Georgia has strict helmet laws compared to other states. We all understand the reasoning: helmets save lives, and wearing a helmet can significantly decrease your chances of having a brain injury or spinal cord injury as well. Nonetheless, only 19 states in the U.S. require helmets at all times while you are on your motorcycle. Georgia is one of those states.
Regardless of whether it’s a legal requirement, wearing a helmet is a good idea for your safety as well. But, you can’t just wear any helmet—your helmet needs to meet specific requirements to comply with Georgia law.
Basic Helmet Requirements in Georgia
Georgia law requires that you always wear a helmet while on a motorcycle, regardless of whether you are driving or riding. But, your safety gear must follow particular standards developed under Georgia law.
The Georgia Commissioner of Public Safety sets out which helmets will be approved for use. Instead of providing a list of approved helmets, Georgia Department of Public Safety Rule 570-13 dictates that Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218 controls what kind of helmet you can wear.
What Are DOT Helmet Standards?
Look for a DOT sticker along with the manufacturer’s information, model number, and the words “FMVSS No. 218 CERTIFIED” on your helmet. This sticker is the easiest way that you can ensure that your helmet meets the DOT’s stringent standards under FMVSS 218. You can also tell that your helmet is safe if it has all of the following qualities:
- Thick Inner Liner
Helmets that meet the DOT standards have a one-inch thick polystyrene foam. Helmets that don’t have this foam will not be as think or contain a softer foam. Some may only have a plastic shell with no padding at all.
- Helmet Weight
Most helmets that comply with DOT standards will weigh about three pounds. Many unsafe helmets will weigh one pound or less.
- Chin Strap
Helmets hat comply with DOT standards must have sturdy chin straps. They should be riveted directly to the helmet so that they don’t easily break in an accident.
- Design and Style
Nothing should stick out from the helmet more than two-tenths of an inch. Some visors are allowed, but if other items are sticking out, then the helmet may be unsafe. Many helmets that comply have a full-face design.
Other Safety Requirements in Georgia
In addition to specific requirements for helmets, Georgia also has additional safety requirements as well. You must have one (or more) of these three qualities:
- An enclosed cab or motorized cart
- An eye-protective device approved by the commissioner of public safety
Although Georgia is much stricter about safety gear than other states, it does help decrease fatalities and severe injuries for every motorcyclist on the road.
Wearing your helmet is essential, but if you’re involved in a motorcycle accident without your helmet, you can often still start a legal claim for your damages and injuries. You may be able to recover money whether you had a helmet on or not.
John Foy & Associates can help you evaluate your legal options if you were injured in a motorcycle collision. Fill out the form to your right or call us at 404-400-4000 to get your FREE consultation today.