Daytona Beach Bike Week
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Statistics
As you travel to Daytona and enjoy Bike Week here in Florida, including the Orlando area, please remember to wear your helmet. Also remember to have uninsured motorist coverage available on your motorcycle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted a study three (3) years following Florida’s decision to repeal its mandatory helmet law in 2000. There were 933 motorcyclists killed. The number of Florida motorcycle deaths increased 81%, an increase from the 515 bikers killed from 1997 – 1999. While Florida law requires helmet use by riders under 21, fatalities nearly tripled in the three (3) years after the repeal, and 45% of those killed were not wearing helmets. While some of this can be explained by more motorcyclists on the road, along with more racing and other activities, the importance of wearing a helmet cannot be ignored. I know it is really fun to go without a helmet and to enjoy the air and freedom. However, if you are riding in an area where there are automobiles, trucks and especially young drivers on the road, unaware of motorcycles, it is always best to wear a helmet. I remember when I graduated from law school, still in Gainesville, a “cager” actually looked at me, acknowledged that I was on a motorcycle heading towards her, and still made a left turn in front of me. I don’t know to this day what was going on in her mind, but of course always assume that a car is going to turn left in front of me and doesn’t see me, even if they are looking right at me riding my motorcycle. Please be careful!