Are Motorcycle Helmets Mandatory in Florida?Jacksonville Accident News
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports that 341,320 annual total crashes are reported in the state. These crashes typically produce 3,343 fatalities and 212,531 injuries. Additionally, there are a medial of 8,037 motorcycle crashes that result in 517 fatalities.
Several studies have shown that one of the most important pieces of safety equipment that a person can use when riding on a motorcycle is using a helmet. Still, many motorcyclists prefer to ride their bikes without one. Depending on the state where you live, wearing a helmet while riding on a motorcycle helmet laws may be required.
The motorcycle laws are always changing. In 2018, though, there were only two states that had no restrictions on motorcyclists with regard to motorcycle helmets. Only Iowa and Illinois have no helmet mandate for any rider.
Florida’s motorcycle helmet laws are not black and white. There are specific situations where motorcyclists must wear their helmets by law and in other instances, they can go without the headgear. Regardless of if you had a helmet on or not, if another party’s negligent actions caused your motorcycle accident in Florida, you can take legal action to be compensated.
The Florida motorcycle accident attorneys at Sheftall Law have extensive experience helping victims of motorcycle accidents get the justice that they are entitled to and that they deserve. If your motorcycle accident took place in northeastern Florida, the trusted Jacksonville motorcycle accident lawyers at Sheftall Law can help you with your personal injury claim.
What are Florida’s Motorcycle Helmet Laws?
There are some states that do not have any laws regarding motorcycle helmets. There are other states that have age restrictions or have other conditions when it comes to wearing a helmet while operating or riding on a motorcycle.
Florida’s motorcycle helmet laws are somewhere in the middle of all other states in the country. If you are riding a motorcycle the following describes when a helmet is required by state law:
- Motorcyclists who are driving their bikes and passengers who are younger than 21 years of age are required to wear a helmet.
- Any motorcycle operator or passenger that is over the age of 20 that has insurance coverage at $10,000 for personal medical care should an accident take place are not required to wear a helmet.
- Every motorcyclist and their passengers must have eye protection while riding on a bike.
Why Are Helmets So Important to a Motorcyclist’s Health?
The most common area of the body that is harmed in motorcycle accidents across the board is the head. Whether a motorcyclist is thrown from their bike and lands on their head or they crash with another object, their head is incredibly vulnerable to damage.
When the head endures forceful impact the skull can be crushed and the bones or other objects can pierce the brain tissue. Even if the skull is not penetrated, the thrashing back and forth that happens when the head is hit causes the brain housed inside to violently crash up against the skull. This too can cause serious damage to the brain.
Traumatic brain injuries can be mild to life-altering and even in some situations deadly. The most severe TBI’s do not offer complete recovery or substantial improvement. Instead, long-term, life-altering harm. The quality of a person’s life can be drastically reduced and their ability to function without support depleted when they suffer the most catastrophic harm from a motorcycle accident.
Because the majority of motorcycle accidents that happen result in some amount of brain trauma, it is incredibly important to wear a helmet when on a motorcycle. A helmet by itself will not protect a person from devastating physical trauma, but it can greatly reduce the damage and potential death that would result when a helmet was not used.
How Effective Are Helmets for Motorcyclists?
Looking at the statistics and reviewing the many studies that have examined the statistics, there is no doubt, a helmet can be a lifesaver in a motorcycle accident. The evidence that exists undeniably shows how critical helmets are to motorcyclists’ safety and well-being. Not only can these head protectors minimize the chances of death, but they can also help reduce the occurrence of brain injury.
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is an alliance of healthcare, public, and safety officials that champion efforts aimed at making roads in the United States safer. According to this group, on an annual basis motorcycle helmet use saves the lives of over 1,800 riders and passengers. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a helmet has been shown to actually cuts the risk for brain injuries when a motorcycle accident happens by 70%.
There is no doubt, helmet use is a proven, and effective way to keep yourself safe if you ride on a motorcycle. Choosing not to wear a motorcycle helmet in Florida may be lawful depending on your age and insurance. You could be of the mindset that a helmet reduces the overall riding experience and you choose not to wear one.
In this case, if a negligent party causes your accident which results in physical harm, you still have rights. Not wearing a helmet is not an excuse for another party’s negligence. If you decide to pursue a personal injury claim for compensation, which is highly recommended, the insurance company will try to use this fact to devalue your claim. This is why having experienced and aggressive legal representation fighting to protect your rights is necessary.
The Jacksonville personal injury attorneys at Sheftall Law will not back down to unreasonable assertions by the insurance company trying to treat you unfairly.
Speak to a Jacksonville Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
It is recommended to always wear a helmet if you are riding or operating a motorcycle no matter where you live. Yet, you do have the right to choose not to if your age and insurance align with Florida’s motorcycle helmet laws. After a motorcycle crash in the greater Jacksonville area, call the Jacksonville personal injury law firm at Sheftall Law today to discuss your case during your free consultation at (904) 638-7712.