Do I Need to Wear a Bike Helmet in Florida?: South Florida Bike Injury Lawyer Explains
If you are older than 16 years old, you are not legally required to wear a bike helmet in Florida.
If you are under 16 years old in Florida, you are legally required to wear a bike helmet.
If you are under 16, you need to wear a helmet regardless of if you’re a bike rider or a passenger. The helmet must be fitted appropriately (more information on this below) and have the strap be snuggly fastened, according to Florida law. Passengers also include children riding in trailers or anything attached to a bicycle, so any child riding or being transported by a bike in any way must have a helmet on in Florida.
Children ages 5 to 14 years old go to emergency rooms due to bicycle-related injuries more than any other sport, according to NHTSA. Many of these injuries are head injuries. Because of how often children suffer head injuries on bikes, most states – including Florida – have bike helmet laws in place to protect children.
While bike accidents are very common among children, bicycle crashes can happen at any time to anyone – even the most experienced riders. A middle-aged adult is the average age of someone injured or killed in a bike accident, according to national data.
Florida Law only requires the use of a helmet for children under 16 years of age (Florida Law 316.2065(3)(d)). Although a first offense will likely only result in a warning, education, or a revocable fine, the main concern is your safety, not the law.
Helmets are vital to your protection while riding a bicycle, whether you are a child under 16 or an adult. As South Florida Bike Accident Injury Lawyers, we’ve been around the block. Here is our advice:
- We recommend wearing a helmet when riding a bicycle in Florida. Helmets can drastically reduce the risk of suffering from a traumatic brain injury or head injury if you’re injured in a Florida bike accident. A bike accident can cause serious injuries.
- If you are in a Florida bike accident, even if it is someone else’s fault, you can be found “negligent” for not wearing a helmet, which means you will get a smaller injury settlement. It depends on the court, but it’s likely to result in lesser damages awarded (which means a smaller monetary settlement for you if you’re injured in a bicycle accident).
- The risk is simply too great. Florida is the most dangerous state to ride a bike in and has the most bicycle accident deaths in the nation. Wearing a helmet can drastically improve your chances of survival, even if you’re injured in a bike accident.
- More than 20% of drivers in Florida are driving without car insurance. This means there is a good chance that if you’re involved in a bike crash with a car, the driver doesn’t have insurance money to pay for your medical bills or compensate you for damages.
In Florida, eBikes are classified as bicycles. You can learn all about important Florida Bike Laws on our site.
This means that E-Bike rides have all the rights, privileges and duties of a cyclist. You can ride them on the street and, where local law permits, on the sidewalk.
While riding an E-Bike in Florida, you are not required to wear a helmet if you are over 16 years of age. The same helmet rules apply to E-Bike riders as they do to regular bike riders in Florida.
However, as E-Bike accident injury lawyers, we also recommend wearing a helmet anyway. The safety benefits cannot be overstated—it could be the difference between life and death.
- SIZE: To find the right helmet size, measure your head. Try on a few helmets your size to see which one feels right. Once you find one that feels right, adjust the sizing pads inside or the fit ring until the helmet is nice and snug.
- POSITION: A bike helmet should sit on your head and low on your forehead, about 1 or 2 fingers above your eyebrows.
- SIDE STRAPS: You can adjust the side straps by sliding the slider to make a V shape under and in front of your ears. If possible, lock the slider.
- BUCKLES: The buckle should be centered under your chin. Most of the time you can lengthen or shorten the chin straps by pulling the straps from the back of the helmet. Sometimes it’s easier to adjust this by taking off the helmet.
- CHIN STRAP: Always buckle your helmet’s chin strap before riding your bike. Tighten it until it’s snug, so only about 1-2 fingers can fit under the strap.
- FINAL FITTING: There are 4 final things to check!
- Open your mouth wide for a big, fake yawn. The helmet should pull down on your head; if it doesn’t, you need to tighten your chin strap a bit more.
- Does your helmet slide back on your head, so it’s more than 2 fingers above your eyebrows? If it does, take your helmet off and shorten the front strap. Try it on again, buckle and tighten the chin strap, and test again.
- Does your helmet slide forward into your eyes? If it does, take your helmet off and shorten the back strap. Shorten the back strap by moving the slider back closer to your ear. Try it on again, buckle and tighten the chin strap, and test again.
- Roll the rubber band down to the buckle. All 4 straps need to go through the rubber band and be close to the buckle to make sure the buckle doesn’t slip.
Wearing a bike helmet is the single most effective piece of equipment for bike riders of all ages. In the unfortunate event of a crash, a helmet is the best thing to have. It could save your life or prevent a severe brain injury or concussion.
For other bike safety tips, check out our E-Bike Guide Blog or our guide on Florida Laws when it comes to Bikers and Drivers sharing the road.
If you or someone you love suffered injuries while riding a bicycle, a personal injury lawsuit may be the only way that you can fully recover financially.
Many injured riders are eligible to seek compensation for the expenses related to the accident, including emergency medical treatment and long-term care needs, physical therapy and rehabilitation, and lost wages, as well as compensation for the pain and suffering.
The Law Office of Andrew G. Rosenberg, P.A. is here to help bicyclists who careless or negligent drivers have injured start the process of financial recovery. If you’ve been hurt in a bicycle accident, you need to speak with an experienced Florida bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Please contact us online or call our Coral Springs office directly at (954) 755-7803 to schedule your free consultation. We proudly serve Florida residents, including all of Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Miami-Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach County, and all points in between.