Q Am I required by law to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle in Virginia?
Virginia motorcycle laws are organized under two separate categories, “road” and “off-road.” Under Virginia law, helmet use is required at all times whether on Commonwealth maintained roadways or off the beaten path. For more information concerning motorcycle use laws in Virginia and across the country, visit the American Motorcycle Association’s website.
Interestingly, a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2006 showed that states with laws requiring helmet use of all motorcyclists saw fewer fatal motorcycle accidents than those states that did not have helmet laws. The NHTSA also reported that helmet use is responsible for a 29% decrease in the risk of death while operating a motorcycle and that helmet use is 67% effective at preventing brain injury to riders. It is estimated that if all motorists had worn helmets in the year of the study, 640 lives could have been saved.
The best way for Virginia motorcyclists to avoid serious head injuries is to wear a helmet.