Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Helmets a Must, but Motorcycle Culture Still Discourages Them

Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

It’s pretty hard to ignore the statistics surrounding helmet use and motorcycle accidents.

 

Head injuries are the most common cause of motorcycle fatalities, and even when motorcyclists survive a crash, injuries are generally more serious and long-lasting for riders and passengers who weren’t wearing helmets. According to estimates from the US Department of Transportation, wearing a helmet reduces a rider’s chance of dying in a crash by about 37%. A study by the Governor’s Highway Safety Administration also found that 44% of all people fatally injured in a motorcycle accident were not wearing helmets. Additionally, the GHSA found that wearing a helmet saved the lives of 1,829 riders in the course of a year.

 

With everything we know about helmet safety, it seems like a no-brainer that bikers should be using them. Unfortunately, many bikers are still unwilling to give up the feel of the wind in their hair when they ride. Riders who go helmetless argue that they’re exercising their freedom to choose, and that if they want to increase their odds of being in a fatal accident, it’s their right.

 

But it’s not just the individual rider who is being affected. If a motorcycle rider offers a ride to a friendand doesn’t have a helmet to offer him or her, then he or she is also at a greater risk for suffering a fatal head injury. Refusing to wear a helmet also sends a message to other riders that helmets are not a part of “true” motorcycle culture,perpetuating the idea that protective equipmentis ultimately optional.

 

The True Cost of Not Wearing a Helmet

 

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It’s not just motorcycle riders and passengers who are affected by a rider’s failure to wear a helmet. Dr. Lori Terryberry-Spohr, a physician at the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Nebraska, told The Economist  that she can always tell which motorcycle accident victims weren’t wearing a helmet because they suffer internal bleeding and cell death across large areas of their bodies. Those helmetless riders who actually survive typically rack up about $1.3 million in direct medical expenses. As you might imagine, this far exceeds the insurance coverage that most motorcyclists have. Because of this, taxpayers end up footing about 63% of the bill.

 

If the loss of human life is not enough of an incentive, more states should be motivated to enact universal helmet laws based on the cost to their taxpayers. However, surprisingly few states have laws that require all motorcycle riders to wear a helmet.

 

States Shun Universal Helmet Laws

 

Currently, only 19 states and the District of Columbia have universal helmet laws. Three states – Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire – have no helmet laws whatsoever, meaning that even child passengers can ride along without a helmet. Every other state only requires helmets for riders under a certain age, usually 17 or 18. In Florida, riders can shun helmets as long as they’re 21 or older and carry at least $10,000 in insurance.

 

Some opponents of helmet laws say that they support the idea of wearing helmets, but that riders should come to the decision to wear a helmet on their own, without being forced into it by the government. They say that wearing a helmet is the smart thing to do, and responsible riders will realize that.

 

Unfortunately, not nearly enough riders are willing to wear helmets if they’re not legally required to. This week’s Daytona Beach Bike Week, one of the largest motorcycle rallies in the country, emphasized that fact. If you look through images of the gathering, it appears that the overwhelming majority of riders in attendance chose not to wear helmets. The event saw a total of four motorcycle accident fatalities, at least two of which involved head injuries to riders who were not wearing helmets.

 

States Need to Reassess Helmet Laws

 

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The 33 states that do not currently have universal helmet laws should look to the 19 states that do andacknowledge the positive benefits this type of enforcement can have. The CDC has found that states with universal helmet laws have four times the cost savings of states that don’t. While a whopping 64% of riders in states without universal helmet laws choose to ride without helmets, only 12% of riders in states with universal laws go helmetless. As a result, the states with universal laws see fewer serious and fatal motorcycle injuries, which results in lower medical costs and loss of productivity costs.

 

It’s time that Florida, and all the other states with partial or no helmet laws, push to adopt universal laws. Of course, this change won’t happen overnight, and in the meantime it’s important that riders choose to wear helmets regardless of what state they live in. There may still be situations where riders get into accidents through no fault of their own, but by wearing a helmet, they can give themselves the best possible chance of surviving and recovering.

 

 

Motorcycle Accident

Why You Shouldn’t Ride Drunk

Motorcycle Accident
Everyone knows not to drive drunk, and it’s no different for motorcyclists– except that the nature of their vehicle puts them at even higher risk of injury or death because it requires more coordination to operate,and there’s far less protecting riders than those driving cars. Unfortunately, these facts don’t seem to have sunk in with many motorcyclists because the percentage of accidents and especially fatalities involving alcohol are extremely high.

 

In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says,“the percentage of intoxicated motorcycle riders in fatal crashes is greater than the percentage of intoxicated drivers on our roads.” Stats can be interpreted in many different ways, but this one seems pretty clear – either a higher percentage of motorcyclists choose to ride drunk when compared to car drivers or the numbers are similar, but the greater difficulty involved in operating a motorcycle leads to more accidents. Regardless of which scenario is more accurate, the resultis the same – if you ride drunk, you’re more likely to get hurt or even die.

 

This seems like something that should be obvious, but why then are so many motorcyclists still doing it? The trend isn’t a new one, either. A decade ago, Motor Cyclist Magazine reported that 45% of motorcycle fatalities in 2002 involved intoxicated riders, and when you looked at just weekends, that already high percentage skyrocketed to 62%!

 

You can find statistics like that all over the place, but maybe that’s not enough. Perhaps the problem is that reading numbers is an abstract exercise, and riders need a personal story to connect with and “scare them straight” as it were. Steven Dennis Parrett has just such a story.

 

Drunk Riding Leads to Jail, Sister in Nursing Home

 

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While this is certainly not true for all motorcyclists, some think of themselves as tough and adventurous – people who can get away with skirting the rules because they can handle it. There’s no real way of knowing if Parrett is one of those men or if he just did something stupid, but in the end it doesn’t really matter.

 

In July of 2011, 44-year-old Parrett was arrested by Michigan State Police after crashing his bike at around 12:30 in the morning. When they tested his blood alcohol level, it was found to be an insanely high .20, so Parrett was almost definitely in for a DUI charge. That’s bad enough, but it gets a lot worse.

 

You see, Parrett wasn’t riding alone that night. His older sister (46) was with him, and when he crashed, she was flung from the bike and landed in a ditch. Thankfully, the woman survived, so he doesn’t have to live with killing his sister, but that’s pretty much the only positive thing that can be said about the incident. She was still so severely injured that she now has to live in a nursing home and “remains unresponsive.”

 

None of this had to happen, and no other vehicles were involved in the accident. Parrett was simply so drunk that he couldn’t handle his bikeand it cost him and his sister dearly. You may not think that something like this could happen to you, but why take the risk in the first place? Motorcyclists are already putting themselves in more danger than regular car drivers by choosing a vehicle that doesn’t offer as much protection – don’t make riding harder by drinking before you get on your bike.

 

About the Author:
Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his 22-year career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for The South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.

A Motorcycle Accident Can Result in Injuries for Rider and Passenger

Because of our great weather, Boca Raton is a favorite of motorcycle riders and bicyclists alike. The weather and the scenery of our area provide a great experience for those who like to cruise the open road on a bike, whether it be motorized or pedaled. However, there are risks to such enjoyment, and the injuries that can be sustained in an accident are often serious. Because motorcyclists are often ignored by other drivers, it is important that any rider who has been injured in such an incident contact a Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible.

 

Not only can a motorcycle rider be injured in an accident with another vehicle, but a passenger riding on the motorcycle can be injured, as well. Such was the case recently when a school bus driver failed to yield the right of way to an oncoming motorcycle. When the motorcycle rider attempted to swerve around the bus in an attempt to avoid a collision, he lost control of the bike, and both he and his female passenger ended up being flung into a nearby ditch. Both were taken to an area hospital with serious injuries.

 

If you have been injured in Boca Raton in a motorcycle accident, an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer with the firm of The South Florida Injury Law Firm can provide you assistance in trying to purse the benefits to which you may be entitled. Your Boca Raton motorcycle accidentlawyer has the expertise to aggressively advocate on your behalf so that you do not have to suffer financial hardship for an accident that was not your fault. Contact The South Florida Injury Law Firm as soon as possible to get your case underway.

 

When you need a Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer who can get results, the Law Offices of The South Florida Injury Law Firm are located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and handle cases throughout the state including Broward County, Indian River, Okeechobee, Martin County, Boca Raton, Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, and all other cities and counties. We have years of experience and success in handling cases like yours. Contact us for a free case evaluation at 954.764.7377 or via the web at https://southfloridainjurylawfirm.com.