Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is here, arriving right on the heels of a sad string of fatal motorcycle accidents occurring all across Florida over the past few months- reminders of the harsh reality that compared to other motorists, motorcyclists face far greater risk of serious injury, and death.
In fact, motorcycle accident victims are 25 times more likely to die from their injuries – according to the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety’s Report, Fatality Facts 2010 – Motorcycles: “Motorcycles are less stable and less visible than cars and often have high performance capabilities. When motorcycles crash, their riders lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle, so they’re more likely to be injured or killed.”
And so the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is using the month of May to heighten awareness on all sides of the equation, delivering this core message to all motorists:
“Motorcycles are vehicles with the same rights and privileges as any motor vehicle on the roadway. Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is a national initiative aimed at getting motorists and motorcyclists to “share the road” with each other. “The need to raise public awareness and reverse the long upward trend in motorcycle crash deaths is dramatized by a stark statistical contrast in overall road fatalities in recent decades: “Motorcycle deaths accounted for 13 percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths in 2010 and were more than double the number of motorcyclist deaths in 1997. In contrast, at 22,263, fewer passenger vehicle occupants died in crashes in 2010 than in any year since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began collecting fatal crash data in 1975.”
Of course, the use, or lack thereof, of personal protection equipment – like a good, full helmet – is a key determinant in preventing vs. causing many fatalities following motorcycle accidents.
While Florida law allows individuals over 21 years of age to ride without a helmet, we at The Spinner Law Firm can’t concur strongly enough with NHTSA recommendations that EVERYONE should wear a high-quality, full helmet, every time they ride a motorcycle. Having seen too many tragic cases of head trauma, brain injury and death suffered by motorcyclists riding without helmets, we believe the risks are not worth the sensory and psychological “freedom” that some riders crave when out on the road.
If you, a loved one or a friend was injured in just such an accident, please call The Spinner Law Firm for a free consultation to better understand your situation, and all your options moving forward.