North Carolina Motorcycle Helmet Law

motorcycle helmet law in north Carolina

Traveling by motorcycle in North Carolina is an increasingly popular way to get around the Tar Heel State. Unfortunately, more motorcycles on the road can lead to more motorcycle accidents, often caused by careless drivers or poor road conditions. In addition, because motorcyclists have little protection in a crash, they are at greater risk of serious injury. This is why North Carolina has laws to keep motorcyclists safe on the road, the most important being its motorcycle helmet law.

Unfortunately, motorcyclists are susceptible to serious head injuries in an accident, resulting in severe or fatal consequences. Because motorcycle operators are at high risk of suffering catastrophic injuries in an accident, wearing a helmet is crucial to increasing the likelihood of surviving a crash.

If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident that someone else caused, you might be owed compensation for the harm you suffered. At Kreger Brodish LLP, we are committed to providing outstanding service and aggressive advocacy to every client. For over a decade, our legal team has protected the rights of injury victims across North Carolina. Let us help you seek the total and fair compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact our office for a free case review with a motorcycle accident lawyer to learn more about your legal options.

North Carolina Motorcycle Accident Statistics

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), motorcycles represent about two percent of registered vehicles statewide, but motorcyclists account for nearly 10 percent of all traffic fatalities. The NCDOT reported more than 3,400 motorcycle accidents statewide in one recent year. Of these, 182 resulted in deaths, and 2,684 resulted in injuries. Overall, 176 motorcyclists were killed, and 2,805 were injured statewide.

Although helmets and mandatory helmet laws save lives, there continue to be fatal motorcycle accidents on North Carolina’s roads each year. These collisions are often caused by careless motorists, poor road conditions, or bad weather. Therefore, wearing a helmet is one of the most critical steps to protect yourself.

What Are the Motorcycle Helmet Requirements in NC?

North Carolina’s universal motorcycle helmet law requires all motorcyclists and passengers to wear helmets when the motorcycle is in operation, regardless of age or experience. A helmet must be properly secured to a rider’s head and meet the minimum performance requirements set by federal regulations. To comply with these requirements, a motorcycle helmet must have a:

  • Thick inner liner – A motorcycle helmet must have a firm inner liner made of polystyrene foam with a thickness of about one inch. Sometimes, this inner liner is covered with a comfort liner. However, the inner liner’s thickness should still be noticeable. Helmets that do not comply with this requirement often have a thin, soft foam padding or no liner at all.
  • DOT sticker – All motorcycle helmets that comply with state and federal laws will have the “DOT” symbol permanently installed by the manufacturer on the back of the helmet. A helmet that comes with a separate DOT sticker is not compliant. DOT stickers purchased separately and then placed on a helmet are not valid under the law.
  • Manufacturer’s label – A helmet that meets required safety standards will have a permanently attached label inside the helmet. The label will include the manufacturer’s name or identification, the precise model of the helmet, the size, the date of manufacture, the type of materials used in the construction of the shell and liner, and an instruction label for cleaning and care of the helmet.

Motorists who violate the motorcycle helmet law in North Carolina will be subject to fines of up to $25.50 plus court costs.