Florida Helmet Laws for Younger Bicyclists

Bicycling opens an entire world for kids, giving them their own free mode of transportation, whether traveling to and from school, back and forth to friends’ houses, or just enjoying fresh air and exercise. Families can bond together too outside, whether taking bike rides through a neighborhood or while on vacation. The health benefits of riding bikes abound (especially regarding cardiovascular exercise and muscle strengthening) and teach younger riders independence—acting as a precursor to years later when they will begin learning to drive. Young bicyclists must learn to be responsible for their bicycles and gear, understand traffic laws and how to use the appropriate signals—and most importantly, understand the necessity of taking all safety precautions possible.

Although protective bicycling gear is highly recommended for everyone, for obvious reasons, Florida law does require younger riders to wear helmets as follows:

“A bicycle rider or passenger who is under 16 years of age must wear a bicycle helmet that is properly fitted and is fastened securely upon the passenger’s head by a strap and that meets the federal safety standard for bicycle helmets, final rule, 16 C.F.R. part 1203. A helmet purchased before October 1, 2012, which meets the standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI Z 90.4 Bicycle Helmet Standards), the standards of the Snell Memorial Foundation (1984 Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling), or any other nationally recognized standards for bicycle helmets adopted by the department may continue to be worn by a bicycle rider or passenger until January 1, 2016. As used in this subsection, the term “passenger” includes a child who is riding in a trailer or semitrailer attached to a bicycle.”

The reality is that while bicycling is a great activity and a serious potential athletic interest that can carry into adulthood, it can also be dangerous. Motorists are the greatest threat, and especially if they are distracted with smartphones or other electronics, speeding, or driving under the influence. The use of a helmet is meant to protect the head against serious injuries as it absorbs impact, significantly preventing concussions, traumatic brain injuries, and hemorrhages. On impact with a car however, many other injuries can occur such as serious and even life-threatening trauma to other parts of the body, contusions, sprains, fractures, and more.

If you or your child has been injured in a bicycling accident due to the negligence of others, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.