Orlando personal injury attorney James O. Cunningham believes that riders should take full advantage of any and all protective equipment when riding their motorcycles but was very surprised to read a recent study regarding their effectiveness. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published the results of their study and surprisingly found that helmets only give riders a slight advantage in surviving head injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident. Although Florida has mandatory helmet laws, they only affect those under 21 years of age and those who have purchased at least $10,000 in insurance coverage.
Here in Florida, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles tracks and publishes accident data involving riders with and without helmets. The fatalities per accident ratios tend to be quite close and favor riders with helmets some years and those without helmets in others years. For example, in 2010, the accident-to-fatality ratio was 4 percent for those who wore helmets and 4.5 percent for those who did not. In their report, the CDC found similar results in the states with the highest motorcycle fatality rates in the country (Florida, California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York).
The CDC results are contrary to frequently cited data from a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 1996. The NHTSA reported that 37 percent of motorcycle riders and 41 percent of passengers would have survived a motorcycle accident if they had been wearing a helmet.
Even though our state ranks second in the country behind California for most motorcycle accident fatalities, there has been some good news in recent years. Even though motorcycle registrations have increased since 2006, motorcycle fatalities have decreased from 561 in 2006 to 396 in 2010. The number of fatalities on helmeted riders versus riders without helmets seems to support the CDC’s claims. Of the 561 riders and passengers killed in 2006 motorcycle accidents, 277 were wearing helmets and 244 were not. However, in 2010, 184 riders and passengers who were wearing a helmet at the time of the accident were killed, and 205 were not.
Riders in Florida and throughout the rest of the country do not cause most motorcycle accidents. Negligent drivers of passenger vehicles who violate the riders’ right of way are responsible for causing most accidents. When this happens, injured riders have a right to seek damages from the at-fault parties. Many injured riders in Central Florida turn to an experienced Orlando motorcycle accident attorney such as Mr. Cunningham. He has been helping injured riders receive the compensation they deserve since 1977 and handles each aspect of a client’s case personally. If you would like to schedule a consultation, call 888-425-2004 today.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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If you or someone you love has been injured in a vehicle accident, call toll-free at 1-888-FLA-Auto (1-888-352-2886).
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