Motorcycle helmets provide the best protection from head injury in the event of an accident, yet many riders continually protest state law requirements. A recent protest ride unfortunately ended in the death of a 55-year-old New York motorcyclist. The ride was organized by the Onondaga Chapter of American Bikers Aimed Towards Education (ABATE), an organization that says it encourages the voluntary use of helmets, but opposes mandatory helmet laws.
The man was riding with a large group, protesting against New York’s mandatory helmet law when he crashed, striking his head on the pavement. Police believe he fishtailed upon applying his brakes and was sent over the handle bars. He suffered a skull fracture and was later pronounced dead at an area hospital. Police and the doctor said that the man’s death could have been prevented if he had been wearing a helmet.
ABATE’s president,Thomas Alton, said although mandatory helmet laws are a major issue, the organization’s number one priority is awareness. “A large percentage of motorcyclists killed on the highway have been because a car turned left in front of it," said Alton. I agree with Mr. Alton that increased awareness should be a top priority, however, studies have been proven that helmets reduce serious traumatic head injuries and fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that in the three years after Florida’s repeal of its mandatory helmet law there was an 81 percent increase in fatalities.
Today, helmets are mandatory for all riders in only 20 states. My home state, Michigan, has been in the news over a recent attempt to repeal its motorcycle helmet law. The legislation recently passed the Senate; it is expected to be signed by Governor Rick Snyder. Hopefully, this latest motorcycle fatality in New York will cause the governor to veto the legislation and help encourage more motorcyclists to wear helmets.
Increased awareness by everyone – automobile drivers and motorcyclists – will result in greater safety. Click here for tips in sharing the road.
Mark Bello has thirty-three years experience as a trail lawyer and twelve years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide legal finance cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by a plaintiff involved in pending, personal injury, litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Business Associate of the Florida, Tennessee, and Colorado Associations for Justice, a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series—Mark Bello is also the CEO of Lawsuit Financial and the country’s leading expert in providing non-recourse lawsuit funding to plaintiffs involved in pending litigation. He is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.