If this keeps up, Florida motorcyclists could end up on the endangered species list. Motofire magazine reports on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s latest numbers. To say the least, they’re not looking good.
- Motorcycles account for three percent of the registered vehicles in Florida.
- 1/5 of all motor vehicle accidents in Florida involved a motorcycle.
- From 2014 to 2015, there was a 30 percent increase in fatalities.
- The average hospital charges for motorcyclists exceeded $83,000 – far more than the minimum medical payment insurance of $10,000.
- Only 47 percent of Florida motorcyclists are observed to wear helmets.
That last statistic has a lot to do with the four piled on top of it. When you’re on a motorcycle you are on a two wheeled vehicle, it is less stable and less visible than an automobile. If you are writing a sport motorcycle you can easily reach very high speeds. In fact, the number of deaths on motorcycles is 27 times the number of deaths in cars. The most common injury on a motorcycle that results in of totality is a head injury. With the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reporting that helmets are 37 percent effective when it comes to preventing deaths, and 67 percent effective in preventing brain trauma, why would anyone riding a motorcycle not wear a helmet?
“But It’s Not against the Law!”
Florida’s motorcycle helmet law was repealed in 2000. In order to ride a motorcycle in Florida without a helmet you must be 21 years old and have the minimum in medical payment insurance on your policy. There is currently a bill pending in the House of Representatives to bring back the helmet laws. People have a variety of reasons for not wearing helmets, claiming that it interferes with their hearing or peripheral vision, or simply that they like the feeling of the wind in their hair. I think everyone would agree that severe head trauma will interfere with the rest of their lives, and it doesn’t feel too good either. A number of people will give the argument that they are a safe motorcycle operator, as if they are the only ones on the road. Insurance, as we’ve stated in this blog previously, is not so much about what a good driver you are, it’s about what a bad driver the other guy is and what your odds are of meeting up with him.
Just in Case
Understanding that insurance is not just about you and your driving record, or you and your understanding of motorcycle safety, but about someone else’s driving is the first step to understanding why you need to get covered. You don’t just need a helmet, you need an insurance policy that will protect you and keep you from financial ruin when you meet up with that “other guy.” Talk to an independent E&L agent today about what you can do to enjoy your motorcycle, while staying safe and staying covered.