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Nebraska Helmet Laws: What You Need to Know

Motorcycle season is quickly approaching, and if you’re planning on riding in Nebraska, it’s essential to know their laws. Whether you live in the state or are just passing through, the best way to keep yourself safe is to familiarize yourself with local requirements.

Nebraska Motorcycle Helmet Laws

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, universal helmet laws are in place in 18 states and the District of Columbia. Nebraska is one of these states.

What is a universal helmet law?

Nebraska’s universal helmet law states that all motorcycle riders, regardless of age, must wear a helmet. The law applies to both operators and passengers.

What kind of helmet is required in Nebraska?

Nebraska Revised Statute 60-6,279 requires that all motorcyclists wear a protective helmet that consists of lining, padding, and a chin strap. The helmet must meet or exceed the standards set by the United States Department of Transportation. This law also applies to riders of mopeds and autocycles.Motorcyclist without a helmet on

What is the penalty for failing to meet Nebraska’s helmet requirement?

Motorcycle riders who fail to wear a helmet while riding can be cited and issued a $50 fine.

What other states have universal helmet laws?

The following states require all motorcyclists to wear a protective helmet when riding:

  • Alabama
  • California
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia


Iowa, Illinois, and New Hampshire are the only states that have no helmet requirements at all.

Other states, including Idaho, Montana, Florida, and Colorado, require helmets on motorcycle riders under a certain age (usually those under 18 or 21, depending on the state).

Nebraska Motorcycle Safety Facts

Nebraska’s helmet requirement is not popular with all residents of the state. Some have made continued efforts to repeal the law, though none have been successful as of yet. 

Supporters of the helmet requirement cite Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services, noting that after Nebraska reinstated its helmet requirement in 1989, hospital charges for injured motorcyclists decreased by 38%.

Conversely, Michigan repealed its helmet laws in 2012. In the following years, the average number of motorcycle accident fatalities in the state increased by 14 deaths per year.

Nebraska Motorcycle Accident Statistics

  • Helmets reduce death in motorcycle crashes by about 37%
  • Head and brain injuries are the reason for about one-third of all hospitalizations after a motorcycle accident
  • Most motorcycle accidents in Nebraska occur in and around Omaha and Lincoln, as well as along I-80
  • Each year in the United States, motorcycle accidents cause around 15% of traffic fatalities, though motorcycles make up only 3% of registered vehicles

Motorcycle Safety Tips

Regardless of where you plan to ride, always make sure you are doing everything you can to keep yourself and others safe. Even if certain protective gear is not required by law, wearing it can mean the difference between life and death.

Motorcycle protective gear on a wooden background

What protective gear should motorcyclists wear?

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends all motorcycle riders wear the following:

  • DOT-approved helmet
  • Eye protection with shatter-proof lenses
  • Full-fingered motorcycle gloves
  • Leather or abrasion-resistant fabric that covers the arms, legs, and torso
  • Sturdy, over-the-ankle boots

Is lane splitting legal in Nebraska?

Lane splitting, or the practice of motorcycles sharing a lane with passenger vehicles, is illegal in Nebraska. Motorcyclists are entitled to the full use of a lane, and may not filter between larger vehicles at any time.

How can drivers of passenger vehicles drive safely around motorcycles?

In the event of an accident, motorcyclists are far more vulnerable than those in cars, trucks, or other larger vehicles. Motor vehicle safety is a shared responsibility between everyone on the road. Drivers of passenger vehicles should take the following actions to help keep everyone safe:

  • Look twice before changing lanes or turning. Motorcycles are often harder to see than other vehicles. Always check your blind spots.
  • Allow motorcycles the full use of a lane. Do not attempt to share a lane with a motorcycle.
  • Do not tailgate a motorcyclist. It can be hard to judge the speed of a motorcycle, so give yourself plenty of room to slow down or stop behind them.

When Should I Hire a Motorcycle Accident Attorney?

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle crash in Nebraska, a personal injury lawyer can help you recover. The motorcycle accident attorneys with The Advocates have represented accident victims for more than 30 years. We understand that every injury case is different– that’s why we are here to listen to your story, provide regular updates on your case, and attend to your unique needs.

The Advocates can help you access the medical care you need, get your motorcycle repaired, and obtain the settlement you deserve for your injuries. Our goal is the same as yours: to get you back to doing what you love.

If you were involved in a motorcycle crash and believe you may have a case, contact us today for a free consultation. You deserve an attorney who cares about you and your individual needs. You deserve an Advocate.