bike helmet laws state by state

Bike Helmet Laws State by State

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Bike Helmet Laws State by State

You may be wondering whether your kids need to wear a helmet. What are the bike helmet laws in your state? At what age can a person legally not wear a helmet?

While there is no federal law in the United States that requires wearing a bike helmet, there are laws that enforce helmets in the majority of states. Although, the exact requirements around helmet laws vary greatly across the United States, as well as between cities within each state.

To help you decipher the helmet laws that are in your state, we’ve compiled a list of the legal requirements for wearing a helmet. 

General Requirements

In general, if there is a law around wearing a helmet, it will pertain to youth under 18 years old. Some states, however, lower that age threshold to as low at 12 years old. And other states extend the laws to apply to other two-wheelers like scooters. There are sometimes even laws around whether a passenger is required to wear a helmet.

Hopefully, this article helps to resolve some of your confusion around bike helmet laws state by state. If you need further clarification, be sure to check with your local guidelines either online or at your local police station. And even if bike helmets are not required by law, they are often highly encouraged. Bike helmets are a simple yet effective way to prevent serious injuries in the event of an accident.

Table Of Contents

boy in bike seat

Why Do Kids Need to Wear Bike Helmets?

Bike helmets save lives. Scientists and neuroscientists have done enormous research on head injuries and have helped to create the safest helmet technology to date. 

It’s not difficult for an enjoyable bike ride to turn into a dangerous event. With cars, uneven terrain, or inexperienced riders, accidents can happen quickly. This is why it’s so important for kids to wear bike helmets

The majority of states require a bike helmet is worn by kids. The age threshold varies, but almost all cases are for youth under 18 years old. And in states where there is no helmet laws in place, kids are often still encouraged to wear their helmets while riding. 

how to introduce your kids to mountain biking with a front-mounted bike seat

Bike Helmet Laws in the United States

Most of the helmet laws across the Unites States apply to bike riders under 18 years old. Although, there is some variance between different states and depending on the type of bike. For example, Alabama, Connecticut, and Massachusetts require a helmet is worn for all e-bike riders.

There are a number of other factors that can determine the laws around wearing a helmet. Some states, such as Oregon, allow children under 16 years old to not wear a helmet if it conflicts with religious belief or practice. California is not permissive to any child not wearing a helmet, regardless of faith.

There are 13 states with no bike helmet laws currently in place (Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Wyoming). In some cases, the motivation for forgoing a bike helmet law is because the law would discourage more cyclists on the road. It’s argued that more cyclists on the road would actually up to increase road safety. That’s because cars would become more aware and experienced with driving alongside bikers. So, let’s break it down for you, here is the list of bike helmet laws state by state.

biking kids with helmets relaxing in a trail

Bike Helmet Laws State by State

1. Alabama helmet laws for kids

There is also a lot of variation between cities in each state. Not all cities will operate under the same helmet laws. And the fines for riding without a helmet will also vary. 

  • Statewide law for wearing a helmet if you’re a bike rider under 16 years old
  • Statewide law for wearing a helmet for all e-bike riders

2. Alaska bike helmet laws for kids

  • Kids under 16 or 18 years old are required to wear a helmet depending on the city

3. Arizona helmet laws for kids

  • Requires a helmet by law for youth under 18 years old

4. Arkansas helmet laws for kids

  • Does not require a helmet by law

5. California helmet laws for kids

  • Statewide law for wearing a helmet for passengers 5 years old and under who are riding on a bike
  • Statewide law for wearing a helmet if you’re riding a bike, scooter, skateboard, or in-line skates and are 18 years old and under

6. Colorado bike helmet laws for kids

  • Does not require a helmet by law

7. Connecticut bike helmet laws for kids

  • Statewide law for wearing a helmet if you’re a bike rider under 16 years old
  • Statewide law for wearing the helmet for all e-bike riders

8. Delaware helmet laws for kids

  • Statewide law for wearing a helmet if you’re a bike rider under 18 years old

9. Florida bike helmet laws for kids

  • Statewide law for wearing a helmet if you’re a bike rider under 16 years old

10. Georgia helmet laws for kids

  • Statewide law for wearing a helmet if you’re a bike rider under 16 years old

11. Idaho helmet laws for kids

  • Does not require a helmet by law

12. Hawaii bike helmet laws for kids

  • Statewide law for wearing a helmet if you’re a bike rider under 16 years old

13. Illinois bike helmet laws for kids

  • Kids under 16 or 17 years old are required to wear a helmet depending on the city

14. Indiana helmet laws for kids

  • Does not require a helmet by law

15. Iowa bike helmet laws for kids

  • Does not require a helmet by law

16. Kansas helmet laws for kids

  • Requires a helmet by law for kids under 16 years old

17. Kentucky helmet laws for kids

  • Requires a helmet by law for kids under 18 years old

18. Louisiana helmet laws for kids

  • Statewide law for wearing a helmet if you’re a bike rider under 12 years old

19. Maine bike helmet laws for kids

  • Statewide law for wearing a helmet if you’re a bike rider under 16 years old

20. Maryland helmet laws for kids

  • Statewide law for wearing a helmet if you’re a bike rider under 16 years old

21. Massachusetts helmet laws for kids

  • Require wearing a helmet for passengers 5 years old and under who are riding on a bike
  • Statewide law for wearing a helmet if you’re a bike rider under 17 years old
  • Statewide law for wearing a helmet for all e-bike riders

22. Michigan bike helmet laws for kids

  • Kids under 15, 16 or 18 years old are required to wear a helmet depending on the city

23. Minnesota helmet laws for kids

  • Does not require a helmet by law

24. Mississippi bike helmet laws for kids

  • Some areas require a helmet for kids under 17 years old

25. Missouri helmet laws for kids

  • Requires a helmet by law for kids 16 years old and under

26. Montana helmet laws for kids

  • Requires a helmet by law for kids under 16 years old

27. Nebraska helmet laws for kids

  • Does not require a helmet by law

28. Nevada helmet laws for kids

  • Requires a helmet by law for kids under 17 years old

29. New Hampshire helmet laws for kids

  • Reguires a helmet if you’re a bike rider under 17 years old

30. New Jersey helmet laws for kids

  • Statewide law for wearing a helmet if you’re a bike rider under 16 years old

31. New Mexico helmet laws for kids

  • Statewide law for wearing a helmet if you’re a bike rider under 18 years old

32. New York bike helmet laws for kids

  • Require helmet for passengers 5 years old and under who are riding on a bike
  • Statewide law for wearing a helmet if you’re a bike rider under 14 years old

33. North Carolina helmet laws for kids

  • Statewide law for wearing a helmet if you’re a bike rider under 16 years old

34. North Dakota helmet laws for kids

  • Does not require a helmet by law

35. Ohio helmet laws for kids

  • Helmets are required by law for kids under 13, 14, 15 16, 17 or 18 years old, depending on the city

36. Oklahoma helmet laws for kids

  • Requires a helmet by law for kids under 18 years old

37. Oregon helmet laws for kids

  • Statewide law for wearing a helmet if you’re a bike rider under 16 years old

38. Pennsylvania bike helmet laws for kids

  • Statewide law for wearing a helmet if you’re a bike rider under 12 years old

39. Rhode Island helmet laws for kids

  • Statewide law for wearing a helmet if you’re a bike rider under 16 years old

40. South Carolina helmet laws for kids

  • Does not require a helmet by law

41. South Dakota helmet laws for kids

  • Does not require a helmet by law

42. Tennessee helmet laws for kids

  • Statewide law for wearing a helmet if you’re a bike rider under 16 years old

43. Texas helmet laws for kids

  • Helmets are required by law for kids under 15 16, 17 or 18 years old, depending on the city 

44. Utah helmet laws for kids

  • Does not require a helmet by law

45. Vermont bike helmet laws for kids

  • Does not require a helmet by law

46. Virginia helmet laws for kids

  • Requires a helmet by law

47. Washington bike helmet laws for kids

  • Requires a helmet by law for all ages

48. West Virginia bike helmet laws for kids

  • Statewide law for wearing a helmet if you’re a bike rider under 15 years old

49. Wisconsin bike helmet laws for kids

  • Requires a helmet by law

50. Wyoming bike helmet laws for kids

  • Does not require a helmet by law

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Did you know your state Bike helmet laws before? What do you think of the state with no laws? Are these laws really effective? Let us know in the comment section

Also, read more on State bike helmet laws HERE.

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