Mississippi Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Motorcycle helmets are required by state law for anyone operating a motorcycle or motor scooter on public roads and highways in Mississippi.
Written by Pat Roache
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
law requires all individuals driving or riding a motorcycle or motor scooter on public roads or highways to wear a DOT-certified motorcycle helmet. 
In 2019, motorcycle accidents made up 14% of all traffic-related fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Since the 1960s, motorcycle helmet laws have been passed in state legislation to help lower risk and overall fatalities
This article covers everything you need to know about Mississippi’s motorcycle helmet law. Enjoy the road safely by learning what’s expected of you and the penalties for not wearing your helmet in the Magnolia State.

Do you have to wear a motorcycle helmet in Mississippi?

Yes—any person operating or riding a motorcycle or motor scooter on a public road or highway in Mississippi must wear a motorcycle helmet that complies with the NHTSA minimum requirements.
To know if your motorcycle helmet meets NHTSA standards, check for the manufacturer's “DOT label,” which signifies compliance.

Exceptions to Mississippi motorcycle helmet law

Mississippi has no driver-based exceptions to its motorcycle helmet law, meaning everyone is held to the law regardless of age, experience, insurance status, and so on. However, the state does allow exceptions for motorcyclists who are 18 years or older driving below 30 MPH in a parade.
The law also excludes autocycles, which are technically in the motorcycle family but have the following differences in their design:
  • Three wheels instead of two
  • Seatbelts
  • Steering wheel
  • Seats that do not require straddling

Penalties for breaking Mississippi’s motorcycle helmet law

Failure to follow Mississippi’s helmet law is deemed a misdemeanor punishable by up to $100 in fines and ten days in jail for the first offense. Second offenses merit fines of up to $200 and imprisonment for up to 20 days, and any subsequent offense within a year is punishable by up to $500 in fines and up to six months of jail time.

Why it’s important to wear a motorcycle helmet

Motorcycle helmets reduce your chances of head injury by 69% and your risk of death by 42%. As you can see, wearing a motorcycle helmet does much more than save you from run-ins with the law.
Does the name “Lawrence of Arabia” ring a bell? The famed British officer and diplomat died in a motorcycle accident when he wasn’t wearing a helmet. Of course, the advantage of motorcycle helmets wasn’t clear in 1935, but after this high-profile accident, neurologist Hugh Cairns took up the torch on research to help reduce the evident risk.
Motorcycle helmet laws save hundreds of lives a year, according to NHTSA estimations. While states with these laws only see 9% of motorcyclists failing to wear a helmet, states without these laws see a rate of 57%.
Even with its strict motorcycle helmet laws, in 2019, Mississippi was statistically the most dangerous state for motorcyclists—14.57 deaths for every 10,000 motorcycles registered. Many of the accidents that caused these fatalities are believed to have been caused by the recklessness of other drivers. At least wearing a helmet is in your control.

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Protecting yourself with a motorcycle helmet is priority number one. Next up? Protect your motorcycle with the right insurance with a bit of help from insurance super app
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