How Much Does a Helmet Improve Survival in a Miami Motorcycle Crash?
October 29, 2022 | Sagi Shaked | Motorcycle Accidents
Over the last 20 years, the number of motorcycle fatalities in Florida has doubled. A study by the Florida Motorcycle Safety Coalition concluded that there was an average of 550 motorcycle fatalities per year in the state from 2016 to 2021. This study found that motorcycle fatalities accounted for 17% of all traffic fatalities in Florida throughout the last five years.
When it comes to motorcycle safety, the most comprehensive form of protection is the most obvious. Parents have been telling children to wear helmets since childhood bike riding days, and for a good reason. But how much does a helmet actually improve your chances of survival in a Miami motorcycle crash?
Florida’s Helmet Law
Florida law states that a person cannot operate or ride a motorcycle without a helmet unless they are over 21 years of age and have insurance that provides a minimum of $10,000 in medical benefits. So not only is helmet use a powerful safety measure, but it is also the law. Additionally, helmets worn must comply with U.S. Department of Transportation standards.
Previously, Florida’s standards were much stricter. Their old helmet law mandated that all motorcycle riders in the state must wear a helmet and protective eye gear, regardless of age or insurance stipulations. This law was repealed on July 1, 2020.
Helmets Promote Motorcycle Safety
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), helmets can lower the risk of head injury by 69%. Additionally, the same study found that helmets are 37% effective in preventing rider deaths and 41% for passenger deaths.
With numbers like these, it’s difficult to fathom why anyone would put themselves or their passengers at risk by riding without proper protection.
Numbers Don’t Lie
The notion that helmets save lives is backed by years of research. However, helmets do not provide immunity from injury, especially in high-speed collisions or incidents involving explosions.
Motorcycles Are Not As Safe As Cars
This may seem obvious, but motorcycles are not cars. Cars are equipped with airbags and other safety fortifications, whereas motorcycles leave the rider exposed to the elements. Simply put, a helmet is one of the only viable safety options available to motorcycle riders.
Helmet Use and Personal Injury Compensation
Comparative negligence statutes could apply to cases where a motorcycle rider opted not to wear a helmet. For example, the case of De Los Santos v. Brink saw a court entertain arguments about comparative negligence in regard to one party’s failure to wear a helmet.
This is why it is a good idea to have an experienced attorney by your side who understands how a comparative negligence argument could come into play in your specific situation. With this in mind, the best way to assure you are duly compensated is by practicing proper safety precautions, such as wearing a helmet, in the first place.
Motorcycle Passenger Helmet Requirements in Florida
Motorcycle passengers are subject to the same requirements as riders. That is, they must wear a helmet and adequate eye protection if they are under the age of 21. If they are over 21 and opt not to wear a helmet, they must carry an insurance policy that covers a minimum of $10,000 for collision-related injuries.
Regardless, all passengers must wear eye protection when traveling by motorcycle throughout the state.