Bicycle Helmet Laws in Georgia Explained

If you ride a bicycle, it’s essential to understand all relevant bicycle helmet laws in Georgia. For example, you might wonder, “Do adults have to wear bike helmets in Georgia?”

Wearing a helmet may not be a requirement for everyone in the Peach State. Regardless, it’s smart to always wear a helmet when operating a bicycle or riding as a passenger. Doing so boosts your safety significantly. Research shows that wearing a helmet may reduce a bicyclist’s risk of head injury by as much as 88 percent. Additionally, if you ever get hurt in a wreck someone else causes, you might secure compensation for your losses more easily if you wore a helmet when the crash occurred.

Does Georgia Have a Helmet Law?

Is it a law to wear a helmet on a bike in Georgia? The answer depends on several factors. The following points summarize what you need to know about bicycle helmet laws in Georgia:

  • Operating a bicycle on any public highway, bike lane, bike path, or sidewalk in Georgia is illegal if you are under 16 unless you wear a helmet. Passengers under 16 must also wear helmets when riding bikes in Georgia.
  • When the law requires someone to wear a bicycle helmet, that helmet must meet the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or the Snell Memorial Foundation standards. Bicyclists should check helmet packaging to find out if a helmet meets the relevant standards.
  • A helmet must securely fit a rider’s head and be secured with straps. Legally, a rider may not be considered to be wearing a helmet if it’s not securely strapped to their head.
  • It is illegal to rent or lease a bicycle without a helmet to someone under 16 unless they provide their own helmet. Anyone renting or leasing a bicycle to someone under 16 must confirm they’ve provided their own helmet before proceeding with the transaction.

Essentially, you don’t have to wear a bicycle helmet when riding a bike in Georgia if you’re 16 or older. However, wearing a helmet can protect you from injury in a crash. Just because the law may not require that you wear one doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.

Penalties for Not Wearing a Bicycle Helmet in Georgia

Children under 16 are the ones required by law to wear helmets on bicycles to promote bicycle safety. However, they won’t face fines or imprisonment for failure to obey the law. In addition, the law requires parents and guardians to ensure their children comply with the helmet requirement. A parent or guardian who knowingly allows a child under 16 to ride a bicycle without a helmet may face misdemeanor charges.

Bicycle Accident Claims and Helmet Regulations in Georgia

Obeying the rules of the road and wearing protective gear can boost your safety on a bicycle in Georgia. No matter how careful you are, you might get hurt in a bicycle wreck someone else causes.

You can seek compensation for medical bills and related losses if this happens. To do this, you can do the following:

  • Identifying the party who caused the crash
  • Gathering documentation of your medical bills, lost wages, traumatic brain injury, etc.
  • Filing a claim with the liable party’s insurance
  • Filing a lawsuit to pursue damages in court if the liable party doesn’t have insurance or if their insurer’s settlement offers are unreasonably low

You may wonder how not wearing a helmet affects your bicycle accident case. In Georgia, the amount of compensation you may receive for injuries someone else caused can depend on whether your actions or carelessness played a role in your injuries. You might not be eligible to receive any compensation if it’s determined you could have avoided harm by exercising “ordinary care.” This is also called contributory negligence or shared fault.

For example, maybe you are 20 percent responsible for your injuries in a bicycle wreck. Perhaps you would have been eligible to receive up to $10,000 for your losses. However, because you’re 20 percent responsible, the most you can get is $8,000.

You might assume that not wearing a helmet could affect a case like yours. Technically, the impact of helmet use on injury claims should be minimal in Georgia. The law states that failure to wear a helmet doesn’t constitute “negligence.” Even if the law requires a rider to wear a helmet, failure to wear one shouldn’t reduce the compensation they may be entitled to receive.

Read more: What Not To Say to an Insurance Adjuster

Can Insurers and Lawyers Use Failure to Wear a Helmet Against You in Georgia?

Bicycle Helmet Laws in Georgia Explained

The fact that the law states failure to wear a helmet should have no impact on your personal injury claim in Georgia doesn’t mean it won’t be a factor in your case. Consider the following possibilities:

  • An insurance claims adjuster may understand that you’re unfamiliar with the law. An adjuster can’t lie to you and say that you deserve less compensation than you’re seeking because you didn’t wear a helmet. However, without lying, they might bring up the point that you failed to wear a helmet to subtly convince you to accept less than you deserve.
  • If you don’t wear a helmet, your injuries will likely be more severe than they would otherwise have been. The more severe your injuries are, the more compensation you may be eligible to receive. Unfortunately, insurance companies are often more inclined to push back when claimants are eligible to receive large sums.

Wearing a helmet whenever riding a bicycle in Georgia is always wise for safety reasons.

Contact an August, GA, Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Not being familiar with the nuances of the bicycle helmet laws in Georgia shouldn’t prevent you from receiving the compensation you deserve after a bicycle wreck. Hiring a personal injury lawyer to represent you and handle all the communications with the attorney, including negotiations, can improve your outcome in a bicycle accident claim.

At Chris Hudson Law Group, our team of experienced Augusta bicycle accident lawyers can inform you of your rights and offer the dedicated representation you need when insurers try to convince you to accept low settlements. Find out more about how our law firm can help with your case by contacting us online today or calling us at (706) 863-6600 for a free case review.

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Last Updated : May 14, 2024