A Deltona motorcyclist,Steven Louies Cruz,23,died yesterday afterhe lostcontrol on a curve in the roadandran into a fence post.He was not wearing a helmet, which in Florida is lawful, so long as the rider is over the age of 21 and has $10,000 worth of medical insurance. A debate has been brewing since the law was passed five years ago.Hospitals with trauma emergency rooms have complained that the minimum $10,000 insurance is not nearly enough to pay for the cost of treating serious motorcycle head injury victims. They contend that evena $100.000 policymay beinadequate to pay the cost of medical care causedby the failure to wear a safety helmet.
The American Motorcycle Association(AMA) believes that only young riders should be required to wear helmets and that any rider over 21 should be mature enough to make a decision on whether or not to “ride free” The AMA also believes that states should not require helmetless riders to have any mandatory medical insurance. Many riders are injured through the carelessness of drivers of cars and trucks and through no fault of their own. However, over half of Florida’s car and truck owners have inadequate insurance to protect and fairly compensate seriously injured motorcyclists.
It is highly recommended that motorcycle riders purchase uninsured motorists’ insurance to help protect themselves from negligent drivers. Although the AMA strongly supports the right to choose whether to wear a helmet, they have not come up with a suggestion on how to compensate the hospitals who take care of their members without getting paid. In the end the people of the State of Floridausually footthe bill when a serious head injury occurs and the rider has minimal insurance coverage. The hospital trauma doctor will tell you that riding a motorcycle is extremely dangerous whether or not your choose to wear a helmet BUT to ride without a helmet significantly increases the risks. For Steven Cruz there is no way to know whether wearing a helmet could have saved his life. This debate has no end in sight.