Thursday, March 03, 2005

PSA: Wear Your Helmet on Your Motorcycle

With freedom comes responsibility. From
Since Florida relaxed its law, making helmets optional for riders 21 and older, Florida's roads have gotten more dangerous. At the same time, the popularity of motorcycles has exploded -- and so has Florida's motorcyclist death toll.

An Orlando Sentinel analysis of federal crash data reveals the number of motorcycle deaths has more than doubled since 1999, the last full year that all Florida riders were required to wear helmets.

In 2003, the most recent year for which data are available, 365 people, including passengers, were killed on motorcycles in Florida, compared with 178 in 1999.

In 1999, as many as 156 riders wearing helmets died, and in 2003, 142 did. Yet 10 times as many riders died without helmets in 2003 -- 223 -- as in 1999, when there were 21 such deaths, according to federal data.

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