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How Much Do Motorcycle Helmets Really Help?

In the state of Florida, the law regarding motorcycle helmets is that you must wear a helmet until you’re 21 years old and you have $10,000 in medical insurance coverage. It’s worth pointing out that the PIP policy you need for car insurance isn’t necessarily enough, since a basic policy won’t kick in if you fall off your motorcycle and there’s no cars around.

But if you do meet these requirements, you’re allowed to choose whether or not to wear a helmet. For many cyclists out there that’s a good thing: full helmets can be uncomfortable to wear for long periods, they make it hard to talk, and they can limit your vision. Plus it seems like plenty of fatal accidents happen whether or not you have a helmet—after all, it’s impossible to make a motorcycle as safe as a car.

Florida Has A Motorcycle Fatality Problem

Motorcycles are a popular vehicle in Florida. With warm weather all year round, you can cruise the coastline any time of year without having to worry about dropping temperatures or wind chill. No snow means no slippery roads, another thing that can make motorcycles dangerous in northern climates. For the better part of a century, Daytona Beach has held Bike Week in March, and the event just keeps getting bigger every year.

But motorcycles are provably dangerous. Three percent of the registered road vehicles in Florida are motorcycles, but 20 percent of all fatal crashes in the state involve motorcycles. And while the number of fatal motorcycle crashes has gone down nearly by half in the past decade, Florida’s figures are on the rise, and our state now leads the nation in motorcycle fatalities.

The Hard Helmet Facts

According to national studies, motorcycles are 37 percent effective at stopping fatalities. That means that, if you’re wearing a helmet when you get into an accident, it will turn a fatal accident into a non-fatal crash about a third of the time. And while that might not sound like very good odds, they’re a lot better than the guaranteed fatalities you get from not wearing a helmet in the first place.

But there’s something else that’s important about how helmets help: head injuries in non-fatal accidents. When there’s a motorcycle collision, there’s usually a lot of asphalt, concrete, and steel around, the kind of stuff that can make a big impact on your head. That’s why a lot of motorcycle fatalities involve head injuries, and why plenty of survivors have to live with traumatic brain injuries for the next few months, years, or even the rest of their lives.

Motorcycle helmets don’t protect your body from sudden impacts, but they can cushion your head from the worst of an impact by taking some of the punishment and by spreading out the force of the impact over time. The helmet will break because of this, but because it breaks your brain has a much better chance of getting through the accident without any damage. And if there is some damage, it’ll at least be less than what it could have been.

If you or your loved one have been through a serious motorcycle accident in the state of Florida, consider contacting the law offices of , Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, and Walsh. We can represent your interests when you need to settle a claim with a responsible party or with your insurance company, and we will take your case to court if that’s what you need to get fair compensation. And while bigger injuries mean bigger settlements, we sincerely hope that you’ll protect yourself on future rides with a motorcycle helmet.

Michael J. Babboni's wide-ranging legal career is based on the strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and have access to effective legal help. Michael began putting his beliefs in action by helping the people of St. Petersburg Florida get what they are owed in civil trials fighting to protect families by making corporations pay, and honor their obligations.

How Much Do Motorcycle Helmets Really Help?

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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