The Importance of Wearing Motorcycle Safety Gear

December 10, 2015
The Importance of Wearing Motorcycle Safety Gear When wearing protective gear, many motorcyclists in the state of Florida do not outfit themselves with a helmet. Combine that choice with not wearing anything else besides a t-shirt and shorts, riding a motorcycle can become even risker then normal. Almost 15 years after relaxing its helmet laws, Florida has become the poster child for pro-helmet campaigns across the country because of the dramatic increase in motorcyclist deaths. In fact the death toll has jumped intensely from an average of 160 a year before the law was repealed to 457 in 2012 alone. Currently, only 19 states have mandatory helmet laws, and there are ongoing fierce battles to roll back those provisions. Back in 2000, riders in Florida argued that helmets gave motorcyclists a false sense of security and endangered them because they blocked riders' sight lines and prevented them from hearing ambient noise—making them less alert in traffic. The current law governing helmets states that anyone over the age of 21 is allowed to ride without a helmet as long as they carry at least $10,000 in personal injury insurance coverage [1]. Even without the laws mandating wearing a helmet such as wearing a seatbelt in a car, the increased death statistics of riders not wearing helmets should be enough to encourage motorcyclists to wear them.  Moreover, it's always safe, effective and smart to wear the proper garments that will protect riders from making injuries worse. What Safety Equipment Or Gear Should I Have? Here at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we've created a list of protective gear that is essential for a safe riding experience. Unluckily, motorcyclists rarely come out on top when in a collision with an automobile, so it is vital that you protect yourself by using the proper gear. Recently, we've stumbled across a fantastic article that outlines in detail why each piece of safety equipment is essential, here are the findings:
  • Motorcycle Helmet: Regardless of whether or not it is illegal to toss wearing a helmet out the window, should never cross a motorcyclist's mind. While driving without one may be cooler in the hot heat of Florida, it also increases your chances of being severely or even fatally hurt if struck by another motorist. Understandably, when buying a helmet, there's a lot of styles and prices that can seem overwhelming. It is very important that you purchase a helmet that has passed the strict safety tested administered by the DOT. Every motorcycle helmet sold in the U.S. is required to meet such a certification. However, there is also the Snell helmet standard to keep in mind. This extra guarantee is based on rigorous testing developed by the Snell Memorial foundation which includes 7 test types from impact to shell penetration and more. It's also important that the helmet fits and is snug on your head where it's not too tight but it is comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time.
  • Motorcycle Gloves: The general rule of thumb, given the average coefficient of friction for road surface, is that you'll lose 1mm of flesh for every 1mph you're going over 30mph when you hit it. Induce that to 55mph and think about how much flesh can rip off. Any faster and the friction against the road will cause you're body to wear down to its bones, which will likely cause a fatal bone infection. Leaving your skin exposed is exactly how it sounds. We humans instinctively try to catch our falls by throwing out our hands. Hands are extremely fragile and fleshy. A proper pair of gloves will protect your hands from both impact and abrasion. With a retention strap secured around your wrists, “armor” for the top of your hand and knuckles as well as protective material to cover your palms (palm sliders), your hands will be extra protected [2].
  • Motorcycle Jackets & Pants: Road rash, deep lacerations, broken or fractured bones, loss of limbs, and permanent scarring and disfigurement can occur if not properly outfitted. Heavier materials and thicker and/or stronger leather will be more capable of providing protection throughout very high-speed crashes or across multiple incidents. Textile motorcycle jackets and leather motorcycle jackets can help protect you from such abrasions and road rash. Jackets that are waterproof and have extra padding called “body armor” around joints, chests and backs are added protection from your skin being torn apart. When it comes to pants and jeans, wearing ones that are made from thicker materials with liners or weaves can add a little more protection than what is offered by regular bottoms. While wearing regular jeans for leisure activity is understandable, longer drives should be paired with long and durable pants to protect yourself from head to toe.
  • Motorcycle Boots: Just like your hands, your feet are very fragile and can be easily injured during everyday activities. The good news is that heavy duty, over the ankle boots are available to protect you from the harsh reality of a crash. Wearing sneakers or sandals will not protect you from anything at all. Wearing shoes that protect not only your feet but also your ankles is crucial to ensuring that the tight support protects your foot from being crushed in an impact with a strong sole [2].
  • Motorcycle Goggles/Glasses: Large Florida bugs, dirt, dust and road debris are only some of the things that can make its way into a motorcyclist's eyes and cause severe eye damage when riding. Another added component would be to invest in tinted visors or glasses that are more effective than sunglasses at blocking the sun. We do live in the sunshine state, so it's extra important for local riders. Do not risk your eyesight. If a helmet doesn't already come fully covered, buy and wear full coverage, impact resistant eye protection whenever you ride [1].
  • Motorcyclists' Colors: It is imperative that you wear clothing that will make you visible. Whether its bright colors or reflective strips embedded in your gear, other motorists need to be able to see you on the road. This is the time that you do want to draw attention to yourself so that you are visible to everyone on the road.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA Inappropriate clothing can induce harsher effects of an injury; however, even after all of these measures are taken into consideration, there is still a high risk of injury if involved in an accident with another vehicle. The attorneys at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA have extensive experience in dealing with motorcycle accidents and their victims. Unfortunately, we know that insurance companies will often target the victims as the “adrenaline junkie/biker” stereotype. This makes them seem like they are responsible for their injuries for the very fact that they are riding a motorcycle. However, we all know that this is not the case and the attorneys at Dolman Law will represent you in a fair manner and pursue your situation to make sure that your insurance carrier gives you the proper treatment you paid for. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, please call our offices to deal with the aftermath. The insurance companies can make you feel at fault or will not adequately pursue the claim. Call us today and speak to one of our highly qualified motorcycle accident lawyers.  Our contact is (727) 451-6900. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 (727) 451-6900 References: [1] https://blog.jafrum.com/2009/08/22/motorcycle-protective-gear/ [2]  ​Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Motorcycle Safety Gear

Matthew Dolman

Clearwater Personal Injury and Insurance Attorney

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess or $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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