The Cost Of Motorcycle Accidents
When a motorcycle rider takes to the road, they’re placing themselves at somewhat greater risk than those who prefer to get around by a 4-wheeled motor vehicle. Even with a helmet and all safety precautions, a motorcyclist is notoriously exposed to the environment around them, and one wrong move by a negligent driver can spell disaster. Per every mile a vehicle travels, a motorcyclist is 26 times more likely to be involved in a fatal traffic accident than those in passenger cars.
According to a research study performed by the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the first of its kind, motorcycle accidents cause 6 times the healthcare costs when compared to an automobile accident, and they’re 5 times more deadly. The cost of motorcycle accidents can be devastating, and riders and their families should always remain informed and prepared in case the worst ever occurs.
Motorcycle Helmets And Florida Helmet Laws
Motorcyclists are only required to wear a helmet if they’re under the age of 21, and those over 21 may ride helmet-free if they prove they’re covered by a $10,000 minimum medical insurance policy. Florida is just one of many states that do not make helmet wearing mandatory, and in the state of Florida about 50% of motorcyclists choose to ride helmet-free. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, 56% of motorcyclists involved in a fatal motorcycle accident in Florida during the year 2011 were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.
Motorcycle helmets can greatly help to reduce the physical, financial, and emotional costs of a motorcycle accident. A helmet can reduce risk of head injury by 69%, and reduce risk of death by 42% should a motorcyclist find themselves in an accident.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
While helmets greatly reduce the risk of head injury, it does not reduce the risk of all injuries. Some of the most common costly injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents in Florida include:
• Road rash – Road rash is not just a common motorcycle injury, but it’s one that’s too often underestimated. Many people view road rash as simply skinning a knee on a larger scale, and they don’t realize just how devastating it can be. In some instances, road rash can permanently alter sensation through nerve damage in the skin, and such a large area of injury leaves sufferers highly susceptible to infection.
• Broken bones – The arms and legs are highly exposed while riding a motorcycle, which can make them far more susceptible to breaking. When a person is in a car that is hit on the side by another car, they have several layers of material between them and the car outside. For motorcyclists, there is no extra protection, and a car crashing into the side of a motorcycle may be crashing directly into the driver’s arms and legs. Severely broken bones may require surgery and months to years long recovery processes, and in extreme cases, may even require amputation.
• Spinal cord injuries – Spinal cord injuries are another type of costly and severe injury often suffered by motorcyclists who have been involved in accidents. When a driver or passenger is thrown from their bike, the force of the accident can dislodge discs in the back leading to paralysis, chronic pain, need for surgery, or permanent disability.