Government Report Shows Motorcycle Injuries and Deaths Cost $16 Billion
Inverness, FL – The costs associated with injuries and deaths from motorcycle collisions were $16 billion in 2010, according to a government report. However, this is not likely the full cost as long-term medical costs can be difficult to measure.
According to the Government Accountability Office report, bikers are involved in fatal accidents at much higher rates than drivers of other types of vehicles, and are 30 times more likely to die in a traffic collision than passengers traveling by car.
A total of 82,000 motorcyclists were injured in 2010, and another 4,502 were killed in accidents. The average cost associated with a fatal motorcycle crash was estimated at $1.2 million. The cost for injuries sustained in a motorcycle wreck ranged from $2,500 to $1.4 million, all depending on the severity.
According to the report, the only proven strategy towards eliminating motorcycle accident injuries and deaths is for every state to have laws requiring all bikers to wear helmets. There have been several studies conducted that show helmets reduce the risk of death by 39 percent. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a report estimating that helmets saved the lives of 1,550 bikers in 2010.
However, despite these figures, only 19 states have universal helmet laws. Another 28 states, including Florida, have partial helmet laws. Three states – Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire – have no helmet laws.
Many motorcycle enthusiasts oppose helmet laws, believing they infringe upon personal liberties and their right to take on the risk of riding without a helmet should they choose. Instead, motorcycle groups choose to support increased awareness and education as a means to prevent fatal accidents.
In Florida, a partial helmet law is enforced requiring motorcyclists under the age of 21 to wear a helmet. Motorcyclists over the age of 21 are not required to wear a helmet as long as they have proof of a medical insurance policy.
While a motorcycle certainly allows riders to experience a certain freedom, it goes without saying that motorcycles are inherently dangerous and require the use of appropriate safety gear. Wearing a helmet only reduces the risks of serious injuries should a devastating motorcycle crash occur.
If you were involved in a motorcycle collision and were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, you can still file a claim for your personal injuries. However, if it can be shown that your injuries were even partially caused because you were not wearing a helmet, this could limit the amount of compensation you are awarded. This is why it is in your best interest to consult with an injury lawyer who is equipped to handle motorcycle accident cases as soon as possible after your accident. Many insurance companies will try and blame bikers not wearing helmets for injuries suffered in a motorcycle crash even when evidence clearly shows that another motorist’s reckless actions are to blame. An Inverness Motorcycle Accident Injury Attorney at Whittel & Melton can help you with any insurance coverage issues and make sure you fully understand your legal rights. Contact us today online or call us anytime, day or night, at 352-726-0078.