Motorcycle accidents are dangerous and can be life threatening. In 2018 in the United States, there were 4,085 motorcycle accident fatalities. That same year, in Florida, there were 531 motorcycle accident fatalities—a surprising percentage of the total at 13%! But why are these accidents occurring? And what is the link between accident injuries and riders who choose not to wear their helmets?
Florida Motorcycle Helmet Laws
In many states, it is required that you wear a helmet while riding your motorcycle to ensure that you’re keeping yourself safe. However, that is not the case in Florida. In Florida, a rider is allowed to choose whether or not they want to wear a helmet, as long as they’re over 21 and are covered by an insurance policy with at least $10,000 for medical benefits. If these factors are not met, the rider is required to wear a helmet at all times.
Florida helmet law also states that you can’t wear a headset of any kind while riding, unless it’s a hearing aid or other tool used for the improvement of human hearing. Lane splitting is also illegal in Florida, meaning that motorcyclists must occupy their own lane at all times and cannot drive down the middle between two lanes.
Statistics on Motorcycle Helmets
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), helmets saved an estimated 1,859 lives in 2016. In the same year, if everyone would have worn helmets, an additional 802 lives could have been saved. They also state that helmets reduce the risk of death by 37% and reduce the risk of head injury by 69%. Overall, the United States would save an estimated $1 billion in economic costs if all motorcyclists wore helmets.
So, while it is your choice to wear a helmet in Florida, choosing to wear one can protect you from death or serious head injury. While it is your choice to make, making the right choice could save your life in the event of an accident.
Best Types of Motorcycle Helmets
If you’re a new rider, you may have questions about helmets, and how to purchase the best one to suit your needs and protect you from harm. There are six basic types of motorcycle helmets:
- dual sport
A full face helmet protects the chin, and is an overall good choice for motorcycle riders. A modular helmet is also a good choice, as it protects the face, and allows for the visor and chin-piece to flip up. Open face helmets and half helmets are not a great choice, as they don’t protect the chin from injury. Off road helmets and dual-sport helmets aren’t used as often for riding on regular roads, but can be used in a pinch if you don’t have any other option.
While there are minor differences between various helmet designs, they all provide different amounts of protection. The model that’s best for you depends on how and on what terrain you ride. Overall, any type of motorcycle helmet is better than no helmet at all.
How a Helmet Helps to Prevent Injury
Helmets work in three ways. First, they aim to reduce the deceleration of the skull. This means that any impact to the head can be absorbed by the inner foam lining, preventing injuries that would be caused by the brain moving around inside one’s skull, such as coup/contrecoup injuries.
Second, it spreads out the force of the impact, so the full impact isn’t taken in one direct location, but instead over a larger surface area. While this may still cause damage to the head, it will be a lot less severe.
Third, it works as a barrier to the skull, preventing anything from penetrating the head and causing damage. For example, if splintered metal were to break off from a car and penetrate the head, wearing a helmet would prevent this from happening.
Will Not Wearing a Helmet Affect my Case?
Not wearing a helmet can definitely affect your case for the worse. While it is your choice to decide whether or not you want to wear a helmet, sustaining an injury while not wearing a helmet may affect your injury claim. Insurance adjusters may try to say that your injuries are a result of your choosing to not wear a helmet. This can be a difficult claim to argue, as it stems from the truth.
If you had chosen to wear a helmet, your injuries wouldn’t have been as bad. However, there’s no way to know for sure how severe your injuries would have been if you were wearing a helmet. The point still stands that someone else caused your accident. Because of that, you wouldn’t have any injuries if it weren’t for the negligence of the driver who hit you.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney if You’ve Been Involved in an Accident
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, whether you were wearing a helmet or not, you should contact one of our experienced attorneys here at The Eberst Law Firm. We can help you get the compensation that you deserve for your injuries. For more information or a free case evaluation, please contact us online using our chat box option or at 352-269-0017.