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Why Do Motorcyclists Not Wear Helmets?

Why Do Motorcyclists Not Wear Helmets?

According to data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), motorcycle helmets are one of the most important pieces of safety equipment a motorcyclist can wear. Based on their research, helmets give a motorcyclist a 35% improved likelihood to survive a serious motorcycle accident, a 26% improved likelihood to avoid a severe injury that requires emergency care, and a nearly 10% improved likelihood to avoid any injury at all.

If motorcycle helmets are so effective and important, then why do so many riders still not wear them in most situations? Whenever you hit the roads of Florida, you will probably see at least one motorcyclist without a helmet on. Are they simply choosing to ignore a life-saving piece of safety equipment? The answer is probably more in-depth than a simple yes or no.

There are a few reasons why a Florida motorcyclist might not wear a helmet when riding:

  • Helmet law: Florida helmet laws actually give anyone over the age of 21 the choice to wear a helmet or not if they carry at least $10,000 in medical insurance coverage for any injuries they could potentially suffer in a crash. Most motorcycle insurance policies will include this minimum amount. Since not wearing a helmet is completely lawful, many riders simply choose to go without it.
  • Improved eyesight and hearing: Some riders will tell you that the average motorcycle helmet obscured their vision due to the visor or the sides of the helmet. Others find it more difficult to hear cars in adjacent lanes or approaching emergency vehicles with a helmet on. By choosing not to ride with a helmet, they might experience improved eyesight and hearing that helps them avoid a crash, which they believe is worth the risk of suffering more severe injuries if a crash does occur.
  • Comfort: Other riders still do not wear helmets while riding because it is an issue of comfort. An effective helmet needs to fit snugly to the head. The NHTSA even says in its informational articles that a “correctly sized helmet will be a little tight” and cause “even pressure around [the] head.” For some people, this pressure feels distracting and painful enough that they forgo the helmet and focus on being comfortable while riding, which can make them more alert to hazards.

Should You Wear a Motorcycle Helmet?

At Politis & Matovina, P.A. in Daytona Beach, many of our motorcycle accident attorneys are also avid motorcyclists. We have represented many motorcyclists from our communities who have suffered serious injuries that could have been prevented or lessened with the use of a properly fitting helmet. As injury lawyers, riders, and people who care about your health and wellbeing, we must encourage you to always wear a helmet whenever you ride, even if you are just taking a short trip to the corner store or a friend’s house.

If you are uncomfortable when wearing a helmet, then you may want to take some time to visit a local shop and find one that fits better. There are numerous types, designs, and styles of motorcycle helmets with different fits for differently shaped heads. With some shopping around, you are bound to find one that fits, feels comfortable, and does not obscure your vision. Given that helmets provide such a huge safety benefit, we think you will be glad you did.


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