Our Florida legislature made changes to the state helmet law in 2000. Under the new rules, motorcyclists over the age of 21 do not have to wear helmets as long as they have $10,000 of personal injury insurance coverage. Once this amendment went into effect, the state saw a decrease in helmet use, an increase in motorcycle registration, and a dramatic leap in the number of deaths that occurred in bike crashes.
The increase in deaths has many wondering: Is the helmet law to blame?
Take a Look at the Facts
The number of deaths caused by motorcycle accidents has certainly increased since the amended helmet law. Here are a few key facts about Florida motorcycle deaths:
- In the three years before Florida changed its helmet laws, the state averaged about 160 deaths per year. After the law changed, deaths rose to 246. In 2006, a record high 550 deaths were recorded.
- Safety advocates have used Florida’s motorcycle crash death statistics since the helmet law change when attempting to prevent helmet laws from relaxing in other states, such as Nebraska, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Vermont.
- Florida saw 382 motorcycle deaths in 2010; 452 in 2011; and 457 in 2012.
Wearing a Helmet Could Prevent Fatalities
Although wearing a helmet is not required in Florida if you meet the minimum age, it could prevent you from becoming seriously injured or worse. Without a helmet, your head has nothing to protect it if a car crashes into you on I-95 and you’re thrown from your bike.
You could prevent suffering from a traumatic brain injury or death by simply wearing a helmet. Remember, wearing a helmet is your choice. We strongly urge you to choose the maximum protection available when riding, because other vehicles don’t always respect the rights of a biker to share the road. Protection comes from the gear you choose to wear, including boots, gloves, jacket, and a helmet approved by the Department of Transportation.
The attorneys of Johnson and Gilbert want to speak with you if you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault. Contact us today to find out how we may be able to help you.