Current Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Illinois

Chicago motorcycle accident lawyers explain helmet usage requirements

Helmet usage can save the lives of motorcycle operators and passengers. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Administration confirm how much more deadly motorcycle ridership is than riding in cars. In 2014, the odds of being killed in a motorcycle accident were 27 times higher for motorcycle riders than for car occupants. Wearing a helmet meant a 37% better chance of survival in a crash and about a 67% better chance of preventing a brain injury than for riders who were helmet-free.

At Gainsberg Law, our Chicago motorcycle accident attorneys understand that even though Illinois does not have state helmet laws, motorcycle operators and passengers should still strongly consider wearing a quality motorcycle helmet. While we know that many riders enjoy feeling free when they ride, that freedom comes with a price: an accident on a motorcycle is more likely to cause death and catastrophic injuries.

Helmet laws in Illinois

As of 2016, Illinois does not require that anyone who operates or is a passenger on a motorcycle wears a helmet while the motorcycle is in operation. Ours is one of only three states that do not require some form of helmet usage. Illinois does have laws requiring riders to use safety goggles that should provide frontal protection and also protect the sides.

However, there are federal laws on motorcycle helmets. The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218, enacted by the U.S. Department of Transportation, does have standards for how motorcycle helmets should be designed and manufactured. The 218 standards require that helmets provide protection for specific speeds and the different levels of impact.

In addition to the required FMSVSS 218 stands, the Snell Memorial Foundation has its own standards for motorcycle safety. While the Snell standards are voluntary, many motorcyclists follow these standards for further safety precautions. Snell certification is an indicator that a motorcycle helmet is a quality helmet.

Just because a law says a motorcycle rider is not required to use a helmet, that does not mean it is wise not to use a helmet. The reverse is true. Motorcycle riders are not protected from the front, side, rear, or top as automobile and truck drivers are. When a motorcycle crash happens, the occupants will fall directly to the ground. If death does not occur, the rider is likely to suffer a brain injury, which can cause loss of cognitive abilities, loss of life’s pleasure, and unbearable pain. A helmet can help decrease the likelihood of death or a brain injury.

Get advice from an experienced motorcycle helmet lawyer today

At Gainsberg Law, a Chicago motorcycle accident attorney can help riders understand the rules before they get onto their motorcycles. We strive to help our clients in Chicago appreciate the safety issues before they ride. Our legal team has a strong record of success in holding auto and truck drivers liable when a motorcycle accident does happen. We fight for the families of victims who died in a motorcycle accident and for the victims if they suffer a brain injury, broken bones, or any type of motorcycle injury. Please call 312-313-1621 to speak with our compassionate and affordable lawyers. You can also schedule an appointment by completing our contact form.