Compared with larger motor vehicles like trucks and automobiles, motorcycles can expose their users to substantially greater danger of injury from collisions simply because of their smaller size and lesser degree of driver protection from the physical forces of a vehicle impact. The most crucial piece of safety equipment in most motorcycle accidents is the helmet.
While there are obviously good reasons of safety for wearing a helmet while riding on a motorcycle, there are also specific legal requirements. In California, these requirements are governed by Vehicle Code Sections 27802 and 27803. The first of these sections refers to the Federal Safety Standards from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that helmets used by motorcyclists in California must meet, and it prohibits the sale in California of helmets that don’t meet these federal standards. The federal standards clearly state, “The purpose . . . is to reduce deaths and injuries to motorcyclists . . .” and, “This standard applies to all helmets designed for use by motorcyclists. . . .”