Helmets Not Required – But Highly Recommended
Since 2000, it has been legal to ride a motorcycle helmet-free in the state of Florida. Riders must be over the age of 21 to ride without a helmet, and they must carry insurance providing for at least $10, 000 in medical benefits for injuries incurred as a result of a crash while operating or riding on a motorcycle.
Most riders will tell you that they enjoy having the option to either wear or not wear a helmet when riding. It’s generally a matter of preference, and most riders do have a helmet of some sort because they like to take their bikes out of state where helmet laws are different. During seasonal months when there are more drivers on the road, for example, you are more apt to see riders wearing helmets.
Of course, physicians recommend that motorcyclists wear helmets whenever they ride. More than 70 studies since the year 2000 support the wearing of a helmet, stating that they decrease the incidence of lethal head injuries, death, and non-lethal head injuries related to the use of helmets for motorcyclists. Helmets are designed to both absorb and extend the time of impact. When you’re in a motorcycle accident, your body and head are moving forward at great speeds, and your helmet absorbs some of the energy from that accident. It can help prevent lasting damage to your body.
When you’re looking for a helmet, search for one that is DOT and Snell certified; one with good visibility and protection from the sun; try the helmet on before purchasing to make sure it fits properly; and replace it after 5 years of use. If you’re not wearing a helmet on the road, know the risks, and make sure you have a sturdy pair of riding glasses that protect your eyes from the sun.
Motorcycle deaths on highways in Florida are higher, but that is proportional to better year round weather. It’s important to know your rights as a rider, whether you’re wearing a helmet or not.
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