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Am I Required to Wear a Helmet While Riding a Motorcycle in New Hampshire?

Kenison Law Office, PLLC Oct. 4, 2023

The legalities of helmet-wearing in New Hampshire have undergone some change in the past decade. Where once protective gear was an essential part of a motorcyclist’s kit, the state statutes are now more flexible. That said, there are some limitations as to how motorcyclists can take to the road.

Before you take your bike out for the season, you need to know what expectations New Hampshire has of you. If you are found in violation of these expectations, you may endure fines and misdemeanor jail time.

New Hampshire Laws Addressing Motorcycle Helmets

As of 2015, the New Hampshire statute applying to the use of helmets and eyewear while on a motorcycle underwent significant change. Specifically, New Hampshire wrote into law that any motorcyclist under the age of 18 was legally required to wear eyewear and a helmet when on the road.

The legislation regarding adult motorcyclists, however, remains flexible. The state only encourages its adult motorcyclists to wear motorcycle helmets. Doing so is not legally required. As such, adult motorcyclists cannot be pulled over for lack of essential protective gear, including eyewear.

However, an adult motorcyclist riding with a passenger visibly under the age of 18 who is not wearing the appropriate protective gear may face a roadway ticket.

Fines for Refusing to Wear Motorcycle Helmets

New Hampshire has established fines that it will level against any young adult motorcyclist operating a motorcycle without the appropriate protective gear. Specifically, any motorcyclist under the age of 18 found without a helmet will face fines of up to $43.20. The same fine applies to any rider found without the appropriate eyewear. 

The Perks of Wearing Safety Gear

While safety gear may not be essential for motorcyclists over the age of 18, the use of it can still benefit you—and in more than one way. For starters, gear like a helmet and eyewear help ensure that you protect yourself from harm in the face of an accident. Any injuries you sustained in a motorcycle accident should be less severe if you have the appropriate protective gear on hand.

What’s more, the use of this protective gear can limit your liability if you face a dispute regarding accident fault. If you have a helmet and eyewear on at the time your accident occurs, you can more accurately claim that another party owns the responsibility for your roadway losses.

Protect Yourself From Motorcycle Accidents Today

It is in your best interest to be as safe as possible while on the road. If, for example, you get into a motorcycle accident and aren’t wearing the appropriate protective gear, you and your loved ones could face devastating consequences. That said, New Hampshire law is flexible in terms of who it requires to wear a motorcycle helmet and who it does not.

If you have questions about New Hampshire’s motorcycle laws or need a consultation after an accident, you can contact Kenison Law Office today. Give us a call or fill out our contact form below.