As Palm Beach Motorcycle accident attorneys, we are all too aware that fatalities have increased dramatically following the 2000 repeal of mandatory helmet laws in Florida. The current law requires helmets for all riders under 21, and for any rider who carries less than $10,000 of medical insurance coverage. In other states partial helmet laws, the statistics tell a similar story according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The Florida Study
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) compared data from the 30 months before the repeal with data from the 30 months following. Findings showed:
- 55 percent increase in mortality rates for all riders, far exceeding predictions
- Although riders under 21 were still required by law to wear helmets, deaths among young riders not wearing helmets increased by 188%.
- Hospitalizations due to motorcycle accidents rose more than 40%
- The costs of treating head injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents more than doubled, topping $44 million.
- Of all motorcyclists hospitalized, only one in four had medical costs below the $10,000 insurance requirement, leaving millions of dollars in additional costs to victims and public assistance.
Because motorcycles offer far less protection from the physical forces at play in any collision, motorcyclists are more likely to suffer serious injury. Helmets are the best line of defense against brain injuries. The importance of wearing a helmet is clear, but other serious injuries may not be as easy to avoid.
If you or a loved one is suffering with serious injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident, call us today at 561-533-6700 for your free consultation with one of our experienced motorcycle injury attorneys. We welcome clients throughout Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, and the nearby communities.