Do You Have To Wear a Motorcycle Helmet in Jacksonville, FL?
Wearing a helmet while motorcycling in Jacksonville may feel constraining. Instead of feeling the wind whipping at your face and blowing through your hair, a helmet can cause you to sweat and feel confined. It is no wonder, then, that a sizable portion of motorcyclists across the country do not wear a helmet.
Suppose that you are a new resident in Jacksonville or are just starting to explore the world of motorcycling. You might wonder whether Florida law requires you to wear a helmet while riding your motorcycle. The short answer is not always.
Nonetheless, there are reasons you should consider wearing a motorcycle helmet regardless of what the law requires.
Motorcycle Helmets Aren’t Always Required Under Florida Law
Until recently, Florida law mandated that all riders and passengers wear helmets and protective eyewear when on a motorcycle. This all changed in 2020, however, when the state amended its helmet law, dropping the requirement that those over 21 years of age wear a helmet.
Now, any motorcycle rider over the age of 21 years does not necessarily have to wear a helmet. To be exempt from the helmet law, though, the rider must have an insurance policy with at least $10,000 in medical benefits. Otherwise, you must wear a helmet when on your motorcycle. Additionally, the state’s law still stipulates that all motorcycle riders must wear protective eyewear.
Additionally, riders over the age of 16 years who are operating a low-powered motorcycle incapable of exceeding 30 miles per hour are exempt from having to wear a helmet. Lastly, riders who travel in an enclosed cab do not need to wear a motorcycle helmet, either.
Why You Should Still Wear a Motorcycle Helmet in Jacksonville
You might not need to worry about being ticketed or fined for riding your motorcycle without a helmet. However, there are still good reasons for putting one on next time you go for a ride:
A Helmet Can Save Your Life
The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that between 2002 and 2017, motorcycle helmets saved approximately 25,000 lives in crashes. The NSC further reported that a helmet is 37% effective at preventing fatal injuries in the event of a crash. Not only can a helmet save your life, but it can help prevent serious traumatic brain injuries.
In short, wearing a helmet is one of the best safety measures you can take to protect yourself in the event of a motorcycle accident. You do not have any control over the driving behavior of others, and wearing a helmet protects you from the actions and consequences of the unexpected bad driver or careless motorist.
Motorcycle Helmets Also Protect Your Legal Rights
Wearing a helmet also puts you in the strongest position to recover monetary compensation following a traffic accident. Without a helmet, an at-fault motorist could argue that any brain injury or trauma you suffered would not have been as severe had you worn a helmet. Wearing a helmet could render this argument moot.
The legal consequences of not wearing a helmet can be more significant if you must wear one under the law. Breaking the law by not wearing a helmet is often considered negligence, and this negligence can reduce the compensation value you might otherwise receive.
Helmet Use When Motorcycling in Florida Makes Sense
If you are over the age of 21 and have adequate insurance, the choice of whether to wear a helmet in Jacksonville is yours. Though the law may not require you to wear one, doing so is a good idea.
Wearing a helmet puts you in a stronger legal position in the event of a wreck. Even more importantly, though, it can determine whether you survive a motorcycle accident.
Contact the Jacksonville Motorcycle Accident Law Firm of Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers Today For Help
For more information, please contact the Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra motorcycle accident law firm of Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Jacksonville
9471 Baymeadows Rd #105,
Jacksonville, FL 32256
Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Downtown Jacksonville
121 W. Forsyth St. #170,
Jacksonville, FL 32202