Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Shreveport Personal Injury Lawyer
Free Consultation
Call Today!

Louisiana Helmet Law

louisiana helmet law

Motorcycles are among the most dangerous and deadly roadway vehicles due to the minimal protection surrounding riders. That’s why motorcyclists must wear protective gear, including safety helmets, in the event of a crash. Despite this, many riders hit the roads with insufficient protective gear, leading to catastrophic injuries and fatalities. In 2021, U.S. motorcycle accident deaths surged to an all-time high, surpassing 6,000 recorded deaths, as reported by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Consequently, numerous states, including Louisiana, have implemented mandatory helmet laws for motorcycle riders because studies have consistently shown that helmets can significantly reduce the incidence of brain injuries or fatalities in motorcycle crashes. Below, the Shreveport motorcycle accident attorneys at Rice & Kendig discuss everything you need to know about the Louisiana Helmet Law. 

If you or someone you love has suffered severe injuries or wrongful death in a motorcycle crash, call Rice & Kendig at 318-222-2772 to schedule a free consultation.

Does Louisiana Have a Helmet Law?

Yes, Louisiana does have a helmet law for motorcycle riders. Enacted in 2004, this law (RS 32:190) mandates that all motorcycle operators and their passengers wear a motorcycle safety helmet while riding. It’s crucial to distinguish motorcycle helmets from other types, such as those worn for biking or skateboarding, which don’t provide adequate protection from crashing at a high speed. The helmet law in Louisiana specifies that motorcycle helmets must be designed to protect motorcyclists and meet specific requirements.

Motorcycle Helmet Qualifications

According to Louisiana law, an approved motorcycle helmet must meet specific qualifications to ensure adequate rider protection. These qualifications include having a visor, interior lining, padding, and a chin strap. The chin strap must be appropriately secured by both operators and passengers while riding to ensure the helmet remains in place during an accident. Additionally, the helmet must fit comfortably and not restrict the wearer’s vision or hearing, allowing for optimal awareness and safety on the road.

motorcycle helmet law in louisiana

Exceptions to the Louisiana Motorcycle Helmet Law

There are a couple exceptions to the Louisiana Motorcycle Helmet Law, such as riding motorcycles during public events and having additional motorcycle safety features.

  • Partaking in a public event: Riders are not obligated to wear helmets during events such as Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans or elsewhere if they possess an exhibition permit issued by the police. However, helmets remain mandatory for the journey to and from the parade to ensure safety throughout the entire event.
  • Proper modifications on the motorcycle: If a motorcycle is equipped with additional safety features such as a roll cage or a roll bar, riders may be exempt from wearing a helmet. These modifications enhance the safety of the motorcycle, potentially reducing the need for helmet protection in certain situations.

Motorcycle Eye Protection Requirements Under Louisiana Law

In addition to the mandatory helmet law, Louisiana state law imposes additional eye protection requirements for motorcycle riders. This law requires wearing safety glasses, goggles, or a face shield integrated into the helmet. These eye or face shields must not impede vision in any manner, prioritizing rider safety and awareness while navigating the roads. 

Riders should note that they may not need separate protective eyewear if their motorcycle features a high windshield. However, verifying these specifications with a commissioner at the Louisiana Department of Public Safety is advisable to ensure compliance with Louisiana’s motorcycle safety regulations.

helmet laws louisiana

Other Louisiana Motorcycle Safety Laws

Before you go for a joy ride, knowing other Louisiana motorcycle laws that extend beyond helmet and eye protection requirements is important. These rules include:

  • Prohibiting young children who still use car seats from riding on motorcycles.
  • Restricting the transportation of cargo, especially if it impedes hand usage.
  • Prohibiting the use of tinted eyewear during nighttime rides.
  • Requiring all occupants to be seated securely on a permanent and regular seat and straddling both sides of the motorcycle.

Penalties for Violating Louisiana Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Violating Louisiana’s motorcycle helmet laws carries penalties, with motorcyclists caught riding without a helmet facing a $50 fine. While this fine might seem minor, it pales compared to the potential financial and personal consequences of a tragic accident without proper head protection. The thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost wages resulting from such an incident underscore the importance of wearing a helmet and safety glasses. It’s crucial to prioritize safety and adhere to regulations to safeguard against life-threatening injuries.

louisiana motorcycle helmet law

Why You Should Wear a Motorcycle Safety Helmet

Wearing a motorcycle safety helmet is paramount for riders’ protection on the road. Helmets not only save lives but also significantly reduce the risk of severe injuries in the event of an accident. 

Helmets Can Save Your Life

Helmets are pivotal in saving motorcyclists’ lives, often making the critical difference between life and death. According to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), there is a 37% reduction in the likelihood of death in motorcycle crashes when helmets are appropriately worn. 

Helmets Prevent Severe Brain Injuries

Helmets can also reduce the incidence of severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in the event of a crash. In fact, data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reveals that up to a 67% reduction in the risk of severe head injuries in motorcycle accidents occurs when helmets are worn properly. 

Even when a traumatic brain injury is not fatal, accident victims can endure long-lasting cognitive, physical, and emotional complications that significantly impact their quality of life. If you or a loved one has suffered severe brain damage due to the negligence of another driver, a skilled Shreveport brain injury attorney at Rice & Kendig can help you obtain fair compensation and justice.

motorcycle laws louisiana

Helmets Can Prevent Face, Eye, and Teeth Injuries

Motorcycle accidents pose a significant risk of catastrophic injuries to the head, face, eyes, and teeth. These injuries can result from the accident’s impact or external factors such as low-hanging tree branches and flying debris like rocks. Wearing a helmet can provide vital protection against these injuries by creating a barrier between the rider’s face and potential hazards on the road. 

Helmets Can Improve Vision and Hearing on the Roads

Helmets and eye safety gear provide essential protection and enhance a rider’s vision and hearing on the roads. By shielding the eyes from direct sunlight and glare, helmets and protective eyewear improve visibility, allowing motorcyclists to navigate safely through various lighting conditions. Additionally, wearing a helmet may help reduce wind noise in the ears, minimizing distractions and allowing riders to focus on the road ahead. By optimizing vision and hearing, helmets and eye safety gear are crucial in promoting safe driving practices and mitigating the risk of accidents.

does louisiana have a helmet law

Can You Sue for a Motorcycle Accident in Louisiana?

You can pursue legal action for a motorcycle accident in Louisiana under certain circumstances. If the accident was caused by another driver’s negligence and resulted in significant physical, emotional, and financial harm, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Negligent actions such as reckless driving, distracted driving, failure to yield, or driving under the influence can lead to liability for the responsible party. A successful lawsuit can help you recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages incurred due to the accident. 

It’s important to note that if the motorcyclist wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, the defendant may try to claim that their lack of protection, as mandated by state law, significantly contributed to the severity of the injuries. Suppose an attorney can recover medical evidence to prove this is true. In that case, the plaintiff’s settlement amount may be reduced by their percentage of fault according to Louisiana’s pure comparative fault laws. For this reason and more, consulting with a Shreveport personal injury attorney is always a good idea following a motor vehicle collision.

Motorcycle Accident Damages

Motorcycle accidents can result in a range of damages that can significantly impact the lives of victims. These damages may include:

  • Medical expenses,
  • Lost wages,
  • Property damage,
  • Pain and suffering,
  • Long-term disability,
  • Loss of consortium,
  • Scarring and disfigurement,
  • Funeral and burial expenses if the motorcycle crash results in wrongful death. Be sure to contact a Shreveport wrongful death attorney to learn more about the types of damages you could recover in a fatal motorcycle crash.

does louisiana have a motorcycle helmet law

Call Shreveport Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at Rice & Kendig

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle collision and has suffered a severe head injury or wrongful death, don’t hesitate to seek legal guidance from the experienced team at Rice & Kendig. Our Shreveport auto accident attorneys are dedicated to advocating for the rights of accident victims and helping them secure the fair settlement they deserve. With our in-depth knowledge of Louisiana motorcycle laws and extensive experience in handling personal injury cases, we are well-equipped to navigate the complexities of your case and fight for maximum compensation on your behalf. From investigating the accident scene to negotiating with insurance companies and representing you in court, we will provide compassionate and aggressive legal representation every step of the way. 

Contact Rice & Kendig today at 318-222-2772 to schedule a free consultation and take the first step toward obtaining the justice and compensation you deserve.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
1030 Kings Highway
Shreveport, Louisiana 71104
Office: 318-222-2772
Shreveport-Bossier City

© 2020 - 2024 Rice & Kendig, LLC. All rights reserved. This law firm
website and legal marketing are managed by MileMark Media.