The Sun Sentinel recently released an article focusing on the fact that more motorcyclists are wearing helmets, but the numbers are not even close to the numbers of riders wearing helmets prior to the helmet law repeal over a decade ago.
Due to crash statistics and the injuries that occur to unhelmeted riders, South Florida motorcycle riders are being urged to wear helmets even though the State of Florida still doesn’t have a mandatory helmet law.
Florida did have a universal helmet law that was repealed over ten years ago. As of July 2000, motorcycle riders over 21 were not required to wear helmets when on a motorcycle. When this occurred, the number of riders who chose to continue wearing helmets dropped to 52 percent by 2002. Just last year, the Department of Transportation indicated that about 55 percent of motorcyclists wore helmets in Florida, to include:
- 55 percent of Broward County motorcyclists wore helmets in 2010.
- 47 percent of Palm Beach County motorcycle riders used helmets last year.
Transportation officials believe that their messages may be getting through, and that helmet use may be gaining momentum amongst bikers. Helmets may also be gaining in popularity as more and more motorcyclists are hearing about motorcyclists in their community dying of head injuries.
Florida does have one of the most fatal motorcycle crash rates in this nation. Sadly, numbers don’t lie. In 2009, 29 percent of Florida’s fatal motorcycle crashes were a result of traumatic brain injuries.
Although Florida does require that an unhelmeted motorcycle rider have $10,000 in medical insurance, the median charges for injured motorcyclists in 2009 was around $53,613.
So that motorcycle riders stay as safe as possible on Florida roads and limit the financial burden on society, motorcyclists are being encouraged to wear helmets if they aren’t already doing so.
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Because motorcycles are a more dangerous form of travel when compared to automobiles, they have a higher risk for being injured and killed in South Florida accidents. If you ride a motorcycle, please be encouraged to wear a helmet to decrease the severity of head injuries, death, and medical care costs.