Motorcycle Helmet Laws Worldwide

The topic of universal motorcycle helmet laws is a hot one all over the world, but how do we deal with this issue? Continue reading to learn more about motorcycle helmet laws around the world, whether you only ride local or abroad, or if you’re simply curious to know how other countries are helping their motorcyclists stay safe.

Wearing a motorcycle helmet correctly can reduce the risk of death by almost 40% and the risk of severe injury by over 70%. The effectiveness of motorcycle helmets in reducing head injuries is in part a result of the quality of the helmets. Requiring helmets to meet a recognized safety standard is important to ensure that helmets can effectively reduce the impact of a collision to the head in the event of a crash. Almost three-quarter (71%) of countries worldwide have helmet laws that are comprehensive in scope i.e. that require both drivers and passengers of motorized two-wheelers to wear helmets on all roads and regardless of engine type. However, helmet standards are lacking in many countries, thus calling into question the ability of a law on helmet-wearing to achieve its purpose. Taken together these findings mean that only 40% (n=70) of countries have comprehensive helmet laws and require helmets to meet a specific standard.

This World Map reflects a study conducted by WHO (World Health Organisation), and will you a quick overview of what’s happening around the world on this subject.

CLICK MAP TO ENLARGE

Research supports the use of Helmets

Whether or not there’s a legal requirement to wear a helmet while you ride, it’s important to note that research has proven that there are fewer serious injuries and fatalities when riders get into accidents while wearing a helmet. And with so many great styles to choose from, and price ranges to suit any budget, there really is no reason to not purchase and wear a helmet you love.

As you can see, many countries have already enacted legal requirements for the use of helmets while riding a motorcycle. Unfortunately, the United States and a few others, have fallen a bit behind, with some countries not requiring universal helmet laws to be set into place.

Source: World Health Organization

Hein Jonker

Founder of the Motorcycle Safety Institute of South Africa
Editor in Chief of Bike Talk South Africa
Chief Instructor of Bike Talk Motorcycle Rider Academy
Motorcycle Safety & Skills Expert for Arrive Alive South Africa

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