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Michigan Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Michigan’s Motorcycle Helmet Law
Michigan law now allows motorcyclists to decide for themselves, if certain conditions are met, whether or not to wear a helmet.
To legally not wear a helmet, a Michigan motorcycle operator must:
- Be at least 21 years old.
- Have at least $20,000 in Michigan no-fault medical benefits.
- Have held a motorcycle endorsement for at least two years, or have passed an approved motorcycle safety course.
The law also allows for motorcycle passengers to not wear a helmet. Passengers may not wear a helmet as long as they:
- Are at least 21 years old.
- Have at least $20,000 in Michigan no-fault medical benefits insurance in addition to the insurance that is required of the motorcycle operator.
A person younger than 21 years old must wear a helmet approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation when operating or riding on a motorcycle. Additionally, an individual younger than 19 years old must wear a helmet if operating a moped on a public roadway.
Regardless of whether you are required to wear a helmet, if your vehicle is not equipped with a windshield, eye protection is required when traveling at speeds of 35 mph or more.
Section 257.658 of the Michigan Vehicle Code, in pertinent part, reads as follows:
(1) A person operating a motorcycle or moped shall not ride other than upon and astride a permanent and regular seat attached to that vehicle.
(2) A motorcycle shall not be used to carry more persons at 1 time than the number for which it is designed and equipped.
(4) A person less than 19 years of age operating a moped on a public thoroughfare shall wear a crash helmet on his or her head. Except as provided in subsection (5), a person operating or riding on a motorcycle shall wear a crash helmet on his or her head.
(5) The following conditions apply to a person 21 years of age or older operating or riding on a motorcycle, as applicable:
(a) A person who is operating a motorcycle is not required to wear a crash helmet on his or her head if he or she has had a motorcycle endorsement on his or her operator’s or chauffeur’s license for not less than 2 years or the person passes a motorcycle safety course conducted under section 811a or 811b and satisfies the requirements of subdivision (c).
(b) A person who is riding on a motorcycle is not required to wear a crash helmet on his or her head if the person or the operator of the motorcycle satisfies the requirements of subdivision (c).
(c) A person who is operating a motorcycle and a person who is riding on a motorcycle are not required to wear crash helmets on their heads if the operator of the motorcycle or the rider has in effect security for the Michigan no-fault medical benefits payable in the event that he or she is involved in a motorcycle accident, as provided in section 3103 of the insurance code of 1956, 1956 PA 218, MCL 500.3103, in 1 of the following amounts, as applicable:
(i) A motorcycle operator without a rider, not less than $20,000.00.
(ii) A motorcycle operator with a rider, not less than $20,000.00 per person per occurrence. However, if the rider has security in an amount not less than $20,000.00, then the operator is only required to have security in the amount of not less than $20,000.00.
(6) Crash helmets shall be approved by the department of state police. The department of state police shall promulgate rules for the implementation of this section under the administrative procedures act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, MCL 24.201 to 24.328. Rules in effect on June 1, 1970, apply to helmets required by this act.
(7) The crash helmet requirements under this section do not apply to a person operating or riding in an autocycle if the vehicle is equipped with a roof that meets or exceeds standards for a crash helmet.
(8) A person operating or riding in an autocycle shall wear seat belts when on a public highway in this state.
What if I was injured and I was not wearing a helmet?
If you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the collision, you can still sue for your injuries.
What you should know about motorcycle helmets from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation: http://www.msf-usa.org/downloads/helmet_CSi.pdf
We Can Help After A Michigan Motorcycle Accident
It is very important that you speak with someone very familiar with the intricacies of Michigan’s motorcycle accident laws. Contact [email protected] or 855-MIKE-WINS for a free consultation. As always, the advice is free and there is no fee unless you collect.