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How many states require motorcyclists to wear helmets?

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Quick Answer

As of November 2015, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that 19 states and the District of Columbia require all motorcyclists to wear helmets. A further 28 states have helmet laws that only apply to certain motorcyclists, such as those under age 18.

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Full Answer

Most of the states that require all motorcyclists to wear helmets are in the Southeast, North Atlantic and West Coast regions of the United States, states the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The only 3 states to have no motorcycle helmet laws are New Hampshire, Illinois and Iowa. Until the late 1970s, almost all states required motorcyclists to wear helmets because these laws helped states qualify for federal funding. In 1976, Congress eliminated the use of helmet laws as a criterion for federal funding.

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