People buy and ride motorcycles for different reasons. Some enthusiasts enjoy the simplicity of vintage motorcycle engines when compared with modern vehicles. The fact that there are computer systems and that an individual can perform their own maintenance and repairs can be appealing. Some motorcycle enthusiasts love to do tricks or race.

For others, it will be the sense of freedom that a ride in the open air gives them that draws them to two-wheeled transportation. Unfortunately, some of the most effective and common safety equipment for motorcycle riders can also inhibit that feeling of freedom and excitement on the road.

Wearing helmets, while beneficial from a safety standpoint, may diminish the enjoyment of your ride. How has Missouri recently changed its laws to benefit motorcyclists?

Riders past a certain age can sometimes forego helmets

As of Aug. 28, 2020, licensed motorcycle drivers in Missouri who meet certain criteria could go for a drive without their helmet. Drivers who are over 26 years old with evidence of health insurance can potentially opt out of wearing a helmet.

If you are under 26 or if you will have passengers who are under the age of 26, you will still want to invest in a helmet to carry with you and wear as necessary. In fact, wearing a helmet in certain circumstances, such as late in the evening, during inclement weather and first thing in the morning, may all help keep you safer out on the roads.

Why do motorcycle riders need proof of health insurance?

To some people, it seems redundant to require that motorcycle riders provide proof of health insurance to ride without a helmet. After all, won’t liability insurance protect them from the cost of an injury if someone in an enclosed vehicle causes a crash?

While liability insurance will, theoretically, cover the expenses associated with a collision, those protections may not do anything to help a motorcyclist who causes a crash. Additionally, the potential always exists for you to get into a collision with a driver who doesn’t have insurance on their car. Proof of health insurance means there is a party to assume the costs associated with a brain injury if someone without a helmet gets into a crash.