Last Update: 01/27/16
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released its 2012 Fatality Analysis Report which showed that 33,561 people died in traffic accidents on U.S. highways in 2012 (an increase from 2011) – and that most of these traffic fatalities involved people walking on the street or people driving or riding motorcycles.In Florida, if you are over 21 years old and have $10,000 in medical insurance, you don’t have to wear a motorcycle helmet.
The good news is that the number of highway deaths remain very low when compared to statistics in past decades – but things are still very dangerous on our roads for certain segments of the population (particularly motorcyclists).
- More pedestrians have died in traffic accidents each year for the past 3 years.
- The most dangerous places to walk near traffic are: (1) in urban areas, (2) at non-intersections (jaywalking) (3) when it’s dark.
- Pedestrians are often the victims of drunk drivers.
- More motorcycle riders have died in traffic accidents each year for the past 3 years.
- For states that don’t require a motorcycle helmet, like Florida, the risk of dying in a traffic accident motorcycle crash was TEN times as high as those where the motorcyclist has to wear a helmet.
- More big rig drivers (and those riding in semi trucks) have died in traffic accidents each year for the past 3 years.
- Drunk drivers in traffic accidents killed more people this year than last, and most were found to have twice the legal BAC limit at the crash.
- Distracting driving is about the same as the cause of traffic deaths.
- People don’t use a seat belt at night as much as in the daytime, and 67% of those people that died in a nighttime traffic accident were not wearing a safety belt.
What about Florida Motorcycle Helmet Laws?
Florida does NOT require everyone driving a motorcycle to wear a motorcycle helmet.
According to Florida Statute 316.211, you do not have to wear a motorcycle helmet in the State of Florida if (1) you are 21+ years old and (2) carry at least $10,000 in medical insurance.
Here is the Florida Motorcycle Helmet Law:
316.211 Equipment for motorcycle and moped riders.—
(1) A person may not operate or ride upon a motorcycle unless the person is properly wearing protective headgear securely fastened upon his or her head which complies with Federal Motorcycle Vehicle Safety Standard 218 promulgated by the United States Department of Transportation. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall adopt this standard by agency rule.
(2) A person may not operate a motorcycle unless the person is wearing an eye-protective device over his or her eyes of a type approved by the department.
(3)(a) This section does not apply to persons riding within an enclosed cab or to any person 16 years of age or older who is operating or riding upon a motorcycle powered by a motor with a displacement of 50 cubic centimeters or less or is rated not in excess of 2 brake horsepower and which is not capable of propelling such motorcycle at a speed greater than 30 miles per hour on level ground.
(b) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a person over 21 years of age may operate or ride upon a motorcycle without wearing protective headgear securely fastened upon his or her head if such person is covered by an insurance policy 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.
(4) A person under 16 years of age may not operate or ride upon a moped unless the person is properly wearing protective headgear securely fastened upon his or her head which complies with Federal Motorcycle Vehicle Safety Standard 218 promulgated by the United States Department of Transportation.
(5) The department shall make available a list of protective headgear approved in this section, and the list shall be provided on request.
(6) Each motorcycle registered to a person under 21 years of age must display a license plate that is unique in design and color.
(7) A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation as provided in chapter 318.
What Should You Do Now?
A good piece of advice if you have been harmed in a car accident, is to at least speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer before you file a claim to learn about some of the issues that can arise with these claims, including the type of evidence needed to prove a claim and the type and amount of damages you can recover. Most personal injury lawyers, like Alan Sackrin, will offer a free initial consultation (over the phone or in person) to answer your questions.
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Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.
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