Florida motorcycle helmet laws are complicated and filled with exceptions. The general rule in Florida is that every motorcycle driver and passenger must wear an approved safety helmet. There are several exceptions to this rule, however, and a large number of motorcyclists fall within them. For instance, Florida law requires riders to wear a helmet unless they are over the age of 21 and have an insurance policy that provides at least $10,000 in medical benefits for injuries resulting from a motorcycle crash. Florida law also provides an exception to the requirement to wear a motorcycle helmet if an individual is age 16 or older and is operating a motorcycle that can go no faster than 30 miles per hour on level ground and is powered by a motor with a maximum displacement of 50 cubic centimeters, or is otherwise rated not in excess of 2 brake horsepower. Additionally, there is an exception to the helmet rule if an individual is riding in an enclosed cab.
In effect, these caveats to the general rule requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets allow most of-age motorcyclists with insurance to ride without a helmet. The same is not true, however, for the requirement to wear eye protection. All drivers and passengers, regardless of age or insurance coverage, must wear eye protection while on a motorcycle or moped. The only exception to the eye protection rule are people riding in enclosed cabs.
Riders who do not wear a helmet often report fear of neck injuries or no expectation of being involved in a collision. Florida motorcycle helmet laws, however, are designed for the safety of all riders. If you are in an accident and are not wearing headgear, you are three times more likely to suffer serious brain injury than if you were wearing a helmet. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, head injuries and chest injuries remain the most common types of fatal injuries resulting from motorcycle collisions in the United States. Helmet use is the single, most critical factor in the prevention or reduction of head injuries. Helmeted riders and passengers have significantly fewer and less serious head and neck injuries.
Being protected is important, so when purchasing a helmet make certain that it is certified by the Department of Transportation. Also be sure that your helmet has good visibility, sun protection, and that it fits properly. The lifespan of a helmet is about 5 years, and it is recommended that helmets any older than this should be replaced.
For more information about motorcycle equipment laws in Florida, follow the following link:
At Wittmer & Linehan PLLC, we encourage motorcyclists to wear helmets. If you have been injured in a motorcycle or moped accident, our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys can help you understand your rights under the law. We have built a reputation as advocates for the riding community and are here to assist you.