Lack of Universal Motorcycle Helmet Law Costly to Florida

Jul 12, 2012 Posted by in Motor Vehicle Accidents and Safety

Our Treasure Coast motorcycle accident lawyers presented a series of articles throughout May, during Motorcycle Awareness Month, on the dangers motorcycle riders face when riding Florida highways. In 2010, 383 motorcyclists or their passengers lost their lives on Florida highways. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, helmets are by far the single most effective method to prevent motorcyclist fatalities.

In fact, helmets prevent approximately 37 percent of crash fatalities among riders, and 41 percent among passengers. Helmets also prevent 13 percent of serious injuries and 8 percent of minor injuries to both riders and passengers. Statistics show that lives can be saved through helmet use. And a universal helmet law is one way to encourage bikers to don a helmet when riding. Unfortunately, Florida is one of 31 states that do not have a universal helmet law.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) realizes that helmets save lives. The CDC set out to find out just how much money states could save if all states enacted a universal helmet law. The results are startling: by requiring that motorcycle riders and passengers wear a helmet every time they ride, the CDC found that states could realize almost four times more in annual cost savings (per registered motorcycle) than in states without a helmet law.

According to CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., increasing the use of motorcycle helmets could save both lives and money. In the United States, over $3 billion in economic costs were saved due to the use of helmets, and another $1.4 billion could have been saved if all of the motorcyclists in the nation had worn helmets.

The study authors found that universal helmet laws had a correlation to the costs through helmet usage. In states with helmet laws, just 12 percent of motorcyclists were not wearing helmets, whereas nearly 80 percent of riders were helmet-less in states with no helmet laws. The cost savings to states realized were in terms of medical, productivity, and other costs associated with the deaths or serious injuries from motorcycle accidents.

Unfortunately, the risk for serious injury or death in a motorcycle accident is high. However, if the driver or passenger chooses not to wear a helmet, the risk is even greater. Our FL personal injury attorneys encourage all motorcycle riders, regardless of the state laws, to follow recommendations from the CDC to increase your safety:

  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Maintain a safe speed. Exercise caution when traveling over gravel or slippery surfaces.
  • Avoid tailgating.
  • Never ride a motorcycle after drinking.
  • Wear clothing that provides some level of injury protection.

Director of CDC’s Injury Center Linda C. Degutis, Dr. P.H., M.S.N. strongly recommends wearing a helmet to save your life. While motorcycling may be fun and provide riders with a sense of freedom, it also brings about the responsibility to use proper and appropriate safety equipment such as helmets.

Although helmet usage is a choice by riders, all motorists share in the responsibility for keeping bikers safe on our highways. Please be aware of motorcyclists sharing the highway with you, and be sure to maintain a safe distance in order to react to any sudden movements by cyclists.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact our South Florida motorcycle accident attorneys to learn about your rights.

Injured in a Florida Motorcycle Accident?

A Florida motorcycle accident caused by another driver can leave you with serious, life-altering injuries. You need a motorcycle accident lawyer to stand up for your legal rights. It’s reassuring to know you can trust the law firm of Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney. Our Florida motorcycle wreck lawyers have experience with vehicle accident claims, including those involving motorcycles.

If you’ve had a serious motorcycle accident and you need help, turn to the law firm of Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney. Call 888-733-5675 now to speak with a compassionate motorcycle accident attorney or fill out our online contact form.

We serve victims of motorcycle crashes in South Florida and the Treasure Coast, including in Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Jupiter, Stuart, Okeechobee, Vero Beach and Palm Beach.

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