Why Every Motorcyclist Should Wear a Helmet
The fresh air. The long, seemingly endless highways with picturesque scenery. The year-round sunshine. Let’s face it, Florida is made for people who love riding motorcycles. However, it is important to never forget the potentially dangerous aspect of this popular sport even while enjoying it as a pastime.
An incident in Broward County recently is a reminder of the importance of undertaking motorcycle safety measures. Firefighters who attended to the scene of a motorcycle accident on Friday night credited the man’s helmet, which was found split into two pieces, with saving his life. The firefighters left unsaid what could have happened had the man not been wearing a helmet.
Helmet use is especially important for motorcycle riders because serious head injuries are common among motorcyclists who are fatally injured in accidents. The reality, which every motorcycle rider should know, is that the sport has serious risks. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the number of deaths on motorcycles was almost 29 times the number in cars in 2015, per mile traveled.
However, helmets reduce the risk of a motorcycle accident fatality by 37 percent. Further, they reduce the risk of a head injury by 69 percent. This simple step is very important as the decision to wear a helmet can be life-saving, just as in the case of the Broward County man this past weekend. Every motorcyclist can undertake steps to ensure his or her safety.
Before Operating a Motorcycle, Obtain a License
Obtaining a license to operate a motorcycle in Florida is the first step in undertaking motorcycle safety. There are two different kinds of motorcycle licenses that a person can obtain in Florida:
Motorcycle Only license – all Motorcycle Only license-holders are required to take and pass a standard Class E driving test. Floridians who are at least 16 years old (but less than age 18) can obtain a Motorcycle Only license only after holding a Learners Permit for a minimum of a year without a traffic conviction.
Motorcycle Endorsement – current license-holders can have a Motorcycle Endorsement added to their existing license.
Regardless of which type of license, new Floridian motorcyclists are required to pass a Basic Rider Course (BRC) through the Florida Rider Training Program prior to being able to legally operate a motorcycle.
Know the Law Regarding Helmets
In addition to the fact that wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle reduces the risk of incurring a serious injury, it also guarantees compliance with the law. Under Florida law, an adult may operate a motorcycle without protective head gear – but only if the person is at least 21 years old and has an insurance policy that provides at least $10,000 in medical benefits for any injuries sustained while riding on or operating a motorcycle.
Make Sure that the Helmet Itself is Safe
A helmet is only as good as it fits so choosing one that fits properly is important. Remember:
- Measure your head before buying a helmet.
- Make sure the chin strap fits snugly against the throat, not the point of the chin.
- Ensure the helmet does not slide off when leaning forward. If so, it is too big.
- Don’t skimp on the price. If you are ever in an accident, you will have want the helmet that is the most protective, not the one that was the best deal.
Let Us Help You Today
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents happen. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the fault of someone else, we can help. The Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys at The Pendas Law Firm are experienced in helping people like you recover the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Orlando, Miami, Fort Myers, Tampa, Jacksonville, Daytona and Bradenton areas.