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Arizona Motorcycle Helmet Laws Explained

Nov 3, 2023

If you love the thrill of the open road — whether it’s exploring scenic routes like the Grand Canyon from Flagstaff to Sedona, the Apache Trail with the Superstition Mountains, or dense forests along AZ-188 to Mesa — you may disregard the idea of wearing a helmet. It makes your head hot, limits visibility, messes up your hair, and ruins the thrill of the biking experience. Arizona does not have a universal helmet law like many other states in the United States.

This blog post will discuss when motorcycle riders must wear a helmet, when it is not required, and its impact on compensation following an accident. Photo of safety helmet

When the Law Requires Motorcycle Riders to Wear Helmets in Arizona

As per Arizona’s revised statute § 28-964, you must wear a helmet while on a motorcycle if you are below the age of 18.

Furthermore, you must also wear eye protection, such as:

  • Glasses
  • Goggles
  • A transparent face shield

The punishment for violating this law may be a fine of $75 or more, depending on the frequency of the offense. You may also have points on your license, which usually increases future insurance costs.

When Can Motorcycle Riders Choose Not to Wear a Helmet in Arizona?

Besides any legal requirements, we strongly advise wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle, whether as a driver or a passenger. Motorcycle safety is a must.

The state crash facts data for 2020 revealed that 73 people died in motorcycle accidents because they were not wearing helmets. Wearing a helmet does not guarantee there won’t be any fatalities, but it reduces the chances of serious injuries.

You can never predict what may happen on the road, especially at intersections. As per NHTSA facts, 35% of motorcycle accidents occurred at intersections in 2020. Other drivers can also make mistakes, and sudden weather changes are not surprising in Arizona. All of these factors exist and cannot be ignored. So it’s better to equip yourself with all the necessary safety gear, including a helmet, a jacket, pants, boots, and gloves.

Motorcycle helmets may not make you look cool, but they can save your life. According to NHTSA, helmets are 37% effective in preventing fatalities for motorcycle riders and 41% for passengers.

Helmet Laws Effects on Compensation

Arizona follows a pure comparative negligence rule when it comes to determining compensation.

Whoever causes the accident is liable to pay damages. If the court finds both parties are at fault and contributed to the accident, both will be liable for their negligence. It does not matter whether their contribution is 10% or 60%; they will be responsible for their negligence according to their share.

Even if you are not legally required to wear a helmet, it can reduce the compensation you may receive for your injuries.

For example, say someone is speeding and crashes into you. You suffer bodily and brain injuries. The other driver will likely try to prove in court that they are not liable for your brain injuries because they did not cause them. Your injuries would not have occurred if you had worn a helmet required by law.

The other driver’s insurance company will likely try to prove that your head injuries could have been less severe if you had worn a helmet. They use this defense to prove that you were also reckless and contributed to your injuries. Thus, their client is not solely responsible for your injuries.

Why Choose Wattel & York for Your Motorcycle Accident Case?

Wattel & York is a personal injury law firm founded by David E. Wattel and Michael L. York.

Our Phoenix motorcycle accident attorneys have helped many accident victims secure the compensation they deserve.

David and Michael established this law firm with the purpose of helping people fight against giant insurance companies and get justice. Legal directories like Martindale and Avvo recognize their expertise, rating them among Arizona’s best personal injury lawyers.

Furthermore, David is also actively involved in educating physicians on how to handle personal injury victim paperwork. He believes that medical records play a crucial role in any personal injury case. If physicians manage them efficiently, it can significantly assist personal injury victims with their legal cases.

Motorcycle Accident

Michael has an impressive track record of defending personal injury clients in litigation. He has argued numerous notable personal injury cases before the Arizona Court of Appeals and secured many favorable outcomes for clients. Among Michael’s most notable cases are Country Mutual Insurance v. Fonk and Yollin v. City of Glendale.

If you suffered injuries in a bike accident, schedule a free consultation with us and learn the best strategy to handle your case.

Do not just take our words; listen to what our past clients have to say:

“Wattel & York were flat out outstanding with my personal injury case. They made the process painless and kept in constant communication throughout the entire time. Any questions I might’ve had were promptly answered and detail-oriented. They gave me crucial advice that I would’ve otherwise not been aware of. I couldn’t have asked for more from them. Put your trust in these guys. You won’t be disappointed. Thanks, Wattel & York.” – Matthew


In Arizona, you do not need to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle or sitting as a passenger unless you are under 18 years old. However, not wearing one can impact your compensation and compromise your safety. Therefore, it is always a wise choice for motorcycle operators to wear one.

Online Reviews

“Amazing people, they had my claim for about a week before they were able to get my truck totaled out. Otherwise I would have been stuck with a truck that had heavy front end damage if they hadn’t stepped in to help me. I tried to deal with my insurance company myself for over a month and that got me nowhere, all I got was a massive headache and a messed up truck. They are very professional and act quickly on your claim. I highly recommend them to anyone who is looking for help.”

Candy J.


“I was in an accident and decided to call Wattel and York. After months of going to a Chiropractor, I finally felt better. When it came time for settlement, the insurance company was making an offer I wanted to accept, Mr. Wattel advised against it and felt the insurance company was shortchanging me. He recommended I file a lawsuit and that will get them to cave. Well, Dave filed suit, and sure enough, the insurance company increased their offer by $4,000! I am very satisfied with how my case was handled.”

Nardeasha S.


“Wattel & York were flat out outstanding with my personal injury case. They made the process painless and kept in constant communication throughout the entire time. Any questions I might’ve had were promptly answered and detail oriented. They gave me crucial advice that I would’ve otherwise not been aware of. I couldn’t have asked for more from them. Put your trust in these guys, you won’t be disappointed. Thanks Wattel & York.”

Mattew P.


“Thank you so much for all your hard work on our behalf! Thinking I could handle it on my own, I was originally reluctant to take my accident claim to an attorney. But I am SO glad I called you instead. Your people were always helpful, pleasant and responsive at every step along the way. You represented us with honesty and integrity and made a traumatic experience as painless as it could be. And best of all, you helped us get a settlement that was fair and far more than I could ever have negotiated on my own! I highly recommend Wattel &York to anyone who has suffered a personal injury.”

Cathy M.

“I was the passenger in a vehicle that was 'T- Boned' at an intersection in 2014. The issues of responsibility and recovery became a difficult and convoluted confusion. I really needed help. This Team at Wattel and York walked me patiently and encouragingly through difficult months, sorting through issues and finally arriving at a satisfactory conclusion. I especially want to name two great and encouraging "warriors" of Wattel and York who directed me along the way..Brian Torba and Melissa Patterson..to them and the whole team I say "Thank You" with heart felt gratitude. Sincerely, God Bless You.”

Robert G.

“Honesty. Integrity. Transparency. Partnership. Wattel & York brought all of these qualities and more to my accident case. I'd love to thank all of the team members who helped me with the process: David Guzman, who conducted the initial interview in my home, Aly Shomar-Esparza, who seamlessly guided me through paperwork and filings, Debbie Harrach, who conducted final review, paperwork revisions and scheduling, and Thomas Grisoni, who counseled me before and attended my deposition. I never felt alone during the arduous process and always knew there was a professional team looking out for my best interest. I highly recommend Wattel & York if you are unfortunately involved in an accident that was not your fault.”

Russ W.

“I was a passenger in a car that got t-boned a few years ago and got a huge gash. I didn't know a lot about lawyers, so I basically just picked one on the flip of a coin. I called Wattel and York and they explained everything, I went into the office and filled out paperwork. Got treatment on my gash over the time I worked with them, glad I did as it opened back up a couple times and bled. They did really good, got me the maximum amount of money, and made sure I was well taken care of. I was updated from time to time so that was good. The only thing I might change is I never got to thank or talk to my lawyer. I think it was because I was already used to dealing with the lady at their Glendale office so they just kept her as my point of contact. So it's okay, I'll thank them with a good review. The last thing I could say about them is months after I thought my case was over they called me and said they had another check for me for a few hundred dollars. Apparently, they negotiated with the hospital I went to after the accident. It was a nice surprise and shows they really had my interests in mind.”

Trent B.

“Wattel & York has been great for me in the past few years. I was involved in a really bad accident while I was on Active Duty in Yuma, Arizona and they have been patient with me every step of the way through a very long process. I would recommend them to anyone thank you for all your help.”

Levy G.

“Appreciate David taking the time to speak with me. He was most kind. From the front line with the receptionist, to him, the firm was a class act all the way around.”

Claire B.

“Dave Wattel represented me and my son on a Personal Injury case from a motor vehicle accident back in 2009. Jake P. handled my deposition and Dave did the Quarterbacking. The insurance company hired NFL referee Ed Hochuli's firm to try and deny our claim. But Wattel & York made it look as easy as Tom Brady on the football field. The result was more than acceptable and my son and I were compensated for our injuries and rehabilitation. Dave Wattel cares about his clients. If I ever find myself in a situation like this again, Wattel & York will be on speed dial!!”

Vince C.

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