The New York Times reports that there was a 2 percent drop in motorcycle deaths during the first nine months of last year.
Though there were 80 fewer riders killed from January through September of 2010 than in the same time frame the previous year, this may not be a lasting trend. The statistics may be misleading. From January to March, fatalities were down 25 percent. Deaths for the next three months they decreased by 1 percent but in the following three months there was a 3 percent increase in motorcycle fatalities.
Motorcycle deaths reached an all time high in 2008 at 5,312; they have more than doubled since the late 1990s. There is an ongoing debate why motorcycle fatalities plummeted 16 percent in 2009. One version states fatalities decreased because fewer people could afford to buy a motorcycle during the recession. So with less recreational riders on the road fatalities dropped. This side feels now that the economy is recovering there will be an increase in recreational riders thus increasing the number of deaths. The other view, from motorcycle enthusiasts, says the increase in gas prices has more people riding motorcycles than driving vehicles. People are using motorcycles as a traditional mode of transportation.
For the first nine months of 2010 the number of riders wearing impact-absorbing, federally-approved helmets dropped 13 percent. And those wearing “novelty” helmets, which offer very little protection but are lighter in weight and more comfortable to wear, increased by 9 percent. Wearing an approved helmet decreases the rider’s chance of dying in a crash by about 40 percent.
The law in Florida requires all riders younger than 21 years wear helmet. Riding without a helmet is allowed for those 21 years and older if they can prove that they are covered by a medical insurance policy.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in Florida there were 556 motorcycles fatalities in 2008. They say that 171 lives were saved by using a helmet and if everyone had to wear a helmet an approximate 100 more lives would have been saved.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC who have represented accident victims and their families in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Ft. Pierce /Port St. Lucie for years. Call us today to schedule a free and confidential appointment to discuss your case at 1-800-529-2368.