What are Georgia's bicycle helmet laws

Is it illegal to ride a bike without a helmet?

Depending on where you live, you or your child may be prohibited from riding a bike without a helmet. The United States does not have federal laws mandating the use of a bicycle helmet, although many states and localities have mandatory bicycle helmet laws for minors. Some cities and towns also have laws that require people of all ages to wear a helmet when cycling. However, 13 states have no state or local laws mandating the use of bicycle helmets by children or adults.

State Laws

Since 1987, many states and locales have passed bicycle helmet laws of their own, most of which are restricted to children under the age of 18. According to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, 21 states have national laws that require minors to wear helmets while cycling, but no state has any national law requiring adults to wear a bicycle helmet. Laws vary by state; Some states require all minors under the age of 18 to wear a helmet while cycling, while other states require only children under the age of 12 to wear helmets. The following states have national bicycle helmet laws for minors: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

Local laws

While there are no national laws requiring adults to wear bicycle helmets, some cities have laws that require helmet use for cyclists of all ages. Sixteen states have no state laws that require the use of a bicycle helmet, but some places - including certain cities, towns, and parks - have laws requiring either minors or both minors and adults to wear helmets. While Texas doesn't have national law, Arlington, Austin, Houston, and a few other cities in Texas have laws that require minors to wear helmets, and Dallas states that people of all ages must wear a helmet when driving.

States without bicycle helmet laws

Because bicycle helmet laws vary by state and location, you should check the local laws in your area to see if it is illegal for you or your child to ride a bike without a helmet. That is, unless you live in states where there are no state or local laws that require the use of a bicycle helmet. According to the BHSI, no statutory or local bicycle helmet laws applicable to children or adults had applied in 13 states as of June 2010. They are Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming.


There is some debate in the United States and in other countries as to whether bicycle helmet laws should exist. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, wearing a helmet is the most effective way to prevent head injuries from a bicycle accident. Accordingly, some safety interest groups, including the BHSI, have taken the position that bicycle helmets should be mandatory for people of all ages. However, some researchers, including Piet De Jong, a mathematician at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, argue that bicycle helmet laws may do more harm than good. According to a 2010 paper written by De Jong and published on the Social Science Research Network, mandatory helmet laws often prevent cyclists from cycling and, depending on the safety of the riding environment, societal decline in the cardiovascular benefits that result from helmet laws could reduce the health benefits of reduced Head injuries predominate.