Riding a motorcycle gives many people a great sense of freedom and adventure. Whether you live in Ohio or are just passing through on a trip, it’s important to know the state laws regarding motorcycle helmets.
What are the motorcycle laws in Ohio?
Ohio’s motorcycle helmet laws do not require all riders to wear helmets. Only certain groups of people are required to wear helmets, including:
- Anyone younger than 18 years old
- New motorcycle riders for their first year after obtaining a license
- Passengers of motorcycle drivers who are required to wear helmets
Drivers and passengers are also required to wear protective eyewear when riding a motorcycle. And, earbuds, earphones, etc., are only allowed for ear protection purposes, not for listening to music, podcasts, etc. The earplug law was a recent change after an avid Ohio motorcyclist convinced legislators to change the law in order to allow riders to protect themselves from hearing loss.
Why should I wear a helmet regardless of the law?
Although you may not be required to wear one, here’s why you should still wear one whenever you are riding. Helmets are meant to protect you in the event of a motorcycle accident. Many riders suffer catastrophic injuries in collisions. Head injuries (traumatic brain injuries) and fatalities are , unfortunately, common.
According to the World Health Organization, wearing a motorcycle helmet is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of head or brain injuries and death when riding. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, a helmet can also reduce the severity of your injuries by around 70% and your chance of dying by 40%.
Wearing a helmet while riding your motorcycle also protects you from the elements, airborne debris and bugs. Your helmet can even protect you from sunburn and wind burn.
The most important thing is to always be safe while riding your motorcycle. Your helmet, eyewear and earwear rules are designed to protect you even when the law doesn’t require it.