In many states across the country, motorcyclists are required to wear helmets as part of state law. However, in the state of Illinois this is not the case. According to Fox 55 Illinois, the only states that do not have any laws on the books regarding helmet usage in the US are Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire.
However, it should be noted that wearing eye protection is still required, even if you choose not to wear a helmet. The only exception to this is if you have a windshield on your motorcycle. The reasoning behind this is that if you have nothing between the open air and your eyes, there’s a high chance of you getting a bug or other piece of debris caught there. Additionally, even if a rock kicked up by the semi truck in front of you doesn’t land in your eye, it’s likely that it will be a huge distraction if it hits you anywhere in the face.
However, despite the fact that there is not an active motorcycle helmet law in Illinois, most experts still recommend wearing one. Having a helmet on could potentially save your life in a fast-moving crash, and even in slower crashes having a helmet can prevent a great deal of injury. Plenty of studies exist that show that wearing a helmet can reduce the likelihood of death on a motorcycle by nearly half, and riders who elect not to wear a helmet are much more likely to end up with traumatic brain injury as compared to those who do not.
While the lack of helmet law in Illinois means you can choose to ride without a helmet, it is important to make that decision wisely.