What happens when a motorcycle is in a car crash in Miami? In many cases, the motorcycle rider is thrown from the motorcycle. In many cases, riders are rushed to emergency rooms in Miami as spinal cord injury patients or brain injury patients. Some do not survive.
In Florida, riders under the age of 21 are not obligated to wear a helmet. Many states have similar laws. In the past year, Michigan has changed its laws to similar legislation after having mandated helmet use for all riders for more than four decades. The results of the law change have been eye-opening. In the year since the law has changed, the amount of medical claims per motorcycle accident has risen 34%.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has told the media in interviews that the increase in medical claim amounts is attributed to the fact that riding without a helmet increases the risk of a head injury. Research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety had found that the severity of injuries increases after mandatory helmet laws are reduced or withdrawn. Other research has suggested that these types of legislative changes increase fatality rates.
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation and other motorcycle organizations note that these studies do not address the real risks of motorcycle accidents – risks they say are caused by car and truck accidents in Miami and other cities that are caused by motorists. These groups note that the laws still allow motorcycle riders to wear helmets. According to some motorcycle safety advocacy groups, the reported increase in sever motorcycle crash injuries on undertrained and unlicensed riders. Some experts allege that more riders are riding without a special motorcycle license or not taking the required safety courses, putting them at greater risk of traffic accidents in Miami and other communities.
Laws like the one in Michigan do seem to change rider’s attitudes about helmets. In the four years before the new law went into effect, according to the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute, 98% of motorcyclists involved in crashes were wearing helmets, compared with 74% in the days following the law change. According to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in states where helmets are required, 97% of riders wear them, while in states with fewer helmet laws have 58% of motorcyclists wearing the head protection.
Across the country, motorcycle fatalities have increased over the past 15 years. In 2012, there were 5000 fatalities associated with this type of traffic accident, according to reports from the Governors Highway Safety Association. That year, motorcycle fatalities accounted for over 14% of all traffic deaths.
Safety experts agree: if you want to prevent a serious head injury in Miami or your community, wear a helmet whenever getting on a motorcycle or bicycle. If you are in a motorcycle or bicycle accident in Miami or your community and that accident involves a car, the force and size of a car can cause fatal head injuries. A helmet can help prevent many of those injuries; it is currently the best protection riders have.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact the Flaxman Law Group. The professional legal team at the full-service law firm can explain your rights and options in a free consultation so that you have the facts in had when you make a decision about your future.