Colorado Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Posted On April 23, 2024 / By Manning Law / Motorcycle Accidents,Traumatic Brain Injury

Riding a motorcycle can come with distinct disadvantages if a motor vehicle accident occurs. In these situations, a motorcycle helmet may be one of the only forms of protection the motorcyclist has against serious injury. Colorado law may not require helmets for all motorcyclists, but it is still important to wear one for your safety.

Who Is Required to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet in Colorado?

Colorado does not have a universal helmet law, meaning one that enforces helmet use unanimously among all motorcycle riders and their passengers. In Colorado, only motorcyclists who are under the age of 18 are legally required to wear a helmet. Colorado law states:

Any motorcycle, autocycle, or low-power scooter operator or passenger under age 18 is required to wear a helmet while in motion. A person under age 18 driving or riding in an autocycle does not need to wear a helmet if the autocycle has only three wheels, a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour or less, a windshield, and seatbelts. A person in violation of the requirements commits a class A traffic infraction.

Under this law, minors must wear head protection that is approved by the Department of Transportation when operating or riding as passengers on motorcycles. However, adult motorcyclists are not legally required to wear helmets in Colorado.

Why You Should Always Wear a Motorcycle Helmet

Even if state law does not require you to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle, it is strongly recommended that you do so for your own safety in the event of a motorcycle accident. Specialized Denver motorcycle accident lawyers emphasize that even an experienced motorcyclist could get involved in a collision due to a careless or reckless motor vehicle driver. Wearing a helmet can protect you from a severe and potentially fatal head or brain injury.

Wearing a helmet can reduce your risk of suffering a head injury in a motorcycle accident by 69 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It can also reduce your risk of suffering a fatal injury by 37 percent as a rider and 41 percent as a passenger. The CDC reports that almost 750 lives would have been saved in a single year had all motorcyclists been wearing helmets.

Can Not Wearing a Helmet Affect Your Motorcycle Accident Claim in Colorado? 

If you get involved in a motorcycle accident, the automobile insurance company that receives your claim will ask if you were wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. If you were within your legal rights to not wear one, the failure to do so most likely will not have an adverse effect on your personal injury claim 

Since Colorado law does not legally require helmets for adult motorcyclists, the helmet defense is generally not available to insurance companies or defendants. If you were in violation of Colorado law by not wearing one as a minor, however, the insurance company may try to blame you for the extent of any injuries to your face, skull or brain. This could reduce the amount of compensation you receive for your claim.

The best way to protect yourself both physically and legally as a motorcyclist in Colorado is to always wear a helmet and any other required equipment, such as eye protection. If you get involved in a motorcycle crash in Denver, not wearing a helmet could lead to more significant injuries and difficulty collecting fair compensation for your losses.