Although Florida requires motorcycle riders to wear helmets and protective eye gear, the statutes make an exception under certain conditions. The “no helmet” exception to the law provides many riders with the sense of freedom they crave. Unfortunately, getting into a motorcycle accident without a helmet can lead to severe head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
No matter how careful you are—or what kind of protective gear you wear—accidents can happen. Distracted drivers, drunk drivers, and other careless motorists pose a substantial threat to motorcycle riders.
If you sustained any serious injury in a motorcycle crash you didn’t cause, a Florida motorcycle accident attorney can help protect your legal rights and fight to get you justice.
What Are Florida’s Helmet Laws for Motorcycles?
The Florida statute for motorcycle helmets states that all riders (operators and passengers) must wear protective headgear and an eye protection device, both of which must be securely attached. However, the statute goes on to make two exceptions.
Riders aged 21 and above can ride without a helmet if they carry a medical payment insurance policy of at least $10,000.
Riders aged 16 and above do not have to wear a helmet if their motorcycle motor is 50 cc or below and cannot exceed a speed of 30 mph.
The statute does not, however, make any exception for the eye-protective device requirement.
What Are Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)?
Traumatic brain injuries are acquired injuries that occur as a result of sudden trauma. Examples of sudden trauma include getting hit in the head or having your head violently and suddenly collide with another object.
The resulting effects in the brain can include ruptured blood vessels and bruised or damaged brain tissue.
In many cases, TBIs cannot be treated. For other victims, surgery may be required to remove or repair damaged tissue or blood vessels. Many TBI victims never recover from their injuries. They suffer a variety of long-term complications that require full-time care. Other TBI victims lose their lives to this devastating injury.
Do Motorcycle Helmets Prevent TBIs?
The advanced technology used in the design and production of motorcycle helmets achieves two purposes: The first purpose of a helmet is to absorb impact and prevent it from being transferred to the wearer’s head. The second purpose is to extend the duration of impact you can sustain without serious injury.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that, although motorcycle helmets reduce the risk of death by only 37%, they reduce head injury risk by 69%. Trauma surgeons also appear to believe in the protective benefits of wearing a helmet. In a recent study, 100% of surgeons surveyed who owned a motorcycle reported that they always wear a helmet on their bike.
For the highest level of protection, any helmet you wear should be:
- Less than two years old,
- Free of damage, and
- Compliant with federal motorcycle helmet safety standards.
Wearing a helmet will help reduce your risk of TBI. However, even if you do ride with a high-quality helmet, you can still sustain life-threatening or even fatal injuries in a motorcycle crash.
Call on Florida’s Motorcycle Accident Attorneys If You Get Hurt
If you are involved in a motorcycle crash caused by another party, don’t risk your long-term health and well-being. The motorcycle accident lawyers at Rue & Ziffra believe you deserve compensation for all your accident-related injuries and other damages—even if you weren’t wearing a helmet. To schedule a free consultation, contact us now.