Why Are Motorcycle Helmets So Controversial

4 comments

Why are motorcycle helmets so controversial

If you’ve been around motorcycle culture a while, I’m sure you’ve heard things like “let those who ride decide”, “my life, my choice”, or “I know someone who was injured because they were wearing a helmet”.

But if you ask most bikers if they think wearing a helmet offers protection, most will agree they do – and not only from crashes but from weather as well.

And when someone asks if they think a child should wear a helmet when riding, it’s almost always a yes.  Teens?  A big thumbs up for them as well. 

But once someone hits 18, that’s when opinions start to shift. It’s probably because a lot of us served in the military. And if you’re old enough to make the decision to put your life on the line for your country, you’re also old enough to make your own decisions when it comes to wearing a helmet.

Given that everyone agrees helmets provide protection, why are so many seemingly so dead set against wearing them as an adult? 

The truth is, it’s not about the “wearing” of the helmet. It’s about there being laws REQUIRING you wear a helmet when you ride.

The vast majority of motorcycle riders are freedom-lovers who don’t want the government saying what they can or can’t do. They believe as an adult you’re capable of making decisions for yourself, while also being responsible for the safety of children in your care. Teach them how to be safe and then, when they become an adult, let them make their own decisions.

 Even so, helmet laws rule the land. In every one of the 50 states but three (Iowa, Illinois, and New Hampshire) there are age requirements on riders who need to wear a helmet. In Washington State, RCW 46.37.530 mandates that all riders must wear a motorcycle helmet and eye protection when riding, along with other restrictions. Click the link to read the entire RCW 46.37.530 

Because states have been enacting laws affecting motorcyclists, organizations like A.B.A.T.E., which originally stood for A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments, have come into being. A.B.A.T.E is one of the SMRO’s (State Motorcyclists’ Rights Organizations) that are dedicated to influencing legislation in the best interest of motorcycle riders within their state.

What’s your thinking on motorcycle helmet laws? Leave a comment below.

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4 comments


  • Andrew Wilford

    This article sums up my opinion well. I’m an adult, let me live or die by my decision. I have the same opinion of seatbelt laws.


  • JC Colon

    Last year, Mar 24,2021,I bought a VT 1300 Stateline, my first bike since 2004. Apr. 10, 2021, 2 weeks later, car pulls out of parking lot in front of me. Totalled my bike, gave me a concussion. I have No Memory of the accident or of a lot of things that happened the rest of that day! Put me out of work for 9 weeks. I was wearing a DOT Helmet at the time. If I didn’t have one on, my brains would have been all over the street. And I had not reached 20mph. I had just left a stop sign.
    I replaced the bike. I would not have been able to replace my brains. Helmets Save Lives! And they need to be up the DOT Standards!


  • John Crosby

    I once downed my bike and if I didn’t have my full face helmet on, I wouldn’t have much of a face, also my jacket and riding boots also protected me.


  • Robert Edwards

    There’s a simple test anyone can do to let you know if you should wear a helmet.
    Step 1 Without a helmet on get down on your hands and knees.
    Step 2 Hit your head real hard on the pavement or floor.
    If it hurts or you get a concussion you should wear a helmet.
    Glad I can help.


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