Responsible motorcycle riders in Florida know the law on helmets, so you are aware that the statute is somewhat unusual. There are specific motorcycle helmet requirements based on age, and insurance surprisingly plays a role. A person is prohibited from riding a motorcycle unless they are wearing a motorcycle helmet that complies with federal regulations, and it must include an eye-protective device. However, a person 21 years or older can operate a motorcycle without headgear IF that individual is covered by a $10,000 medical insurance policy to cover injuries.
You could receive a ticket and a hefty fine for violating Florida’s law on motorcycle helmets, but this deterrent is not the only consideration. This headgear and the advanced technology behind it are intended to protect your head, brain, and life. Plus, there are even legal reasons to wear a helmet, which a Miami motorcycle accident lawyer can explain in more detail. A closer look is informative.
Motorcycle Helmets and Fatalities
Researchers estimate that motorcycle helmets saved 25,000 lives in crashes occurring from 2002 to 2017, which is a rate of around 1,565 lives saved every year. Based on these figures, reports indicate that headgear with proper eye protection is 37% effective in preventing fatalities to operators and 41% for passengers.
Protection Against Severe Head Injuries
Fatalities are tragic, but the other possible consequences of not wearing a helmet include traumatic brain injury (TBI), concussion, and penetrating head injuries. A helmet’s function is to absorb the energy of blunt force trauma to the head, decreasing the potential for lacerations, fractures, and the brain moving inside the skull.
Motorcycle helmets are 67% effective at preventing brain injuries, and helmeted riders enjoy a 73% lower fatality rate. They are also 85% less at risk of severe, catastrophic injuries.
Secondary Impacts in Motorcycle Accidents
A rider is not protected by a metal barrier, so a motorcycle collision will almost always result in getting ejected from the vehicle. Therefore, even when you can avoid a serious blow to the head at the initial impact, you could be tossed and strike your head on the ground or another rock-solid surface.
Helmets and Your Legal Rights
Florida follows the law of comparative fault, in which your damages for a motorcycle accident claim could be reduced if your own actions were negligent. It is possible that not wearing a helmet could be viewed as negligence if you were not in compliance with the laws. An insurance company or members of the jury could have that your conduct contributed to your injuries.
Talk to a Miami Motorcycle Accident Attorney About Remedies
Even if you do not wear a helmet to comply with the law, you should consider putting on headgear for these reasons. If you were hurt in a crash, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA, at (305) 371-6000 or via our website. We can set up a no-cost consultation at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL.