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Overview of Minnesota helmet laws for motorcyclists

For the last few weeks, motorcyclists all over Minnesota have probably been clearing out space in the garage to store their motorcycle for the winter. With fall well underway and winter looming close, the weather in Minnesota is going to take a turn that makes the prospect of going for an afternoon ride distant until spring rolls back around. Motorcyclists are generally a cautious bunch, constantly doing their part to raise awareness among other drivers to be on the lookout for riders on the road. However, some motorcyclists may not be aware of the helmet laws in Minnesota.

First and foremost, there are helmet restrictions and requirements for certain motorcycle operators and passengers, but for those riders who have the proper license and are over the age of 18, Minnesota law does not require a helmet. However, for those who are still operating a motorcycle with a learner's permit, a helmet approved by the Department of Transportation is required. And, motorcycle operators under the age of 18 must wear a DOT-approved helmet at all times as well. In terms of passengers, those under the age of 18 must wear a DOT-approved helmet as well.

Even though helmets are not required for all riders in Minnesota, most experts agree that it is a good idea to wear a helmet as a safety precaution. The chances of suffering from a head-related injury in a motorcycle accident may be reduced by wearing a DOT-approved helmet.

However, it is important for those who choose not to wear a helmet when they are not required to understand that this fact should not be used against them if they are injured in a motorcycle accident caused by another party. If it is not required under the law, a rider is free to choose.

Source: Office of Traffic Safety, "Laws and Regulations," Accessed Nov. 3, 2015

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