23 year old racer Benjamin Myers died recently in a motorcycle accident on a dirt-track race in Midland, Michigan. His death brings attention to the mixed response of the Michigan legislature to motorcycle safety.
The crash happened at the Midland County Fairgrounds where the Polka Dots Motorcycle Club was hosting an American Motorcyclist Association-sanctioned race. The 3 cyclists collided in the midst of the 10-lap race on a dirt track. While the other two riders walked away from the accident, Myers did not.
Most motorcycle deaths are not on the racetrack; they’re on the streets. Despite the risks, Governor Snyder recently repealed Michigan’s mandatory helmet law. The effect of repealing the long-accepted public safety law has been many more deaths and serious injuries to motorcycle riders.
Under the new law, motorcycle drivers can skip the helmet if they:
- Are At Least 21 Years Old,
- Have At Least $20,000 In First-Party Medical Benefits; And
- Have Either Held A Motorcycle Endorsement For At Least Two Years, Or Have Passed An Approved Motorcycle Safety Course.
While Michigan is loosening restrictions, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation is emphasizing the importance of helmets in preventing serious injury and death.
But Michigan’s message is conflicted when it comes to motorcycle safety. Less than a year after the state made the way for helmet-free riding, Governor Snyder recently signed a law requiring cyclists to apply for full endorsements, rather than relying on temporary permits. Over 1/2 the motorcyclists killed in 2012 did not have an endorsement. The good news is that even before the most recent law, 11,000 new riders received endorsements in 2013.
Perhaps this new law is a sign that the Michigan legislature is beginning to take motorcycle safety more seriously. When professional racers like Benjamin Myers risk fatal accidents, how much more important are laws that protect the safety of amateur riders to minimize the risk of fatal and serious injury accidents?
David Christensen and his team in Southfield, Michigan know the risks of motorcycle accidents. Christensen Law lawyers have been aggressively representing motorcyclists for decades. If you or a loved one has been in a bike crash, contact the lawyers today for a free consultation.