Nassau County, Fla.– April 16, 2018 (Action News Jacksonville) According to Action News Jacksonville, a motorcycle accident killed a woman and injured her husband. Shannon Bollinger was a passenger on the motorcycle that her husband Curtis was driving. When Curtis lost control of the motorcycle, Shannon was thrown off of the motorcycle onto the roadway, where a car hit her and killed her. Shannon was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. Curtis Bollinger was injured in the crash. The driver and passenger in the car that hit Shannon Bollinger did not get hurt. The crash is under investigation.
This terrible accident is a reminder of something that happens too often in Florida – motorcycle accident deaths. Florida has more motorcycle accident deaths than any other state. A full twenty percent of the state’s motor vehicle accident fatalities are the result of motorcycle crashes. In 2015, just over six hundred people died in motorcycle accidents in Florida. Nearly a thousand others were injured. If these fatality statistics seem concerning, the state’s helmet use statistics are even more disturbing. Over eighty percent of motorcycle riders report wearing a helmet, yet Florida motorcycle riders are observed wearing helmets less than half of the time.
Florida does not have a universal helmet law. However, riders and passengers are strongly encouraged to wear DOT-approved helmets because they often make the difference between life and death in a motorcycle wreck. In addition to a helmet, protective eyewear, sturdy closed-toe boots or shoes, and protective clothing reduce the risk of injury or death. Other things that motorcycle riders can do to reduce their accident risk are making themselves and their bike visible, getting proper training before riding their motorcycles, and avoiding aggressive or risky driving maneuvers.