Motorcycle Helmet Laws Around the World

Motorcycle Helmet Laws Around the World


The topic of universal helmet laws is a hot one in the United States, but how does the rest of the world deal with this issue? Continue reading to learn more about motorcycle helmet laws around the world, whether you only ride in the United States, you’re planning on riding in another country, or if you’re simply curious to know how other countries are helping their motorcyclists stay safe.

Current Helmet Laws in the United States

Over the last several decades, the 50 states throughout the US have pretty much gone back and forth in terms of deciding upon whether they want mandatory helmet laws in place.

Currently in the United States, only 19 states, along with the District of Columbia, have universal mandatory helmet laws in place. These require that every motorcycle rider wear a helmet every time they get on their bikes.

The majority of the rest of the states have laws that require riders below a certain age, such as 17 or 20, to wear a helmet whenever they ride their motorcycles. And there are three states (Iowa, Illinois, and New Hampshire), where there’s no law at all regarding the use of helmets while you ride.

Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Europe

All countries throughout the European Union have enacted a law that requires helmet use for all individuals who ride motorcycles. Therefore, regardless of where you are in the EU, there’s simply no escaping this law and you absolutely must have the appropriate protective headgear on whenever you head out on the road, whether you’re going for a relaxing backcountry ride or you’re heading to work in the city.

Helmet Laws in the UK

Throughout all of the countries in the UK, you must wear a helmet every time you ride a motorcycle, just as you would throughout the EU. All of the helmets that are worn on roads throughout the United Kingdom must also meet specific requirements.

For example, every helmet needs to either meet:

  • The British Standard BS 6658:1985, while also carrying the BSI Kitemark
  • The UNECE Regulation 22.05
  • A European Economic Area member standard that offers at least the same protection and safety as BS 6658:1985, as well as carry a mark that’s equivalent to the BSI Kitemark

Research Supports the Use of Helmets, Which are Widely Available

Whether or not there’s a legal requirement to wear a helmet while you ride, it’s important to note that research has proven that there are fewer serious injuries and fatalities when riders get into accidents while wearing a helmet. And with so many great styles to choose from, such as bell helmets, and price ranges to suit any budget, there really is no reason to not purchase and wear a helmet you love.

As you can see, many countries have already enacted legal requirements for the use of helmets while riding a motorcycle. Unfortunately, the United States has fallen a bit behind, with some states not requiring universal helmet laws to be set into place.


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