Arizona’s Helmet Laws


Do you ride a motorcycle or ATV in Arizona? Do you wear a helmet regularly? Are you aware of Arizona helmet laws? The situation can be confusing because there is no national standard. If you move around the country, you could be breaking a law in one state but cross that state line and then you could be in compliance.

Across the United States, there are 3 conditions regarding helmets and riding on motorcycles, ATVs and scooters e.g. nineteen states have an all-rider helmet law, two states have no helmet laws and the other states have limited helmet laws, usually centered on the age of the rider.

If you or someone you know was injured in a motorcycle accident, speak with a personal injury lawyer today. You may be entitled to compensation and at JacksonWhite we offer a free case review, so you have nothing to lose. Give us a call at (480) 467-4392 or fill out a form online and get your case heard today!

Arizona helmet law states that all riders, either operator or passenger who is under 18 years of age, must wear a protective helmet that is secured while riding an ATV, motorcycle, scooter and most other small vehicles. Recently, Bill 2052 was introduced that would mandate everyone wear a helmet who rides these vehicles, but it did not pass despite a concerted effort on behalf of the health community.

How Prevalent are Injuries and Death?

Unfortunately, Arizona helmet law or helmet use is not always accepted by every motorcycle rider. The statistics are clear; helmets save lives. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute, helmets prevent death in 37% of accidents and brain injury in 67% of the cases.

These statistics are gathered on a national basis and reflect the three different conditions under which people ride motorcycles with reference to helmet use. Motorcycle accident-related deaths declined since their peak in the 1980s but then again rose from 1998 to 2008. How prevalent is the issue? In 2015, 13% of deaths in all crashes involved a motorcycle, and that was more than double the number in 1997.

Astoundingly, 41% of the fatal crashes involved just the one vehicle itself whereas 59% involved more than 1 vehicle! So the argument that you are a safe rider and it’s all those other people who are dangerous is not necessarily true. Even when you are out there on the road by yourself, the situation is dangerous due to road conditions, visibility, greater speed due to more powerful bikes and a host of other conditions.

Age Matters

In the 1980s, only 3% of the deaths caused by a motorcycle were people older than 50 years old. But that trend is changing. In 2015, that number rose to 30%. This is probably due to the fact that there are older riders out there on the roads. Some would argue that older riders are safer because they have had more experience on the road. But death of riders on ATVs older than 40 has increased to 43% from 9% in the 80s.

Helmets Matter

In 2012, the Government Accountability Office reported that in states that do not demand everyone wear a helmet, 59% of those killed did not wear a helmet. However, in states that insist on helmet use, only 8% killed did not wear a helmet.

With all these statistics, the question may arise why some still don’t wear a helmet and break the Arizona helmet law. Many motorcyclists like the feel and freedom of not wearing a helmet. A helmet not only restricts the feeling of the wind and sun, it cuts down on the roar of the engine.

Helmets have blind spots, so the rider constantly uses the mirrors or look around to get a proper vision. This can be dangerous in crowded areas. In addition, many feel that they do not want to be legislated into more restrictive practices and it is a matter of life and liberty.

Where You Ride Matters

Almost half of the fatalities while riding a motorcycle in 2015 occurred on the interstates or highways and with more in the urban areas at 49% than in the rural area at 41%. 73% of ATV riders who died on roads were in rural areas. A sudden death or serious injury in a family is tragic, often affecting every family member for a lifetime. But the impact does not stop at the family level. Across the states, the economic impact is calculated as a 12.9 billion loss with $66 billion in societal harm. If all motorcyclists would wear helmets, a saving of $8 billion could be achieved.

Bicycle Helmet Laws in Arizona

Helmets are not required state-wide but in many of the larger cities, such as Tuscon, Flagstaff and Sierra Vista; and some counties, such as Yuma and Pima, have laws that insist anyone under 18 years old must wear a helmet. Fines can range from $25 to $75; but if you do obtain a helmet, the fine may be excused. It should be noted that most clubs and organizations encourage all their members to wear helmets.

Across the United States,s 21 states have mandatory laws for wearing a helmet for children but 14 states have no laws about wearing bicycle helmets.

Snowmobile Helmet Laws in Arizona

The laws for wearing helmets when riding a snowmobile are very similar to motorcycles. Anyone under 18 years old must wear a helmet. In Arizona, if you are 18 or over, Arizona helmet law states that you can choose whether to wear a helmet or not. Consider the statistics the next time you go for a ride.

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