Yes, Florida’s bicycle helmet law [Florida Statute § 316.2065(3)(d)] requires that every bicycle rider or passenger who is 15 years old or younger must wear a helmet that meets federal safety standards.
What if I have an old bicycle helmet?
Federal law allowed owners of older bicycle helmets (bought before October 1, 2012) that met any nationally recognized safety standards to continue using them until January 1, 2016; however, now, your helmet must comply with the safety standards of 16 CFR part 1203.
Who does helmet rule apply to?
The helmet rule applies to:
- Anyone being towed by the bike (The statute specifically applies the helmet requirement to people riding in trailers or semitrailers attached to bicycles, as they are also considered passengers.)
Do parents have to make their children wear bicycle helmets?
Yes. The statute forbids parents and guardians of minor children from authorizing or knowingly allowing minor children or wards to violate any of the bicycle regulations contained within the statute.
Is it negligence not to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle?
No. Even though the law states that all persons under 16 must wear a helmet, it is not proof of negligence if:
- a person does not wear a bicycle helmet, or if
- a parent does not prevent a child from riding a bicycle without a helmet.
Does it hurt my damages claim if I did not wear a bicycle helmet?
No. Because the statute does not allow failure to wear a helmet to be considered negligence or contributory negligence, it cannot hurt a personal injury damages claim.
For example, Phil who was riding his bicycle down Las Olas Blvd was not wearing a helmet. Phil was crossing the street when a car failed to stop at a stop sign. The car struck him and caused him to sustain a traumatic brain injury.
Even though Phil contributed to his head injury by not wearing a helmet, legally, he is not liable for his injuries.
Let’s consider another example. Phil, still not wearing his helmet, fails to look both ways and gets hit by the same driver who ran a red light. In this case, Phil has contributed to the accident by failing to look both ways.
If the insurer found him 10 percent responsible for his injuries, he would only be able to recover 90 percent of his settlement. Let us say Phil’s total damages were $100,000. Phil’s negligence reduced this by 10 percent, leaving Phil with $90,000.
While legally you are not responsible for an injury that resulted from you not wearing a helmet, you can be sure that the insurer will do what it can to reduce your settlement. The car accident team at Montero Law Center can help defend you against any accusations of fault and build a strong case for injury compensation.
Call us today at 954-767-6500 to set up your free consultation.