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Arizona Motorcycle Helmet Laws: What You Need to Know

Spring has arrived in the warmer parts of Arizona and with it comes motorcycle season. As more bikers hit the road, it’s crucial that everyone understands the laws and safety guidelines related to motorcycle riding. In particular, state laws regarding helmet use vary, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with local regulations before you ride.

Arizona Helmet Law FAQs

What are the helmet requirements in the state of Arizona?

According to ARS 28-964, all motorcycle riders under 18 years of age– whether operators or passengers– must wear helmets.

What kind of helmet is required under the law?

It is recommended that all motorcyclists wear Department of Transportation (DOT)-approved helmets while riding. Riders may choose between full-face and open-face helmets. Full-face helmets cover the chin and come equipped with a shield for the eyes. Open-face helmets do not provide chin or eye protection.

In addition to the helmet requirement for minors, Arizona law requires that all riders of all ages wear eye protection of some kind– usually goggles, glasses, or a transparent face shield– unless their motorcycle is equipped with a windshield.

What is the penalty for failing to follow Arizona motorcycle helmet laws?

Failing to wear a helmet or eye protection when it is required can result in a fine– usually $25-$75 for a first offense, but it can increase with subsequent offenses. 

Arizona Motorcycle Accident Statistics

  • Around half of fatal motorcycle accidents involve a motorcyclist who is not wearing a helmet
  • The most common causes of motorcycle accidents are speeding, failure to yield the right-of-way, and unexpected lane departures
  • The number of motorcycle crashes each year has generally declined since 2016, but the number of motorcycle accident fatalities has remained fairly steady
  • Phoenix and Tucson see the highest number of motorcycle accidents each year

Common motorcycle accident injuries

  • Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Broken teeth and jaw damage
  • Road rash
  • Strains and sprains

Motorcycle Safety Guidelines

Is lane splitting legal in Arizona?

As of 2022, lane filtering is legal in Arizona. Lane filtering is the practice of motorcycles filtering through two lanes of stopped traffic going in the same direction. This typically happens at stop lights. Motorcyclists may ride the line between the two lanes to get to the front of the line, but the motorcycle rider may travel no faster than 15 miles per hour.

Lane splitting, however, is not legal in Arizona. Lane splitting is different from lane filtering in that lane splitting occurs when traffic is in motion.

What other protective gear should motorcycle riders wear?

In addition to a helmet and protective glasses, it’s recommended that motorcycle operators and passengers wear the following:

  • Jacket and pants made of leather or other protective material
  • Gloves
  • Sturdy boots

You can’t always prevent a crash, but you can increase your chances of walking away from one. Wearing proper safety gear can prevent serious injuries or fatalities in the event of an accident.




What equipment does a motorcycle need to be street legal?

A motorcycle should be equipped with:

  • Handlebars
  • Brakes
  • Footrests and a seat for each rider
  • Rearview mirrors
  • Working headlight, tail light, and brake lights

How can other motor vehicles drive safely around motorcyclists?

Preventing accidents is a shared responsibility. Motorcyclists should know and follow local laws wherever they are riding, and so too should drivers of passenger vehicles. By committing to obeying the law and respecting others on the road, we can all contribute to creating safer streets.

Look twice

According to the NHTSA, around 41% of motorcycle accidents are caused by other drivers failing to see the motorcyclist. By looking twice before turning left or changing lanes, you could save lives.

Give motorcyclists plenty of space

Because motorcycles are small, it can be difficult to judge their speed. Allow bikers plenty of space when following them– they are often able to stop more quickly than larger vehicles can.

Additionally, always be sure to allow motorcycles the full use of a lane. Do not crowd them from the sides or attempt to pass illegally.

Finally, when turning left, err on the side of caution and allow oncoming motorcycles to pass first. Nearly half of motorcycle accidents happen when a larger vehicle misjudges a motorcycle’s speed and turns left in front of them.

Drive predictably

The best way to prevent an accident of any kind is to be as predictable as you can. Whenever possible, avoid swerving unexpectedly or cutting other vehicles off. 

When Should I Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney?

Not every accident requires an attorney. However, if you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident that left you with serious injuries and property damage, it may be time to consider hiring a personal injury lawyer.

A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you understand the next steps in your injury case. You will likely need to access medical care, find a repair shop for your motorcycle, and negotiate with insurance companies to get the settlement you deserve.

The Phoenix motorcycle accident attorneys with The Advocates can help. We understand that when facing physical pain, emotional anguish, and seemingly endless medical bills, it’s easy to feel like life will never return to normal. We will take on the claims process to help you get your bills paid. We can also help you find excellent medical professionals and motorcycle repair shops in your area.

Whether your motorcycle accident happened in Yuma, Flagstaff, or somewhere in between, you deserve a law firm that puts your needs first. You deserve an Advocate.