The Real Facts About Accident Law: Part 3
According to the Florida Department of Transportation Traffic Safety Office, the state of Florida permits motorcyclists over 21 years of age to ride without wearing a helmet in the state of Florida if they carry at least $10,000 in medical insurance to cover injury costs. Between 1991 and 2008, the number of motorcycle registrations in Florida increased nearly 3.5 times; motorcycle crashes increased from 2.8% to 4.0%, and motorcycle fatalities went from 6.7% to 17.8%.7
In 2008, recorded motorcycle fatalities indicate 32% resulted in traumatic brain injuries and 35% of motorcyclists not wearing a safety helmet before a fatal crash. The median age of fatally injured riders in Florida was 38 years old.
Between 2010 and 2011 motorcyclist and passenger fatalities increased by approximately 18% from 383 to 451.
Since the repeal of the helmet law in 2000, the number of fatal crashes for every 10,000 registered motorcycles increased by 21%, suggesting motorcyclists without helmets are more likely to suffer serious and fatal injuries. The total hospital charges for the initial treatment of motorcyclists injured in traffic crashes in 2010 was $348,138,344.
Preventing serious injuries and deaths from motorcycle crashes is a major and growing public health concern, not just in Florida, but nationwide. The CDC found that:
- Motorcycle crashes killed 4,502 Americans in 2010.
- Motorcycle-related deaths have increased by 55% since 2000.
- Motorcycle crash-related injuries and deaths totaled $12 billion in one year, in medical care costs and productivity losses.
According to the CDC, use of helmets is estimated to prevent 37% of crash deaths among motorcycle riders and 41% of crash deaths for motorcycle passengers. 8