Motorcycle Helmets: To Wear or Not to Wear, Which is Safer
Topics: motorcycle accident
Spring Hill, Florida is home to more than 140,000 people and sits on the west coast of Florida, just north of Tampa. You, the Spring Hill motorcyclist, live in the Sunshine State. You can ride all year long.
When you hop on your bike, you want to feel the wind in your hair, the sunshine on your skin, and the road beneath your feet. The open road makes you feel free. You don't want to restrict this feeling by wearing a helmet. Plus, does it really help? Will it make a difference in an accident? What's the law in Florida anyway?
Helmets Save Lives
Should you wear a helmet? Yes! You may not want to wear it, but there's no debate, helmets save lives. This fact needs to be shared, especially in light of the rise of motorcycle fatalities in recent years.
From 2014 to 2015, motorcycle deaths grew by 8.3-percent across the U.S. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) claimed 382 more motorcyclists died in 2015 than in the previous year. This was the highest annual number since 2012.
Last year, the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles released the 2015 Traffic Crash Facts. The state reported 10,201 motorcycle crashes, 546 fatalities, and 8,231 motorcycle injuries in 2015.
The numbers of motorcycle deaths in the Florida and across the United States is way too high, but do helmet laws help? The Advocates for Highway Safety (AHS) emphatically says yes. They claim motorcycle laws save the country $17 billion dollars in medical bills annually, but they estimate that this could be bumped up to $25 billion per year if all states adopted motorcycle helmet laws.
The AHS also found that in states without helmet laws 59% of those killed weren't wearing a helmet. This is much higher than the 8% of riders who were killed while not wearing a helmet in states with mandatory helmet laws. Helmets won't protect people from all of the dangers on the road, but they could save your life.
What's the Law in Florida?
In Florida, you must wear a helmet while you operate a motorcycle, but there's an exception, a significant one. If you're covered by an insurance policy that will provide up to $10,000 in medical costs if you're involved in a crash, you're not breaking the law. So, with the right insurance, you don't need a helmet.
State statutes 316.211(1) and 316.211(3)(b) talk about the equipment required for a Spring Hill motorcyclist. The laws state the following:
- 316.211(1). A person may not operate or ride upon a motorcycle unless the person is properly wearing protective headgear securely fastened upon his or her head which complies with Federal Motorcycle Vehicle Safety Standard 218 promulgated by the United States Department of Transportation. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall adopt his standard by agency rule.
- 316.211(3)(b). Notwithstanding subsection (1), a person over 21 years of age may operate or ride upon a motorcycle without wearing protective headgear securely fastened upon his or her head if such person is covered by an insurance policy providing for at least $10,000 in medical benefits for injuries incurred as a result of a crash while operating or riding on a motorcycle.
So, no, you don't have to wear a helmet in Florida, as long as you have the proper insurance. That's the law, but what do you do when you get into an accident? Helmets can't prevent all injuries. How can a lawyer help a Spring Hill motorcyclist?
How can a Lawyer Help?
When you're involved in a motorcycle accident, you need a lawyer. OK, you're right, first you need a doctor, but after you've been treated and you're feeling better, then you need a lawyer. An attorney can help, but how?
Here are just a few of the ways an attorney can help when you're involved in a motorcycle accident:
- Your attorney will communicate with your insurance company and get the ball rolling on coverage and medical treatment
- Your attorney can help you assess the damage to your bike and how much it will cost to repair
- Your attorney will inform you of your rights and explain the motorcycle laws in Florida
- Your attorney will give you peace of mind and will allow you to rest and recover
You get it. If you're a Spring Hill motorcyclist, you need an attorney, but who? Which firm can you trust?
Contact Lowman Law Firm
The experienced attorneys at Lowman Law Firm are concerned about your motorcycle safety. They'll fight for you when you need them most. Give them a call today and see what they can do for you.