What are Tampa's Motorcycle Helmet Laws?

Motorcycles have become a very popular transportation option for people in Tampa and all throughout the Sunshine State. Unfortunately, the roads need to be safer for motorcyclists since 5,014 lost their lives in motorcycle accidents across the U.S. in 2019. Riders are especially susceptible to injuries since their bikes provide no protection against serious crashes. Fortunately, Department of Transportation (DOT) compliant helmets have been proven to minimize the severity of head injuries during motorcycle accidents.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates, helmets can minimize the possibility of death in motorcycle crashes by up 37%. Likewise, motorcyclists without helmets have a 15% increased risk of sustaining a traumatic brain injury and are twice as likely to sustain deadly fatal head injuries than helmeted motorcyclists following a crash.

Although it might be perfectly legal in Florida for certain individuals to ride their motorcycles without helmets, wearing a helmet while riding is still the best option.

Helmet Laws in The Sunshine State

In Florida, only motorcyclists who are 21 years old and younger are legally required to wear a helmet while riding or operating a motorcycle in the state, compliant with the DOT federal helmet laws. Motorcyclists older than 21 years old, on the other hand, can ride and operate a motorcycle without wearing a helmet provided that they have insurance coverage that provides no less than $10,000 in medical or injury benefits in the event of a motorcycle accident.

Also, all motorcycle riders, regardless of age, must wear proper eye protection, such as face shields or goggles, even if the motorcycle has a windshield. Take note that prescription glasses and sunglasses are not considered proper and adequate eye protection gear.

Ensuring Your Safety On The Road

Besides wearing a DOT-compliant helmet and proper eye protection gear, riders should always:

  • Obey traffic signs, lights, lane markings, and speed limits
  • Always check what’s behind you and make a signal before changing lanes
  • Ride with traffic flow
  • Leave ample space between your motorcycle and other motor vehicles

Always proceed with caution at intersections and give right-of-way to pedestrians and other motorists whenever appropriate. You should also ride defensively—always. Keep in mind that most multi-vehicle motorcycle accidents commonly occur when drivers fail to spot a motorcycle on the road.

You could increase your visibility on the road by outfitting your bike with reflective materials and keeping the headlights on even during the day, especially when it’s cloudy. Additionally, wearing clothing in bright colors or with reflective materials will make it easier for other motorists to see you.

Reach Out to an Experienced Tampa Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today

While many riders take all the necessary precautions to ensure their safety while riding, they are usually surrounded by other motorists who might not practice the same safety precautions on the road. If you have suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, let our skilled Tampa motorcycle accident attorney help you. Contact Tragos, Sartes & Tragos by phone at 727-441-9093 or online to schedule your free case evaluation with our Tampa motorcycle accident lawyer.