How Do Lax Laws Lead to Motorcycle Accidents?
Did you know Florida will not enforce motorcycle riders over the age of 21 to wear a helmet? This lax law is dangerous. How many times do we see someone riding a motorcycle without a helmet in Miami? While cruising on a bike can be a fun, enjoyable way to navigate busy Florida roads, most people don’t protect themselves properly while doing so.
Shaked Law Firm always stresses the importance of motorcycle safety here on our blog. Unfortunately, Florida motorcycle helmet laws are so lenient, they lull motorcyclists into a false sense of security! This article is an informational attempt to change the perspective on wearing a helmet, despite lack of Florida law requiring it.
How can Floridians stay safe riding a motorcycle?
Staying safe on the road begins before leaving the house. Drivers must take care to have all insurance policies in place before ever getting behind the wheel of a new car. Parents are responsible for ensuring new teen drivers have taken and passed proper Drivers’ Education courses. The same responsibility lies with motorcycle riders. Insurance policies must be in place, while new riders should pass extensive motorcycle handling courses. For modes of transportation lacking the safety of a car, there’s another added safety measure: a helmet.
This responsibility is a matter of personal safety, not a matter of law. That’s because as of 2000, in Florida, riders age 21 and over with adequate coverage ($10,000+) are not required to wear a helmet while on a motorcycle. This lax law is 21 years old, therefore everyone must be responsible for their own personal safety.
How do Floridians prevent motorcycle accident injuries?
The purpose of a helmet isn’t based on a law telling motorcyclists to wear one. The purpose of a helmet is to protect the head, neck, spine, and brain from catastrophic injuries such as TBI. These are injuries that could result in TBI and in worst case scenarios, fatalities.
According to extensive research by the World Health Organization:
[…]Wearing a helmet is the single most effective way of reducing head injuries and fatali- ties resulting from motorcycle and bicycle crashes. Motorcyclists who do not wear helmets are at a much higher risk of sustaining head injuries and from dying from these injuries.Why Are Helmets Needed: WHO
How are parents setting an example for minors?
Motorcyclists with experience, who wear a helmet, set an example for young motorcycle enthusiasts. Children can suffer serious injuries riding their bike without a helmet. One day, this may translate to a teen or young adult riding a motorcycle. Safety starts at a young age. Parents should always wear a helmet, and encourage their children to wear a helmet while riding a bike. This is leading by example.
If children see Mom or Dad riding a bike or a motorcycle without a helmet, they won’t learn the importance of wearing one.
Accidents happen when children are riding bikes in a neighborhood they know well. Accidents usually happen close to home, where children live and play. In Florida, where the weather is beautiful, this is a year-round safety concern. If a child falls off their bike, without a helmet they risk concussion or TBI injuries. So, what can parents do? Employ all safety measures at their disposal. This includes a properly fitting helmet!
Replace helmets as soon as children outgrow them! Improperly fitting helmets are another cause of severe injury.
Motorcycle safety checklist
To conclude this article, we’ll provide a quick “safety checklist” to ensure our readers have the facts they need to know:
- Florida law will not enforce motorcyclists over age 21, with $10,000 or more in health insurance coverage to wear a helmet. However, this is a poor excuse not to wear one. Not wearing a helmet can result in severe TBI.
- Brain and spine injuries can occur due to motorcycle collisions. A helmet helps prevent permanent brain injuries by limiting impact of the road on the brain.
- New motorcycle riders should have extensive motorcycle handling courses before they attempt Miami roads.
- Gear such as gloves, protective glasses, and long sleeve clothing is necessary to protect body parts from life-threatening injuries.
- Lead by example! Parents should stress the importance of wearing a helmet to their children by wearing one themselves. Children should not ride a bike without safety precautions such as a helmet, knee, and elbow pads.