Missouri Motorcycle Helmet Law Update

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How often do you see motorcyclists riding without a helmet on our Kansas City roads? Knowing the potential hazards of riding a motorcycle, some might assume that wearing a motorcycle helmet is mandated by law. But it is not, not in every state. Do you know what the Missouri motorcycle helmet law is? Are motorcyclists required to wear a helmet?

The answer is no, not everyone is required to wear a helmet in the state of Missouri.

Under a revised law, which took effect in 2020, only two classes of motorcyclists are required to wear a helmet:

  • Motorcyclists 25 years and younger
  • Motorcyclists issued an instruction permit, regardless of their age

If you are over the age of 26 and have health insurance, you are not legally required to drive or ride with a helmet on. However, your health insurance must be capable of covering your medical expenses in the event of a motorcycle accident head injury. The age and health insurance exceptions only apply to fully licensed drivers.

Questions? Call us at (877) 284-6600, Chat Online or use our Text Us widget.

Missouri: No More Universal Helmet Law

Prior to this change in law, Missouri had a universal helmet law, which required all motorcyclists and their passengers to wear a helmet.

Now that Missouri no longer has a universal helmet law, the state’s police and highway patrol cannot pull you over simply for not wearing a helmet. This means Missouri is no longer a primary enforcement state.

As a secondary enforcement state, Missouri police and highway patrol can only issue a citation for violating a helmet law if they stop you for another violation.

For example, if you get pulled over for a traffic violation, the officer can issue a citation for not wearing a helmet if the motorcyclist is 25 years or younger or has an instruction permit.

Officers cannot stop a motorcyclist simply for failing to wear a helmet.

Effects of the Missouri Motorcycle Helmet Law

  • In Missouri, the number of helmetless motorcycle accident deaths went up 800% during the year after repealing the universal helmet law.
  • According to the Department of Transportation, motorcycle fatalities across the state increased by 33% in 2021 (YTD as of July 8, 2021).
  • The number of helmetless riders killed in crashes increased from two in the first six months of 2020 to 31 at that point in 2021.

READ: A year later: Missouri Affected by scaled-back motorcycle helmet regulations

READ: Missouri Motorcyclists See Big Spike in Deaths After 2020 Helmet Law Repeal 

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Should you wear a motorcycle helmet?

Should You Wear a Helmet?

Wearing a helmet just makes good sense; however, some feel it is an infringement on their rights. Others believe it will keep them safer and more protected.

If you are in an accident, wearing a motorcycle helmet can show you took precautions to be safe and avoid injuries. That may make a difference in a state like Missouri that uses comparative negligence to allocate damages.

Comparative negligence means an insurance claims adjustor or jury can reduce your accident settlement if you are deemed to have played a role in your injuries. So, if you are found to be 10% at fault, the judge will award you 90% of the settlement instead of 100%.


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Consult an attorney experienced in handling motorcycle accidents.

Serious injuries occur in motorcycle accidents, some of which may not show up until weeks after an accident occurs. These injuries can be life-altering and a financial drain. When you have been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident due to another’s negligence, you need an experienced motorcycle accident attorney.

Contact the law office of Nash & Franciskato at (877) 284-6600 for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your case. One of our attorneys will speak with you personally.



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