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The D.C. Area’s Premier Personal Injury Law Firm

I know that helmets are important for protection in a Washington, D.C.-area motorcycle accident, but what are the laws regarding protective gear?

As Virginia and Maryland motorcycle accident lawyers, we cannot advocate for helmet use enough, regardless of what the law mandates. Of course, being knowledgeable about the law can only help you, so here is a basic breakdown of the laws in our area.


Virginia has strict standards for motorcycle helmet use. All motorcyclists and their passengers are required to wear fully approved helmets. The only scenario where a motorcyclist does not need to wear a helmet is in a Virginia Department of Transportation authorized parade where speeds will not exceed 15 miles per hour, or on a three-wheeled motorcycle with a permanent, fully-enclosed cab.

Not only do Virginia motorcyclists have to wear a helmet, but they are also required to protect their face, too. If your helmet does not have a face shield, you will need to find safety goggles or glasses to wear — unless you have an approved windshield on your motorcycle.


Maryland is even stricter than Virginia is regarding its helmet laws. Just as in Virginia, all motorcycle operators and passengers must wear approved helmets. Unlike Virginia, however, there are no exceptions to the rule. Riders must also have eye protection, which can be in the form of a face shield, safety glasses, goggles or a windscreen.

Washington, D.C.

The District follows the safety-minded lead of its neighboring states, also requiring helmet use and eye protection for all drivers and passengers.

While helmets greatly improve your chances of surviving an accident, you are still vulnerable as a motorcyclist on the road. If you have been injured in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence, call the Maryland, D.C., and Virginia motorcycle accident attorneys at Lewis & Tompkins at 202-296-0666 for a free consultation regarding your case today.