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Are certified helmets safer for motorcycle riders?

In the state of Florida, motorcycle riders who are at least 21 years  old and are covered by an insurance policy that provides for at least $10,000 in medical coverage may ride without a helmet. However, those who choose to ride with helmets may not be as safe as they think.

This is because riders have two distinct choices when choosing a helmet. First, there are certified helmets, which essentially are endorsed by the manufacturer that the helmet complies with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218, which has to do with the safety standards required for helmets. Second, Florida motorcycle riders can wear uncertified novelty helmets, which are similar to the aforementioned helmets, but they are not certified by the manufacturer.

While the differences may be stark as far as how they look on a rider’s head, the differences in protection that the helmets provide can be equally as dire. According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study, novelty helmets have little, if any, impact altering material in them. Because of this, they are not made to withstand high velocity impacts that come with crashes.

Conversely, most certified helmets have a large impact attenuating liner and a comfort liner under the outside protective shell; all of which can help in protecting a rider’s head on impact.

So while a novelty helmet may be cool to wear and may lead to some odd looks or admiration, a certified helmet may be the safer choice. If you have questions about your rights after an accident, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help

The Law Office of William E. Raikes III is located in Fort Pierce, FL and serves clients in and around the communities of Fort Pierce, Port Saint Lucie and Vero Beach.

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