Nevada Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Enacted in 1967 by the U.S. government, universal motorcycle helmet laws required all motorcycle riders and passengers to wear helmets. States had no choice but to uphold these new helmet laws or risk being disqualified from receiving highway safety funds. Twelve years later, Congress revoked the authority of the government to penalize states for noncompliance. As a result, states modified their motorcycle helmet laws to apply to novice or younger riders only.

Nevada Tries to Repeal State Helmet Laws in 2013

Nevada has had the same motorcycle helmet laws since 1972, which require motorcyclists and their passengers wear helmets at all times. For the seventh time in over 30 years, legislators did not push a bill through that would permit motorcyclists to operate motorcycles without wearing a helmet. Proponents of repealing Nevada’s helmet laws claim it is an issue of freedom of choice, while opponents say that county and government hospitals would suffer from absorbing high medical treatment costs due to serious motorcycle accidents.

Current Nevada Motorcycle Helmet Laws

According to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles: “motorcyclists and passengers In Nevada are required to wear helmets that meet standards set by the U.S. Department of Transportation”. Exceptions to this law are mopeds under 50 cc (less than 2 horsepower) that are incapable of exceeding 30 mph.

Additionally, motorcyclists and their passengers must wear protective glasses, face shields or goggles while riding. Drivers and passengers riding motorcycles equipped with windscreens do not need to wear protective glasses. However, they must still wear helmets.

U.S. Department of Transportation Motorcycle Helmet Standards

The NHTSA provides the following descriptions of motorcycle helmets that meet Federal safety standards:

  • Must have an inner liner made of firm polystyrene foam that is at least one-inch thick. Unsafe motorcycle helmets are lined with only soft padding or have no padding whatsoever.
  • Must have sturdy chin strips with secure rivets
  • Should weigh at least three pounds. Unsafe motorcycles helmets, according to the NHTSA, weigh less than one pound
  • Helmet components (decorations or spikes, for example) should not extend more than two-tenths of an inch from the helmet’s surface
  • Motorcycle helmets meeting FMVSS 218 standards should have a sticker affixed to the back of the helmet imprinted with “DOT”. This sticker certifies compliance with FMVSS 218 standards
  • Motorcycle helmet makers are required to put a label somewhere on the helmet that provides the manufacturer’s name, the helmet’s model type, materials used to make the helmet and year it was made. Helmets failing to meet federal safety standards will not have this kind of labeling.

Penalties for Not Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet in Nevada

Fines are similar to those incurred by speeding tickets or other traffic infractions and there is a two point penalty on the driver’s DMV record.

If 12 or more points are accumulated on the license within one year, the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles will automatically suspend ther driver’s license for six months. The DMV mails a letter advising that the license has been suspended. The suspension can be appealed through the Nevada’s Office of Administrative Hearings page. Nevada residents also have the option to reduce their driver’s license points by attending traffic school. 

Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Other Vehicles 

Motorcyclists are involved in accidents far more often than other motorists, and they are more likely to suffer severe or fatal injuries as a result of these accidents. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle drivers and passengers were killed 26 times more often than car occupants in 2013, based on the number of miles traveled.

Situational awareness is critical to the safety of the motorcycle driver, but even the most aware motorcycle driver can become the victim of the negligence of a driver of a 4 wheeled vehicle.

4 wheeled vehicle drivers are on the lookout for similar vehicles as their own and may not react to the presence of a motorcycle in their driving space. In many instances a 4 wheeled vehicle driver fails to yield to a motorcycle driver when legally required to do so.

Contact Eric Woods Law

At Eric Woods Law Offices in Las Vegas, we have helped many motorcyclists and others with their personal injury claims, and offer free initial consultations and there is no fee until we win your case. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle or other accident contact us to learn how we can help.