helmet laws, how those laws could affect you after a motorcycle accident, and why you should always wear a helmet.
Wyoming Helmet Law for Motorcyclists
Many states have “universal” helmet laws that require all motorcycle riders to wear helmets. While Wyoming does have motorcycle helmet laws on the books, they do not apply to everyone.
Only motorcycle operators and passengers under the age of 18 are required to wear helmets. Under Wyoming Statutes § 31-5-115, all minors who ride motorcycles in the state must wear “securely fastened” helmets that comply with relevant safety standards.
This requirement applies to minor motorcycle operators and passengers on “public highways, streets, and thoroughfares.” However, it does not apply to minor passengers who ride in enclosed cabs or to minor operators or passengers of mopeds and scooters.
Why Should You Wear a Helmet?
According to research published by the World Health Organization (WHO), motorcyclists should wear protective helmets because:
- They have a higher risk of being involved in a crash than other motorists and are particularly vulnerable to injuries or fatalities in a collision.
- Head and neck injuries are the leading causes of severe or disabling injury and death among motorcyclists.
- Helmets decrease the risk of death and severe injuries to the head and brain in an accident by slowing the deceleration of the skull upon impact, diffusing the force of the impact over a larger area, and shielding the skull from direct contact with hard surfaces.
- Motorcyclists who do not wear helmets are significantly more likely to suffer head injuries and die due to those injuries.
Do Motorcycle Passengers Have to Wear Helmets?
Under Wyoming law, only motorcycle passengers under the age of 18 must wear protective helmets. Adults 18 and older are legally permitted to ride motorcycles without wearing helmets.
Even if you are not legally required to wear a helmet while operating a motorcycle, the Wyoming motorcycle accident attorneys at Olson Law Firm strongly encourage all riders to wear DOT-approved safety helmets whenever possible.
Can I Recover Compensation If I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet in a Motorcycle Crash?
Declining to wear a motorcycle helmet does not increase your risk of causing a crash, so it shouldn’t affect your ability to recover compensation for your losses if you’re involved in one.
Despite Wyoming’s lack of a helmet law for adult motorcyclists, many insurance companies will attempt to shift the blame for an accident to a rider who didn’t have a helmet – even when it’s clear that their insured was the one at fault for the crash. Don’t let them get away with this tactic. Wyoming is a comparative fault state. That means while you may possess some degree of fault for an accident, so long as your fault does not exceed 51%, you may still be eligible for compensation for your injuries.
Motorcycle accidents are complicated matters. Our knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorneys can fight for fair compensation on your behalf, regardless of whether you were wearing a helmet when the crash occurred.
Contact Our Experienced Wyoming Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today
If you were injured in a Wyoming motorcycle accident – whether you wore a helmet or not – you could be entitled to compensation for your losses. Contact Olson Law Firm, LLC today to learn more about your rights and legal options in a free initial consultation.
Sean Olson is much more than just a personal injury lawyer. Sean is an advocate who helps those who are injured navigate our complex legal system. And he is a voice for those who are injured and cannot speak for themselves.