Four Facts Alaska Motorcycle Riders Need to Know About Helmets


There are numerous laws, rules, and requirements that apply to motorcycle operators in Alaska, so it may come as a surprise to know that wearing a helmet is NOT one of them. Motorcycle riders are free to go without this protective safety gear, and many take pleasure from the fact that they have the liberty to make their own personal choices about helmets. However, it is also true that the risk of head injuries shoots up considerably when a helmet-less rider is involved in an accident. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), wearing proper headgear reduces this risk by up to 69%.


Though the lack of a legal requirement still inspires many motorcycle riders to avoid wearing a helmet, some additional details may help you make an informed decision. The facts you need to know about helmets and Alaska motorcycle accidents include:


Across the board, helmeted riders fare better in a motorcycle crash.

Additional statistics about helmet use and motorcycle accidents reveals that:

  • Helmets saved almost 1,900 lives in 2016 and could have saved the lives of another 800 riders had they been wearing head protection.
  • The same figures from 2013 indicate an unfortunate rising trend. That year, 1,630 motorcyclists were spared death, but another 715 could have been saved if they were wearing a helmet.
  • Approximately 40% of riders who suffered fatal injuries in a motorcycle accident were unhelmeted.


The bulk of a victim’s losses are lost quality of life.

The medical costs for treatment, especially for traumatic brain injury (TBI), can be astronomical; a victim may also not be able to work, leading to lost wages. However, the biggest proportion of losses for a rider after a motorcycle accident is lost quality of life at around 85% of total losses.


Riders’ assumptions about helmets are tragically untrue.

Despite what you might think about riding with OR without a helmet, you should keep in mind that:

  • Most riders are going under 30 miles per hour when involved in a crash.
  • The majority of motorcycle collisions occur on trips intended to be less than five miles.
  • Helmets do not impact visibility, as a study of more than 900 motorcycle collisions did not uncover any case where the gear prevented a rider from spotting a threat.


Not wearing a helmet could impact your legal rights after a motorcycle collision.

Alaska follows the rule of comparative negligence, in which your own careless acts could reduce your damages. An argument can be made that you contributed to your injuries by not wearing a helmet.


Speak to Our Alaska Motorcycle Accident Attorneys About Your Rights

Even if these facts do not convince you to don a helmet while riding, at least you have some basic information about the dangers of motorcycle collisions. For additional details about your rights and the legal process, and for assistance in pursuing your legal remedies please contact Power & Power Law in Anchorage, Alaska.