A Motorcycle Helmet in Washington, D.C.

Motorcycle rider holds helmet and gloves prior to finding his motorcycle.
Motorcycle helmets are not created equal. Today, you are faced with many choices before you take a helmet home.

Do I Need a Motorcycle Helmet in Washington, D.C? 

If you live in the District, wearing a motorcycle helmet is mandatory. That is true not just for the driver but also for any passenger. The law states that no one on the motorcycle can ride without an approved helmet of the type mandated by law and in an appropriate size. 

Not only are you setting yourself up for a significant injury by riding without a helmet but you will limit your ability to collect on a personal injury due to an accident. Let’s take an in-depth look at helmet features and how the absence of a helmet can affect the damages you are able to obtain.

How to Pick Your Helmet

Motorcycle helmets are not created equal. Today, you are faced with many choices before you take a helmet home. Let’s start with helmet size. If it does not fit correctly, it will not protect your head from sustaining a serious injury. Becoming aware of features and sizing before heading to the helmet store will lead to a better purchase and make the process a whole lot easier.

Helmet Style

There are five motorcycle helmet styles for you to choose from:

  • Open-faced helmet: While this type of helmet feels less restrictive and permits more airflow, it also offers the least protection. Some open-faced helmets protect only the top of the head while others provide protection to the sides of the head too. This type of helmet is usually less expensive. 
  • Full-face helmet: This type of helmet protects the rider’s entire head, including the face. It has a face shield, protecting the nose and eyes and a chin bar, which protects the lower part of the face. It is the least ventilated and cuts out surrounding noise. 
  • Modular helmet: This helmet is actually a full-face helmet with a major adaptation. The rider is able to swing the face shield and chin bar out of the way by hitting a release, essentially converting it to an open-face helmet. This type of helmet is generally heavier than its predecessor and noisier. 
  • Dirt helmets: This type of helmet does not come with DOT certification. Riders use goggles with a dirt helmet, and there is plenty of room for them. Weight-wise they are lighter than any of the other helmets and lack a face shield.
  • ADV helmet: This helmet is also known as an adventure helmet. It is useful if you are going to be on and off-road during your trip. It is street legal and offers good protection. They provide sufficient ventilation and room for goggles. 

Determine Your Head Shape and Size

Figure out the shape and size of your head before you start out. The shape of your head can be one of three: round oval, long oval or intermediate oval. You can usually determine this by looking at a photo of the top of your head.

The size is determined by measuring your head with a soft tape measure. Place the tape above the eyebrows, and wrap it around your head to get the size. Once you get the number, you can choose a helmet in the desired style and size. Try the helmet on to check the fit. It is best to wear it for 30 minutes to see how it feels.

Does Your Helmet Fit Correctly?

The helmet may feel strange when you first put it on, but there should not be any discomfort. If there is, you need to check your measurements again. You may feel the cheek cushions first. Not all helmets have this feature, but if your helmet does, you should know they are there. When you move the chin bar, if you have one, you should feel your cheeks move not the helmet. If there is too much movement, you may need to go a size lower. 

Roeser Law Firm

Wearing a helmet is not just a legal requirement – it can save your life. The Roeser Law Firm applauds taking the necessary steps to ride safely. If an accident does happen despite your efforts, we are here to help. Call us at (202) 660-4070 for a free case review. You can also reach out to us online. We will take the burden off your shoulders and help ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. 

Zeke Roeser


3000 Connecticut Avenue NW
Suite 140
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 660-4070