Florida Have a Helmet Law for Motorcycle Riders
Florida has a helmet law for motorcycle riders. Per Florida Statutes § 316.211, motorcyclists under 21 years old must wear helmets. However, motorcyclists over 21 years old don’t have to wear helmets if they carry at least $10,000 in medical coverage.
If you were hurt in an accident, and you weren’t wearing a helmet, this could complicate the claims process––even if you’re over 21 years old. A Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer can assess your case and guide you through the claims process.
Florida Has Helmet Laws for Motorcycle Riders
Motorcyclists under 21 can’t wear just any helmet; they must wear ones approved by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. This law outlines the appropriate design, dimensions, and materials required for approved helmets. Some other safety features apply to:
- The helmet’s inner lining
- The composition of the chin strap
- How much the helmet weighs
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states the motorcycle rider must correctly identify whether a helmet meets safety standards. The following identification should be located on each helmet to prove it meets safety standards:
- A Department of Transportation (DOT) sticker: Place the DOT sticker on the outside of the helmet on the back, so those others can see it. This sticker signifies the helmet meets FMVSS 218.
- Manufacturer’s labeling: FMVSS 18 requires manufacturers to place a label inside each helmet stating the helmet’s name, model, and size. The year the helmet was manufactured should also be located on the inside.
The identification gives law enforcement officers information on whether your helmet complies with current safety standards. If the officer cannot identify whether your helmet is compliant, you could get a ticket.
Additional Protective Equipment Motorcyclists Must Wear
On top of wearing protective headgear, any person operating a motorcycle must wear an eye-protective device. Again, the department must approve the eye-protective device.
Debris, such as bugs, dirt, or rain, could get in your eyes while riding a motorcycle. Eye protection improves how well you can see and cuts down on certain hazards.
There Are Countless Benefits of Motorcyclists Wearing Helmets in Florida
In the year 2021, Florida had over 8,600 motorcycle crashes. Five hundred ninety-two of those crashes resulted in fatalities. While some of these people wore protective head and eye-wear, many were not. Helmets are the first line of defense when a motorcyclist experiences a collision.
Other benefits of wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle include:
- Reduced risk of head injuries: Any fall off of a motorcycle could result in a severe head injury. Head injuries could cause permanent disability or even death. Wearing a helmet, even during a short ride, could decrease the likelihood of sustaining a severe brain injury.
- Protection against the elements: If you are riding in the rain, wind, or other elements of nature, a helmet could protect your head and eyes. It could also protect your head from extreme temperatures.
- Better visibility: Helmets equipped with visors can protect your eyes and improve visibility. If debris, dust, or bugs fly into your eyes, the visor will protect your vision so you can continue seeing clearly on your ride. It also reduces glare from the sun.
For more safety tips about riding a motorcycle in Florida, check out this article from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). Here, you can learn about the laws that apply to riding.
What if I Got into a Motorcycle Accident Without a Helmet?
You can still seek compensation for your losses even if you weren’t wearing a helmet when your accident happened. Here are some things to know:
- Florida does not consider motorcycles to be motor vehicles. This slightly alters how Florida’s no-fault laws apply to your situation.
- If you have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage for a four-wheel vehicle (like your car), this will not apply to your motorcycle accident claim. You can, however, purchase PIP coverage specifically for your motorcycle.
- The liable party may attempt to reduce your settlement after learning that you weren’t wearing a helmet. If successful, this could reduce how much you could seek through a claim or lawsuit.
- Each of these factors can complicate your injury case. By partnering with a Florida motorcycle accident lawyer, they can manage your case and pursue the recovery you need.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney To Explore Your Options
If you have questions about the Florida helmet laws for motorcycle riders, a Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident lawyer from our firm can help. Our attorneys understand the Florida laws regarding helmets and other protective equipment motorcycle riders need. Contact our attorneys today at (954) 633-8270 for more information. The Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato is ready to listen to your story.