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Connecticut Helmet Laws

February 26, 2024Articles

Like most states, Connecticut has laws in place for riders of motorcycles and bicycles. These laws help reduce the risk of severe or fatal injuries in an accident. The open-air, two-wheeled design of bicycles and motorcycles makes for an exhilarating ride but also places riders at risk of severe injuries in an accident—especially in a collision with a car or truck. Wearing an appropriate helmet for a motorcycle or bicycle ride provides substantial protection from head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and fatality in an accident.

If you plan to head out on the open roadway on a motorcycle or wish to use a bicycle to ride to work, school, or community activities, it’s important to understand Connecticut’s helmet laws, not only to avoid a traffic citation and fine, but to protect yourself from injury, disability, or death.

Key Facts About Helmet Safety in Connecticut

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle helmet use saved over 25,000 lives between 2002 and 2017 alone. Helmets successfully prevent 37% of injuries to motorcycle operators and 41% of injuries to motorcycle passengers.


A bicyclist’s safety also improves substantially with the use of a bicycle helmet. When examining statistics from the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, it’s clear that the fatality rate in bicycle accidents is about four times greater for unhelmeted cyclists compared to helmeted ones. About 74% of bicyclists’ deaths involve head injuries. Unsurprisingly, 92% of bicyclists’ deaths occurred due to collisions with motor vehicles.

What Are Connecticut’s Helmet Laws for Motorcyclists?

Connecticut does not require adult motorcyclists to wear helmets, although doing so is strongly recommended by the NHTSA. In Connecticut, the law compels only minors to wear a helmet. Both motorcycle operators and passengers under the age of 18 must wear helmets to ride a motorcycle legally in Connecticut. While some states require adult riders to have a specific amount of insurance coverage in place in order to ride legally without a helmet, Connecticut has no such requirement.

Helmet laws in Connecticut state that all motorcyclists who are minors must wear “protective headgear” and that the helmet must fit snugly and conform to the correct specifications. Helmets with a DOT sticker on the back indicate that they are approved by the Department of Transportation. Most motorcycle helmets sold in Connecticut and throughout the United States are approved by the DOT, but some novelty helmets sold by retailers do not meet the approved standards.

What are the Bicycle Helmet Laws in Connecticut?

Connecticut’s bike helmet laws vary slightly from the state’s motorcycle helmet laws. Connecticut does not require adult cyclists to wear helmets if they are over the age of 15, but all those under 15 years old must wear bicycle helmets. The same law applies to roller skating, skateboard riding, and motorized scooters. Riders 15 years old and older do not have to wear a helmet, though it’s strongly advised by medical experts.

The only exception to the state’s lack of helmet laws for adult riders is the requirement for e-bikes. All riders and passengers on e-bikes must wear helmets regardless of their age.

Failing to wear a helmet in Connecticut when required by law not only leaves riders vulnerable to traffic citations and fines, as well as severe injuries, but it also may make it difficult to recover compensation after a bicycle accident in New Haven involving an at-fault driver if the injuries could have been prevented by the appropriate use of a helmet.