On July 1, 2000, Florida repealed the legal requirement that all motorcyclists wear protective helmets. State law now requires motorcycle helmet use only by riders under the age of 21, and by older riders who do not have a minimum of $10,000 medical insurance coverage. The effects of Florida’s repeal of the helmet law have been grim. Helmet use has declined from near 100 percent to near 50 percent after the law was repealed.
In the three years before the helmet law was repealed, Florida averaged 160 motorcycle deaths per year. A year after the helmet law was repealed, helmet use plummeted and the annual death toll jumped to 246. By 2006, the number of motorcycle fatalities was at an all-time high of 550. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Florida now leads the nation in motorcycle fatalities.
It should be noted that Florida did attempt to minimize motorcycle accidents and fatalities by enacting a mandatory motorcycle training law and deaths dropped for three straight years from 2008 to 2010. However, Florida statistics show another disturbing trend: Older motorcycle riders are hopping on the hog and dying in increasing numbers.
Despite smart motorcycle safety campaigns, automobiles drivers are often distracted and don’t always see motorcycles. The reason why many bikers are involved in accidents is because of a distracted automobile driver. Therefore, it is imperative to take essential safety precautions to minimize your injuries in the event you are involved in a motorcycle accident.
Remember to always wear your helmet.
Studies have shown that wearing a helmet can reduce your risk of a serious brain injury and death. The helmet absorbs most of the impact energy, rather than your skull and brain. Helmet use is estimated to prevent 37% of fatalities among motorcycle operators and 41% of fatalities among passengers.
Make sure you carry adequate insurance coverage for your motorcycle, including uninsured motorist coverage.
We recommend that you carry uninsured motorist coverage. If you own an automobile in addition to your motorcycle, your insurance coverage may not cover (and in many cases will not cover) your medical bills in a motorcycle accident. Fewer than 25% of the hospitalized cases for head, brain, or skull injuries cost less than $10,000. The required level of insurance to ride without a helmet is $10,000. We hope that our fellow motorcycle lovers will be safe while operating their motorcycle. We encourage riders of all ages to wear a helmet.
If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a motorcycle accident, please call Beltz & Beltz today at (727) 201 – 9944.