On November 20th, 2011, a motorcycle passenger was killed in a Sunday afternoon crash in Florida. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Basmattie Persad, 43, was not wearing her helmet at the time of the motorcycle crash. She was riding on her uncle’s motorcycle without a helmet; however, her uncle Ramlakhan Singh, 58, of Groveland, was wearing a helmet and did survive the accident with only minor injuries.
Sadly, this story is not unique, and many motorcyclists operate or ride on a motorcycle without a helmet across the state of Florida. Because motorcycle accidents are more serious in nature, they often result in severe head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and fatal injuries.
According to the CDC, motorcycle-related deaths and traumatic brain injuries are at high levels and are expected to stay that way due to an all-time high of motorcycle ownership. Helmets have been the only safety feature proven to save motorcyclists’ lives. However, Florida and some other states do not have a helmet law for all motorcycle operators.
Although the research shows that people who do not wear helmets while on motorcycles are more likely to die in a motorcycle crash in South Florida, the state of Florida has not passed a mandatory helmet law as of yet.
Some of the differences between helmet use and unhelmeted motorcycle riders include:
- Riders who do not wear motorcycle helmets are two times more likely to sustain traumatic brain injuries in wrecks compared to those riders wearing helmets.
- Unhelmeted riders face higher healthcare costs and use more of a hospital’s critical resources due to their serious injuries, per the CDC.
- The CDC indicates that, on average, unhelmeted motorcycle operators are less likely to have health care insurance, which means that their medical bills typically get funded by the government.
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These factors should help motorcycle riders choose to wear a helmet, have a higher chance of surviving, and avoid being a financial burden to the public. Although some riders believe wearing a helmet is a personal choice and their personal right, the consent among most is that motorcycle helmets can reduce head injuries, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries in Florida motorcycle crashes.