Hawaii Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Under Hawaii law, motorcycle riders under 18 are required to wear a helmet while riding.
Written by Michelle Ballestrasse
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
law only stipulates that motorcycle and motor scooter riders under the age of 18 are required to wear helmets with chin straps. 
Motorcycle accidents comprised a significant percentage—around 14%—of all traffic fatalities in 2019, as reported by the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
. And this has been the case for several decades. In an effort to combat these statistics, states across the country have been passing motorcycle helmet laws of varying stringency since the 1960s.
Hawaii is one such state, although it can be argued that its laws aren’t as strict or comprehensive as other states. To help you understand Hawaii’s laws, the exceptions therein, and the statistics that made them necessary,
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Do you have to wear a motorcycle helmet in Hawaii?

In Hawaii, if you’re 18 years old or younger, you must wear a motorcycle helmet while riding a motorcycle. Riders over the age of 18, however, can choose whether or not to wear a helmet. 
In addition, if the motorcycle does not have a windshield, riders are required to wear protective eye gear or face shields.

Exceptions to Hawaii’s motorcycle helmet law

The exceptions to
Hawaii’s motorcycle helmet law
apply to any motorcycle or motor scooter that:
  •      Has three wheels
  •      Is powered by an electric motor
  •      Has a roll bar, roll cage, or full-body enclosed cab
  •      Has a seatbelt assembly or a child restraint system for the driver and passenger

Penalties for breaking Hawaii’s motorcycle helmet law

Violating Hawaii’s motorcycle helmet law will result in a fine not to exceed $1,000

Why it’s important to wear a motorcycle helmet

Regardless of Hawaii’s laws pertaining to the use of motorcycle helmets, wearing one isn’t just a way to stave off a potential fine. It can mean the difference between life and death.
Motorcycles don’t offer the same sort of external protection that a car offers. In any sort of car crash, the body of the car takes the brunt of the impact. In a motorcycle accident, the rider is the one who takes on that force. And trauma to the head can easily be fatal—or just as easily avoided by wearing a DOT-approved helmet.
It’s estimated that the laws passed since the 1960s have helped to significantly reduce the number of motorcyclists killed in accidents, as well as put fewer unhelmeted riders on the road. This is especially true in states that have universal helmet laws, which unfortunately, Hawaii does not.
This is why, in 2019 alone, unhelmeted riders made up 74% of Hawaii’s
motorcyclist fatalities
. In states with universal helmet laws, that percentage is typically around 9%.

How to find affordable car and motorcycle insurance

If you’re looking for motorcycle insurance that not only handles damage to your bike but can also cover any medical expenses incurred by a traffic accident-related injury,
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Motorcycle insurance can’t guarantee that you’ll stay safe on the road—only common sense from both riders and other drivers can do that. But you can ride knowing that whatever the road may bring you, Jerry will be there to help get you back on your feet.  
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