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  • Writer's pictureAlex Maltese

Do You Remove a Motorcycle Helmet in an Accident in NY?

The key advice to anyone wondering if they should remove a motorcycle in an accident is not to remove it unless necessary. If the victim is conscious, people may assist them in removing the neck strap to make breathing easier.

Removing a person's helmet while they are unconscious requires two people. Additionally, it should only be performed if it is necessary to get access to the person's face and ensure their airway is clear. If someone has been in a car accident, trying to take off their helmet alone could endanger them and make their injuries worse.

In general, removing a victim’s helmet is not recommended unless someone knows the correct way to do it. The victim might be at risk of getting paralyzed if this is done incorrectly.

Motorcycle Helmet Law in NY

Motorcycle Helmet Laws in New York

It's essential to take precautions when riding a motorbike. As stated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, head injuries are the main cause of serious injury and death in motorcycle accidents. This includes a one person accident, like a high side motorcycle crash. The correct type of motorcycle helmet is 67% effective in preventing significant brain injury and 29% successful in preventing a head injury that would otherwise be fatal.

According to the New York motorcycle helmet laws, all riders and their passengers must wear helmets, no matter their age or level of experience. Additionally, the laws demand that helmets must comply with the requirements outlined in section 571.218 of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety rules.

The minimum requirements for motorcycle helmets in New York include the following:

  • Firstly, the DOT symbol, which can be seen between 1 and 3 inches from the helmet's bottom, should be present. It signifies that the helmet has received approval from the Department of Transportation.

  • There must be no hard projections inside and outside the helmet's shell that stick out further than 0.2 inches.

  • The helmet should have a continuous, curving surface of protection.

  • Peripheral vision should be clear.

New York helmet regulations were established for the benefit of motorcycle riders and their passengers' safety. Helmets, when worn correctly, can reduce the risk of death for the rider, minimize the severity of a head injury, and lower the amount of post-accident medical treatment required.

According to the U.S. General Accounting Office, motorcycle riders who wear helmets have a death rate that is up to 73% lower than those who don't.

What Should Injured Motorcyclists Know?

Motorcycle accident victims in New York City could choose to work with a motorcycle accident law firm in Long Island to learn their legal options because not all injuries are avoided by wearing a helmet. In some circumstances, injured motorcycle riders can claim compensation for their accident-related expenses, lost wages, and other losses.

Things That a Person Should Do at the Site of a Motorcycle Accident

  • Make an emergency 911 call immediately.

  • Examine whether it is safe to approach the injured individual.

  • Use visual, verbal, and physical means to determine whether the victim is conscious or unconscious.

  • Examine, listen, and look for normal breathing.

  • Roll the victim onto their back, take off their full-face helmet, and start performing trained CPR if the airway is blocked. Start with 30 chest compressions and then two breaths (30:2).

Replace Helmet after Accident

Should a Person Replace a Motorcycle Helmet after an Accident?

A motorcycle helmet can incur substantial yet invisible damage from even a small accident. If a helmet was involved in a collision, say from lane filtering on your motorcycle, it should be thrown away because small dings and scratches don't show problems inside the padding that serves as protection.

As mentioned by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, there is a good chance that the helmet partially absorbed the impact shock if the head contacted anything during the accident. This can seriously affect the helmet's performance in case of another accident.

When in doubt, it's usually best to just buy a new helmet. Most helmet manufacturers are happy to examine a damaged helmet and repair things. However, this might not be the best option.

The same holds true if a helmet falls from a great height or the back of a moving car. It's likely that either the interior or the exterior has seen some damage, and it should be replaced to be safe.


Every state has different laws about motorcycle helmets and how that affects a motorcycle accident settlement vs. an insurance claim. Motorcycle helmet restrictions are strictly enforced in New York City, and it is uncommon for an injured rider to receive compensation if a helmet was not worn.


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