Massachusetts Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Every motorcycle driver in Massachusetts is required to wear a helmet while they’re on the road.
Written by Joshua Levy
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
law states that every motorcycle driver and passenger must wear a helmet while they are on their bike. This rule is considered universal in Massachusetts and does not come with any notable exceptions.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
claims that motorcycle accidents made up about 14% of traffic fatalities in 2019. In response to the dangerous nature of motorcycle use, most states have passed helmet laws that require motorcyclists to use protective gear when on the road.
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Do you have to wear a motorcycle helmet in Massachusetts?

Just like
motorcycle insurance
, helmets are mandatory in Massachusetts. Anyone driving or sitting on a moving motorcycle is required by law to wear a motorcycle helmet. 
Massachusetts also requires drivers to use protective eye gear if their motorcycle is not equipped with a windshield. The state law also includes a specific note for passengers in sidecars, who are also required to wear helmets and protective eye gear while on the road. 

Exceptions to Massachusetts’ motorcycle helmet law

The only exception to Massachusetts’ motorcycle helmet laws regards public parades.
The law specifically states that any motorcyclists over the age of 18 and taking part in a public parade may forego the helmet laws. Of course, that stipulation assumes that the public parade has state-issued permits and that law enforcement officials are aware of the event.

Penalties for breaking Massachusetts’ motorcycle helmet law

Massachusetts' motorcycle helmet law doesn’t have a set penalty. First offenses typically warrant smaller fines, while second offenses see an increase in the fine amount. Altogether, a single fine should only cost up to $100.

Why it’s important to wear a motorcycle helmet

While Massachusetts law enforcement can fine you for leaving your helmet at home, failing to wear the proper protective gear can have dire consequences.
Center for Disease Control (CDC)
claims that more than 1,850 motorcyclists escaped otherwise fatal injuries by wearing helmets in 2016. The CDC also states that 802 fatal accidents could have been avoided that same year had the drivers worn helmets. 
The NHTSA believes motorcycle helmet laws save hundreds of people every year in the United States. It’s been statistically proven that helmets are 37% effective for preventing driver fatalities and 41% effective for stopping passenger fatalities.
Helmets are one of the best tools motorcyclists have to defend themselves from injuries or even death on the road.
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