Are Motorcyclists Who Don’t Wear Helmets Partly to Blame for Their Injuries?
Do Motorcycle Helmets Save Lives?
According to the Center for Disease Control, in 2010, 42% of motorcyclists who suffered fatal injuries were not wearing a helmet. On average, states with motorcycle helmet laws save eight times more biker’s lives per 100,000 riders, compared to states without a helmet law. In the same way that those who drive automobiles are required to take advantage of seat belts, many feel motorcyclists should also take advantage of any safety feature which lessens the likelihood of death following an accident—such as a motorcycle helmet. It seems evident that motorcyclists are at a great disadvantage when involved in a traffic accident; the biker’s risk of serious injury or death is thirty times higher than for the average motorist. Many groups, while acknowledging that helmets save lives, argue against mandatory helmet laws stating they infringe upon the civil liberties of bikers and their right to accept the risks of riding without a helmet.
What Does the State of Florida Have to Say About Motorcycle Helmets?
Currently only nineteen states and the District of Columbia have motorcycle helmet laws requiring all bikers to wear a helmet. New Hampshire, Iowa and Illinois have no helmet law, and the remainder of the states have partial helmet laws. In the state of Florida you must be at least twenty-one years old and have at least $10,000 worth of medical coverage insurance in place in order to operate or ride on a motorcycle without a helmet.
If you are a resident of Florida who chooses not to wear a motorcycle helmet, it is important that you determine whether your current health insurance excludes motorcycles. Non-residents of Florida, riding in the Sunshine State, must also be at least twenty-one and have at least $10,000 in medical coverage insurance to ride without a helmet, regardless of that person’s home state helmet laws. Florida DHSMV found that in 2010, there were 383 motorcyclist deaths among those wearing a helmet and 196 motorcyclist deaths among those not wearing a helmet—hardly definitive research./
Pros and Cons of Wearing Motorcycle Helmets
Many bikers in favor of no helmet laws find the statistics involving injuries among bikers who don’t wear helmets to be extremely questionable while others believe bikers—like drivers who must wear a seatbelt—should be required to wear a helmet.
Pros of Wearing a Helmet:
- Your head is protected in the event of a crash.
- Your head is protected from flying debris.
- A helmet is nice to have when it’s raining or the wind is blowing severely.
- A motorcycle helmet keeps your head a bit warmer in the wintertime.
- If your helmet has a visor, you have some protection against insects or dirt and gravel thrown up by other vehicles.
- Some helmets come equipped with speakers and communication devices, allowing you to listen to music or talk on your cell phone.
Cons of Wearing a Helmet
- A heavy helmet can cause wearer-fatigue.
- For some, a motorcycle helmet can block peripheral vision.
- Some riders claim wearing a helmet reduces their ability to hear and detect potential hazards.
- Some research indicates that the wind noise inside a helmet can damage hearing.
- Some argue that a helmet can actually contribute to greater injury to the biker’s neck or spine.
- Motorcycle helmets can be costly.
- In hotter climates, helmet use can be intolerable.
- Freedom of riding without a helmet is the most-stated reason among bikers who don’t wear a helmet.
Should Bikers Who Don’t Wear Helmets Be Held Responsible for the Injuries?
If a driver is at fault in an accident with a motorcyclist, and that motorcyclist has extensive head injuries due to not wearing a helmet, should the at-fault driver be responsible for those injuries? If a motorist was not wearing their seatbelt during an accident, they have violated the law and the argument could be made that they contributed to their own injuries. Since the state of Florida does not require the use of a motorcycle helmet for those over twenty-one, no laws have been violated; therefore, the at-fault motorist is likely responsible for all injuries related to the accident.
Contact our Motorcycle Accident Law Firm if you or someone you love has suffered any type of motorcycle accident injury in Miami, or anywhere in the State of Florida, you need an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer on your side. Contact the Law Offices of Victor Dante to learn more about all of your legal options. Call us at 1-888-920-HURT or 305-949-2526 today to discuss your case, consultation if free.