Is There a Motorcycle Helmet Law in Colorado?
It’s important to be aware of safety requirements for riding your motorcycle. In addition to potentially exposing you to expensive tickets, failing to comply with safety laws could hurt your ability to recover compensation in a motorcycle accident lawsuit. At Pushchak Law, Denver attorney Brian Pushchak wants to make sure you are able to hold negligent drivers fully accountable for your damages.
Colorado helmet laws are not very strong. They only state that operators and passengers under the age of 18 must wear a helmet. Although Colorado helmet laws don’t apply to most riders, Colorado does require eye protection for all motorcycle drivers and their passengers.
What Colorado Helmet Law Says
Colorado Revised Statutes § 42-4-1502 (2016) stipulates many safety restrictions on motorcycle riding, such as not carrying packages in your hands or having a rider in front of the driver where they could obstruct visibility.
This section also includes the helmet law. Colorado helmet law states that one cannot ride a motorcycle unless “Each person under eighteen years of age is wearing a protective helmet of a type and design manufactured for use by operators of motorcycles,” the helmet is secured on the head by a chin strap, consists of lining, padding, and chin strap in accordance with the relevant federal motor vehicle safety standard.
Eye protection is included in a different place, §42-4-232 (2016), which requires “goggles or eyeglasses made of safety glass or plastic,” while noting that people don’t have to wear eye protection if their helmet already includes eye protection.
In both statutes, the law notes an exception if people are driving or riding a motorcycle that has:
- Three wheels
- A maximum design speed of 25 miles per hour or less
- A windshield
- Seat belts
In this case, it is not necessary to wear eye protection or a helmet, even for riders under the age of 18.
Colorado Helmet Law Likely Won’t Be Used Against You
In setting up the standards for lawsuits, judges in Colorado have made it clear: you shouldn’t suffer more when someone else’s negligence is the true cause of your accident. Since there’s no legal requirement for wearing a helmet for riders aged 18 and older, whether you wore a helmet or not will have no bearing on your case if you’re 18 or older.
On the other hand, not wearing eye protection could have an impact. Why? First, eye protection is required by law. You might object that seat belts are required by law, too, but they only impact recovery for the purposes of pain and suffering damages. However, eye protection is different. It can be important for helping you to see clearly while operating your motorcycle. Another driver could claim that you were hampered by your lack of eye protection, which made it hard for you to see and judge what they and other drivers were doing. This could increase the share of negligence assigned to you by a jury or judge, which would decrease your compensation.
It’s important to make sure you wear eye protection when operating your motorcycle.
Why Choose Pushchak Law
At Pushchak Law in Denver, we are dedicated to achieving justice for everyone who has been injured due to the negligence of others. If someone is responsible for your injuries, we want to hold them accountable.
It’s part of our Informed Decisions™ approach: making sure you know what compensation you might be able to collect, and ensuring you get as much of it as possible under the law. We start by listening to you, so that we can understand what really matters to you in the case, including compensation and any other aspects of a verdict that you’re looking for. Then we’ll help you understand your options so you can make the decision that is best for you.
We also continue to make ourselves available to you. You can always contact us with questions or concerns about your case.
To learn more about how our Informed Decisions™ approach can make a difference after your Colorado motorcycle accident, please call 303-372-6145 or contact us online for a free consultation.
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