Florida Helmet Law (or Lack of One) Under Fire

After much debate, the law requiring motorcyclists to wear a helmet in Florida was repealed in 2000. Since that time, motorcycle deaths have steadily increased. Between 2000 and 2008, there were 3,716 motorcyclists and their passengers killed in traffic crashes, an average of 413 per year or over one per day. In 2008, motorcycle fatalities dropped from the previous year by 3.4 percent representing 17.8 percent of all fatalities in motor vehicle crashes.

florida helmet lawIn 2015, there were 606 deaths attributed to motorcycle crashes in Florida. By county, Miami-Dade had the highest number, 67. The increase in number of deaths may be slightly related to the increase in the number of people residing in and visiting Florida, but clearly the increase in number of deaths exceeds the increase in population (by percent) and many people are calling for the helmet law to be reinstated.

Here’s why: Florida leads the nation in motorcycle crash fatalities. While motorcycles accounted for only 3 percent of all registered vehicles in our state, motorcyclists constituted 20 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities. A recent study found that about 50% of Florida motorcyclists wear helmets even though they are not required to do so. In states (19) where helmets are require.

Reinstating the Florida Helmet Law

A bill in the Florida Legislature would restore the universal helmet law by requiring all motorcyclists to wear protective headgear. House Bill 6009, sponsored by state Rep. Don Hahnfeldt, R-The Villages, would make riding without a helmet “a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a non-moving violation as provided in (Florida Statutes) Chapter 318.”

florida helmet lawWe deal with victims of serious motorcycle each day and we are not going to judge someone based on their choice to wear or not wear a helmet. The causes for crashes are many, and there are complicated issues involved when they are investigated and sometimes litigated. The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus is committed to preserving and protecting the rights of victims, making sure they are taken care of medically, emotionally, and financially.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a motorcycle accident we would be happy to sit down and listen to your story, and then we can explain what we believe would be the best course of action. You may reach out to us by calling 954-356-0006 and ask for a confidential consultation.