Helmet Laws: How Effective Are They on Florida’s Roads?

The motorcycling lifestyle entices many in the US—beckoning them to enjoy fresh air and the outdoor landscape passing by, numerous health benefits, financial savings, and lack of environmental impact on our surroundings. Safety is always a concern though, and especially as Florida makes the headlines time and time again, leading in the nation for motorcycle crashes.

That sense of freedom is part of what entices millions of consumers in the US to purchase and ride motorcycles though. There is also great appeal for many in knowing that they can jump on their bikes and take off at a moment’s notice without worrying about a helmet or other protective gear. It is all about choice—but what about the health consequences? Helmet laws tend to be controversial, and often change. Florida reverted in 2000, easing helmet laws on motorcyclists 21 and over, provided they are carrying the required insurance of $10,000 for medical benefits.

Studies have shown that there tends to be a significant rise in injuries and fatalities in states where helmet laws have been repealed, and other data compiled not long after the law was repealed in Florida showed that ‘the change in Florida’s helmet law increased motorcycle rider deaths.’ Restrictions still in place apply to younger riders, but the numbers still showed increases in injuries for those under 21—with too many still not wearing helmets. The FHSMV also reported that since 2000, fatalities for motorcycle operators age 45 and older have increased 174 percent.

The MSF is very clear about their views on the need for protective head gear in ‘What You Should Know About Motorcycle Helmets’:

“Most sport-type activities have their own suitable protective gear and equipment. Motorcycling is no exception. Every rider and passenger should wear over-the-ankle footwear, long pants, a long-sleeved jacket, full-fingered motorcycle gloves, and a helmet manufactured to comply with DOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) standards. Helmets work. Helmet effectiveness has been confirmed by scientific studies, while helmet myths – ‘helmets break necks, block vision and impair hearing’ – have been consistently disproved.”

And while helmets can be very effective for protecting the head from injury, they may do little in the event of a serious accident where so much else can go wrong. Motorcyclists are at a much greater risk for traumatic brain injury though, causing long-lasting repercussions or even cause death. Find out more about TBIs in our recent blog, ‘Motorcycle Accidents: Traumatic Brain Injuries All Too Common.’

If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, 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.