Do You Have to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet in Destin, FL?

The laws regarding motorcycle helmets in Florida can be confusing. Florida does have mandatory helmet laws for riders in the state. But they don’t apply in every situation. 

In this blog post, you will learn more about what the law says about motorcycle helmets. That way, you’ll know exactly when it’s time to put one on. 

Is It Illegal to Ride a Motorcycle Without a Helmet?

The motorcycle helmet laws for Florida are defined under Florida Statutes 316.211. And you may be interested to know that updates to this statute were made recently.

Essentially, all motorcycle riders must wear a helmet unless one of the following exemptions applies:

  • You are over 21 years old and have at least $10,000 in medical insurance for a motorcycle crash
  • You are riding in an enclosed cab
  • You are over 16 years old and riding a moped with less than two brake horsepower
  • You are over 16 years old and riding a moped or bike with a maximum of 50cc engine displacement

Everyone else must wear a helmet when riding on Florida roads. And that helmet must be approved by the Department of Transportation. 

Now you know the answers to questions like “Do you have to wear a helmet on a motorcycle?” Let’s move on to more details about motorcycle safety.

Do You Have to Wear Eye Protection on a Motorcycle? 

Unlike helmets, protective eyewear is required for every rider at all times. So regardless of your age or insurance protection, you must wear visors, glasses, or goggles. Not only will this keep you in compliance with Florida law, but it will also protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, debris, and wind.

If you want to invest in protective eyewear that does the job right, look for:

  • Polycarbonate lenses
  • Foam padding
  • Flexible frames
  • UV protection
  • Anti-fog coating

With these features, your eyewear will keep you and your vision protected. 

What Happens If I Don’t Wear a Helmet?

If you ignore the Florida motorcycle helmet law, you risk receiving a ticket. Because breaking this law is not a criminal offense, you won’t have to worry about jail time or hefty fines. Still, the price of a ticket is no laughing matter.

What’s more, forgoing a helmet puts you at a much greater risk of serious injury or death. There’s a reason that states without universal helmet laws have ten times the number of motorcycle deaths. 

Comparative Negligence

It’s also worth noting that failing to wear a helmet has the potential to impact an injury settlement related to your accident. Florida has pure comparative negligence rules. You could be held partially responsible for your accident if you share blame for the cause.

These rules will reduce your compensation to account for your percentage of fault for your injuries or crash. If you were not wearing a helmet, you can rest assured that an insurance company will try to blame you for the accident. They will say your injuries would have been less severe but for your lack of a helmet. This could reduce the amount you take home in your claim.

In these cases, as with all personal injury cases, it’s smart to consult with an attorney. Helmet laws and head injuries can sometimes lead to complicated legal proceedings. An attorney will help you wade through Florida motorcycle laws and determine your next best steps. 

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Northwest Florida

If you need legal assistance, contact the Destin personal injury lawyers at Brannon & Brannon Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We have two convenient locations in Northwest Florida:

Brannon & Brannon Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers – Fort Walton Beach Office
975 Mar Walt Dr
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
(850) 863-5297

Brannon & Brannon Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers – Destin Office
4507 Furling Ln Suite 214
Destin, FL 32541
(850) 790-0243