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Helmets matter when it comes to motorcycle accidents

People in the Ocala area who have a family member that rides a motorcycle likely have some fear about the possibility that their loved one will suffer catastrophic injuries or even death in a motorcycle accident. But trying to dissuade a friend or family member from doing something they enjoy is usually a lost cause. Making motorcycle riding as safe as possible may therefore be a wiser course of action for people who are trying to influence riding enthusiasts they know.

One thing that substantially affects motorcycle safety is a helmet. According to data from Consumer Reports, riders who wear helmets are about 37 percent less likely to die as a result of a motorcycle crash. Moreover, helmets are about 67 percent effective when it comes to preventing brain injury to motorcyclists and their passengers.

The statistics on helmet use become even more meaningful in light of the number of motorcycle fatalities each year. In 2012 alone, nearly 5,000 people lost their lives in motorcycle accidents. That number represents about 15 percent of all highway deaths for that year.

Under Florida law, motorcyclists who are 20 years old or younger must wear a helmet. Motorcycle helmet laws are important because almost 100 percent of riders wear helmets when state law requires it. By contrast, when the law doesn’t require helmet use, only about 50 percent of riders wear them. Surprisingly, only 19 states and the District of Columbia require all riders to wear helmets.

Despite the age-related helmet law in Florida, it is an unquestionably wise choice for all motorcyclists to wear a helmet. Unfortunately, even a helmet and safe riding practices cannot prevent riders from serious injuries at the hands of other negligent drivers.

Source: Consumer Reports, “State-by-state guide to motorcycle helmet laws,” Liza Barth, Accessed on Oct. 17, 2014

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