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Do you have to wear a motorcycle helmet in California?

Whether you are a new biker, a motorcycle passenger or a biker visiting the state, you may be wondering if you have to wear a helmet while you ride. You may be the type who does not prefer to use a helmet unless necessary. Some states only require minors to do so, whereas others have requirements for adults, too.

California is in the latter category. Know what the law says before you get on your motorcycle to ensure compliance and safety on the road.

California law on motorcycle helmets

In California, everyone who rides a motorcycle must wear a helmet that meets the standards of the Department of Transportation (make sure the helmet has the DOT sticker). The law applies regardless of age or status as an operator or a passenger. In fact, passengers can get in trouble for even riding with someone who is not wearing a helmet and vice versa.

The helmet needs to fit you properly and be securely fastened in order to do its job effectively. If your helmet does not have a visor, you should wear another form of eye or face protection.

Other protective gear

While only helmets are mandatory, other protective gear is advisable to prevent worse injuries in the event of an accident. For example, wearing a leather jacket and jeans protects your skin from road rash, as well as wind and sun burn. Bright, reflective clothing helps motorists see you better, and gloves improve your grip on the handlebars.

Choosing not to wear these items can result in serious injury in a collision. However, this choice in no way eliminates responsibility from the party who caused the accident. Other drivers must still do their part to keep themselves and others safe. If another vehicle crashes into you, you can pursue legal action regardless of whether or not you were wearing a helmet or other protective gear.

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