How Helmets Affect Motorcycle Accident Injuries in Florida By Kelly Chanfrau, Esq. on July 30, 2020

Motorcycle helmetFlorida has nice weather, beautiful beaches, and lots of wide open spaces. Because of this, Florida also has numerous motorcycle riders, especially during tourist season. Unfortunately, with motorcycles comes the risk of motorcycle accidents. Motorcycle accidents are more damaging and deadly than many other collisions, because motorcycles lack a protective structure and other safety features. However, riders can rely on helmets to reduce accident injuries.

Here, the motorcycle accident lawyers at Chanfrau & Chanfrau present data to show motorcycle riders in Daytona Beach, FL, Palm Coast, FL, and surrounding areas how helmet use affects injuries in motorcycle accidents.

Annual Crash Facts 

The Annual Crash Facts for 2018 has recently been released by The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, or FLHSMV. This report breaks down Florida’s yearly accident data. The information presented provides greater insight into a number of accident factors, including the types of crashes that occur, the demographics of drivers involved in crashes, contributing causes of car accidents, and the degree of injuries suffered by crash victims.

One part of the report looks specifically at motorcycle crash injuries and compares the degree of injuries suffered by motorcycle drivers and passengers who were and were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

Fatal Motorcycle Injuries and Helmet Use

During 2018, a total of 506 motorcycle drivers and 25 motorcycle passengers suffered fatal injuries from a motorcycle crash. According to reported data, roughly half of the people killed in a motorcycle crash either failed to wear a helmet, or were wearing a helmet that was not DOT-compliant.

Of the 506 motorcycle drivers who suffered fatal injuries, 243 were wearing DOT-compliant helmets. In addition, 235 of those killed were not wearing a helmet at all, 18 were wearing a helmet that was not classified as DOT-compliant, and in 10 cases, helmet use was not noted. Among the 25 motorcycle passengers who suffered fatal injuries, 12 were wearing DOT-compliant helmets and the other 13 were not.

Incapacitating Injuries and Helmet Use

Incapacitating injuries describe those that result in some degree of disability, either temporary or permanent. Examples of incapacitating injuries include broken bones, catastrophic head or neck injuries, and severed limbs. Most incapacitating injuries require hospitalization.

In 2018, the FLHSMV reported 1,943 incapacitating crash injuries among motorcycle drivers and 175 among motorcycle passengers. Of the motorcycle drivers who suffered incapacitating injuries, 858 were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident and another 30 were wearing a non-compliant helmet. Of the 175 motorcycle passengers who suffered this degree of injury, 93 were not wearing a helmet and five were wearing a non-compliant helmet.

Minor Injuries and Helmet Use 

The remaining injuries suffered by victims of motorcycle crashes were classified as either non-incapacitating or possible. Non-incapacitating injuries do not cause disability, but they are obvious. Examples of non-incapacitating injuries include road rash, bruises, and cuts. If an injury is classified as “possible” it means the crash victim suffered no visible injury, but complained of pain or suffered brief loss of consciousness.

The report shows 3,375 motorcycle drivers suffered non-incapacitating injuries in motorcycle crashes in 2018, and 279 motorcycle passengers suffered the same degree of injury. Close to half of those individuals (1,352 of drivers and 134 passengers) either failed to wear a helmet, or wore one that was non-compliant.

The ratio was similar among drivers and passengers with possible injuries. Of the 1,910 motorcycle drivers who suffered possible injuries, 727 had no helmet or a non-compliant helmet. Among the 167 motorcycle passengers with possible injuries, 78 wore no helmet or a non-compliant helmet.

Contact Our Practice

It is clear that motorcycle helmets can minimize accident injuries and save lives, but even minor injuries can result in costly financial losses. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle crash and believe that another driver is at fault, the attorneys at Chanfrau & Chanfrau can help you collect compensation for accident damages. Send us a message online or call our Daytona Beach office at (386) 258-7313 to learn more.

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