Delaware Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Motorcyclists in Delaware are legally required to have a helmet in their possession, and if they are under 19, they must wear a DOT-approved helmet.
Written by Maxine Boyko
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Under Delaware law, any motorcycle operator or passenger, regardless of age, is required to have a helmet in their possession. Every rider under the age of 19 is required to wear a DOT-approved helmet. 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
found that 5,014 motorcyclist fatalities in 2019 accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities in the US. To begin tackling high motorcyclist fatality rates, many states began adopting universal helmet laws in the 1960s. 
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Do you have to wear a motorcycle helmet in Delaware?

If you are under the age of 19, you are legally required to wear a
helmet when riding on or operating a motorcycle in Delaware. 
Regardless of age, every motorcycle passenger and operator is required to wear eye protection and have a helmet in their possession that satisfies transportation safety regulations. The NHTSA has a helpful guide for finding the
right motorcycle helmet

Exceptions to Delaware’s motorcycle helmet law

If you are 19 years of age or older, you are not legally required to wear a motorcycle helmet in Delaware. 
Vehicles similar in design to motorcycles may not be subject to following motorcycle helmet law. If you are riding a motorized scooter, a bicycle helmet is considered adequate protection.
Additionally, if you are 17 years of age or older and ride a two-wheeled moped, you must meet either of the following two conditions to be exempt from Delaware’s helmet law: 
  • The moped must have a displacement of less than 55 cc or 
  • The moped must have an electric motor rated between 751 and 2,000 watts. 

Penalties for breaking Delaware’s motorcycle helmet law

While there are no fixed penalties for breaking motorcycle helmet laws, first-time offenders under 18 years of age and younger could face a $25 to $115 fine

Why it’s important to wear a motorcycle helmet

If you’re going to ride a motorcycle, it’s important to strap on a helmet! Wearing a helmet not only shields you from fines but also helps prevent injuries and death if you’re involved in a crash.
According to the NHTSA, for every mile traveled in 2013, the number of motorcyclist deaths was 26 times the amount of fatal car accidents. Further research found that wearing a helmet is 37% effective in preventing death and 67% effective in preventing brain trauma in motorcycle accidents.
In Delaware alone, motorcycle deaths accounted for 11.8% of all traffic accident fatalities in 2016. According to the
, helmets reduce the risk of brain injury from motorcycle accidents by 69 percent and fatalities by 37 percent. If you’re a motorcyclist, donning appropriate head protection is the best way to significantly decrease your risk of injury or death.

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