Each state has its own rules for riding a motorcycle or a bike.

Illinois has not passed any law regarding helmets. However, the government and the transportation department have firmly recommended wearing helmets for all riders. All motorcyclists and passengers in the state are required to wear a helmet.

The helmets must meet the American DOT standards set by the U.S. 

What You Need To Know About Helmet Laws in Illinois 

As no proper helmet law has passed in Illinois, the question arises about motorcycle road safety.

Accidents can be unpredictable, and no matter how professional the rider might be, a dangerous accident can cause deadly injuries in a crash.

Therefore the safety advocates of Illinois encourage the riders to wear a helmet for protection. Helmets are an essential safety measure and can help reduce the risk of serious injury or death in the event of a crash.

Why Is It Important To Wear a Helmet in Illinois?

Regarding safety, wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle or a motorcycle in Illinois is an important safety measure.


Illinois is no stranger to dangers. A study published in 2018 found that bike helmets reduce head injuries by 48%. 

Around 8,414 bicycle crashes occur each year across Illinois. Also, according to research, there were around 312,988 crashes on Illinois roadways in 2019.

So wearing a helmet isn’t a bad idea unless you are auditioning for a role in a cartoon as a headless character.

Helmet Standards in Illinois 

All motorcyclists and passengers should wear a helmet that meets the standards set by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

These helmets are made of a hard, durable material and cover the entire head, including the chin and the sides of the head.

What Are The Penalties For Not Wearing a Helmet in Illinois?


There is no law concerning helmets in Illinois, but some localities have their own rules and regulations regarding helmet safety that might come with fines as a penalty for breaking the rules.

What Percentage of Cyclists Wear Helmets in Illinois?

The percentage of bike helmet owners rose from 27 to 60 percent in the years between 1991 and 1999. Around 38 percent of adults wear a helmet regularly, and 69 percent of children under the age of 16 do so as well.

Illinois has no helmet law regarding bikes, so no it is not illegal to not wear a helmet, though it is always recommended for safety purposes.

Helmet Use and Your Rights

If you are not okay with wearing a helmet, you must wear protective eyewear, such as goggles or a face shield, unless the motorcycle is equipped with a windscreen. However, it is still recommended that riders of these vehicles wear a helmet for their own safety.

Helmet laws in Illinois FAQs

Is it illegal to not wear a helmet in Illinois?

In Illinois, there is no statewide law requiring riders to wear helmets. However, some local municipalities may have their own regulations in places that require wearing helmets. 

Do helmets actually work?

Helmets do work, yes! Wearing a helmet is associated with an almost 70 percent lower risk of serious head injury in a crash.

Do I have to wear a helmet while cycling in Illinois?

Illinois state law does not mandate children to wear a helmet when riding their bicycle. However, certain localities may require children to wear a helmet while cycling. Can I ride a bike without a helmet in Illinois?

Despite the fact that not wearing a helmet while riding a bike in Illinois is not illegal, it is still strongly recommended to always wear one to avoid the risks of road accidents.


While some riders may feel that helmets are uncomfortable or unnecessary, the statistics show that wearing a helmet can significantly reduce the risk of injury or death in the event of an accident.

What steps do you take to ensure your safety while riding a motorcycle in Illinois? Do you always wear a helmet and other protective gear and follow all traffic laws and regulations? Your safety is in your hands, so take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and others on the road.


Steve Hector is a writer for Biker Aware, specializing in all things motorcycles. With over many years of experience on two wheels, Steve is passionate about sharing his knowledge and insights with fellow riders. His love for motorcycles began at a young age, and he has since explored countless roads and destinations, fueling his writing and inspiring others to experience the thrill of the open road. When he's not riding, Steve enjoys tinkering with motorcycles and sharing his expertise with us.

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