Rider Protection from Head to Toe
Regardless if you are a novice or experienced motorcycle rider, wearing the proper gear to protect you during a fall is crucial. Although each person has preferred styles, materials, and brands they choose to stick to, the attire essentials of motorcycle riding include: a helmet, riding gloves, a padded or leather jacket, riding pants, and some form of close-toed boots.
These items have proven to reduce the risk of serious injuries and may be useful in a variety of accidents.
Under Florida law, only motorcycle riders under the age of 21 are required to wear a helmet at all times. Still, wearing one is a crucial defense against the most severe injuries in a crash, no matter your age. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that they even reduce the risk of head injury by 69%.
There are several motorcycle helmet options available for riders that provide varying levels of face and head protection. Your riding habits, age, and comfortability may determine which is the best fit for you.
Types of Helmets
There are four main types of helmets for the standard roadway motorcycle user:
- Full Face: these offer 360 head and neck support and come with a face shield and chin bar.
- Modular: these are characterized by the front visor and chin bar's ability to flip up.
- Open Face or 3/4: as the name suggests, these helmets leave the face open and only cover the back and sides of your head. Most notable in the 3/4 helmet is that there is often no chin bar.
- Half: these helmets only protect the top of your head and often don't come with eye coverage.
Depending on which helmet you choose, it is always wise to invest in a pair of riding goggles or glasses to shield your eyes from the sun, wind, bugs, and other debris.
2. Riding Gloves
One of the most commonly overlooked areas of the body when motorcycle riding is the hands, and these frequently sustain some of the greatest damages in a fall. Riding gloves are highly recommended for any rider, as they provide significant protection from cuts and burns while also absorbing the vibrations from your bike/the road. Several options also add extra grip so you have better control over your handlebars.
3. Padded or Leather Jacket
Similar to the gloves, wearing a padded or leather jacket when riding can increase your layers of protection. When a rider falls or is involved in a collision, the abrasiveness of the road causes significant injuries to the arms and back. Wearing leather material provides substantial resistance to this abrasion; likewise, a padded jacket can reduce the impact of hitting the road.
In addition to this protection, it's always a good option to wear a jacket to account for the elements. Sun or rain can affect you not only through sunburns and slickness but also can increase your likelihood of fatigue when riding.
4. Riding Pants
As mentioned previously, leather is an ideal material to protect against sliding on the road; however, Kevlar pants, or those made specifically for motorcycle riding, are also effective. Ultimately, you should avoid wearing fabric like denim, as these can easily shred when coming into contact with the pavement. Shorts or otherwise bare legs will also not provide the protection needed to sustain a fall without injury.
5. Close-Toed or Armored Boots
A motorcycle rider should never wear open-toed shoes. Footwear like flip flops or other sandals that expose the feet are extremely dangerous and leave you exposed to multiple hazards. Instead, opt for a close-toed or armored boot.
A study for the National Highway Traffic Administration found that simply wearing a boot while riding reduced the likelihood of a foot or ankle injury by 53% and open wound injuries by 73%. When opting for an armored boot instead, open wound injury risk decreased by 90%.
St. Augustine Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
The attire you choose to wear on a motorcycle can provide one of the strongest defenses against injury in an accident; however, even if you dress for safety, negligent drivers may still pose a risk. When involved in a motorcycle collision, trust the team at Canan Law to have your back.
Our team has spent over 30 years advocating for the rights of motorcycle riders across Florida and is prepared to take on your case. Call (904) 849-2266 or fill out this short form to get started with a free consultation.