New Jersey Helmet Laws

Jeff Varcadipane

February 22, 2022

New Jersey Helmet Laws

Motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to die in a crash than people in enclosed vehicles. That means motorcyclists are by far the most vulnerable drivers on the road, and wearing a helmet should be non-negotiable. Here is an overview of New Jersey’s helmet laws, and if you suffered injuries, contact our law firm about a possible motorcycle accident claim.

Wearing a Helmet is the Law in New Jersey

Some people assert that wearing a helmet can reduce your peripheral vision, but a study of almost 1,000 motorcycle accidents found that there were zero incidents in which the driver’s line of sight was reduced by his or her helmet. Statute PL 39:3-76.7 requires wearing a helmet on a motorcycle in New Jersey.

Jersey bikers must wear DOT-approved helmets. FMVSS #218 establishes minimum performance requirements for motorcycle helmets. They include:

  • A one-inch thick interior liner
  • A sturdy chinstrap
  • Nothing protruding more than ⅕ inch from the exterior surface

Look out for fake DOT-certified helmets because they are not uncommon. Authentic DOT helmets have a DOT sticker, but those can be counterfeit. If the helmet weighs less than 3 pounds, it’s probably not DOT-approved. Finally, safety can increase if your helmet has a full face shield (although not required by law). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says they’ve yet to see a counterfeit helmet with a full face protector.

Motorcycle Crash Statistics from the State of New Jersey reports the following eye-opening stats:

  • In 2016, there were over 2,000 motorcycle-involved accidents in New Jersey, resulting in 69 fatalities.
  • From 2013-2017, if you were in a motorcycle accident in New Jersey, there was an 82% chance of you suffering a personal injury.
  • Between 2012 and 2016, there have been almost 12,000 collisions in New Jersey that involved motorcycles.
  • In the Garden State, about 1/4 of motorcycle fatalities involved drivers who were not properly licensed to operate a motorcycle.
  • 1/4 of deadly motorcycle crashes cited speeding as a contributing factor.
  • In 2017, 1/3 of motorcycle fatalities involved intoxicated drivers.

Motorcycle Safety Tips 

Ever seen someone riding a motorcycle in hot weather just wearing shorts and a tank top? Helmets are not the only protective gear you need to wear out on your motorcycle. Long pants and long sleeves are the minimum. Tall, sturdy boots, gloves, and a padded, reflective motorcycle jacket like the ones made by Alpinestars are even better. 

Statistics show 3/4 of motorcycle crashes are caused by the other motorist not seeing the motorcycle. Remember that rear view mirrors are also required by law. About half of motorcycle crashes occur in intersections, so always make eye contact and use hand signals (when applicable). It goes without saying: don’t exceed the speed limit! Wear “traffic safe” colors too. Furthermore, check the weather before a long road trip. Avoid rainy, snowy, foggy, stormy days for maximum safety.

Seek Help from a New Jersey Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Even though motorcyclists are constantly being told to “be seen” by other drivers for their own safety, the fact is that it is the responsibility of other drivers to see you. If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle crash in New Jersey, Varcadipane & Pinnisi can help. Set up your no-cost, no-obligation consultation today.

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