District of Columbia Helmet Laws

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In Washington D.C., it is illegal for anyone to operate or ride a motorcycle without wearing a DOT-approved protective helmet. Both riders and passengers must also wear eye protection.
Riding a motorcycle can be a great way to take in the sights in our nation’s capital—but it can also be dangerous and costly if you’re not wearing a proper helmet and eye protection. That’s why
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has gathered everything you need to know to be in compliance with helmet laws in D.C.—and what can happen if you’re not. (Bonus: We'll tell you how to get reduced Washington, D.C. insurance costs!)
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Do you have to wear a motorcycle helmet in Washington DC?

Yes. All riders and passengers on motorcycles are required to wear a helmet at all times.

Exceptions to Washington DC’s motorcycle helmet law

There are no exemptions to Washington D.C.’s helmet requirement. All riders and passengers must wear helmets at all times.
Unlike many other states, Washington D.C. does not exempt riders of mopeds and scooters from its helmet law.

Penalties for breaking Washington DC’s helmet law

Failure to comply with Washington D.C.’s universal helmet law is punishable by a fine in an amount as determined by a court.

Why it’s important to wear a motorcycle helmet

Helmets save lives
One of the main reasons motorcyclists choose to ride is to experience the thrill of the open road without the restrictions of a metal cage. But that metal cage offers a great deal of protection motorcycle riders find themselves without.
For most riders, the only thing between them and the pavement is some leather and that helmet, so rather than worrying about the fine you might get for not wearing it, think about the greater consequences if you get into an accident without one.
According to the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
, motorcycle accidents were responsible for about 14% of all traffic fatalities in 2019—and of those fatalities that occurred in states without universal helmet laws, 57% of motorcyclists killed were not wearing helmets
The data support that helmets not only help save lives but also reduce head injuries, which can have lasting and debilitating consequences of their own. Wearing a motorcycle helmet in Washington D.C. is more than just the law—it could save your life.

How to find affordable car and motorcycle insurance

Wearing a motorcycle helmet is the easiest way to protect yourself while riding your motorcycle. Downloading the
app is the easiest way to protect yourself from high insurance premiums and the expenses that come with traffic accidents.
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