Florida Motorcycle Laws: Wear a Helmet or Face the Consequences

Codie Ray Barlow, a twenty-year-old Floridian, struck a mailbox with his motorcycle on New Year’s Day and was thrown to his death. Mr. Barlow was not wearing a helmet.

The helmet could have saved his life.

A motorcycle crash can lead to devastating injuries or even death. Lacking the protective chassis of an automobile and without the benefit of seatbelts, motorcyclists are mostly unprotected in the event that they lose control over their motorcycle, or are struck by another vehicle.

The primary action that a motorcyclist can take to prevent injury is to wear a helmet. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that almost 41% of people who die in motorcycle accidents could have been saved if they had worn helmets, and that indeed, helmets did save the lives of over 1,800 motorcyclists in 2008.

Given the safety benefits of helmets, Florida requires, as a rule, that motorcycle riders always wear a helmet when riding. Motorcyclists who are over twenty-one can avoid the requirement if they carry sufficient insurance to cover the costs of their medical treatment.

Having seen too many traumatic injuries and fatal accidents over the course of three decades of client service, we strongly suggest that you don’t rely only on insurance. Insurance cannot save your life—wearing a helmet can.

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