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James Cassles, age 50, was killed Saturday night after his motorcycle crashed head-on into a car. Cassles had been traveling west on S.R 100 at about 11:40 pm according to Clay County sheriff deputies. The driver of the car, Kimberely Aher, received multiple injuries including a broken arm, broken legs and head injuries. She was take to the Shands Trauma Center at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Her prognosis for recovery appeared good.

In 2005 over 469 people were killed in motorcycle accidents in Florida. Florida repealed the universal helmet law in 2000 and fatalities have steadily risen. There is no indication of whether of not Cassles was wearing a helmet and if it could have made a difference in this crash. However, statistic reveal that 80% of all motorcycle crashes result in injury or death to the motorcyclist.

Older riders are at a higher risk for injury or death according to the national Highway Traffic Safety Administration. From 1990 to 2003 motorcycle ownership rose more than 25% among those 40 years old and older. Traffic deaths for this group tripled in the period from 1994 to 2004. During that same period traffic deaths for those under 30 increased by only 10%. Some evidence exists that this increased incidence of fatalities among older riders is caused by inexperience or lack of proper training.

All riders should increase there chances on the road by 1) taking a motorcycle training course 2) consider wearing a helmet, eye protection, and protective clothing 3) making sure you have adequate insurance protection especially uninsured motorists coverage. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

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