Losing a beloved family member — especially through a tragic accident — can be a turning point in many lives. While some surviving family members may mourn and then try to resume a normal life, some may use the tragedy to attempt to make changes that may benefit others. One Pennsylvania teen is now working hard to help save some lives of other victims of motorcycle accidents.
This 14-year-old girl lost her father in one of these crashes earlier this year. According to the laws in the Commonwealth, motorcycle riders over the age of 21 who have also completed safety training or have two years of riding experience are not required to wear protective headgear. With the assistance of her mother, the teen researched the number of fatalities that have occurred since the old helmet law was repealed in 2003. She discovered that fatal injuries increased significantly once adult riders were no longer required to wear these safety devices.
According to statistics reported by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the year the law was repealed there were 29 fatal crashes. By 2016, that number had increased to 94. The teen has gathered approximately 500 signatures on a petition to change the law and has presented it to her state’s congressional representatives who have been working to revise the law once again.
It is true that helmets will not save the life of every motorcyclist as many of these collisions are violent and can involve extensive injuries; however, a revised law may enable more victims of these motorcycle accidents to survive their injuries. In the event that a crash is the result of the actions or negligence of another motorist, victims or their surviving loved ones may have a basis for filing a personal injury or wrongful death civil lawsuit. A successfully navigated case may result in compensation that can ease the financial damages sustained.
Source: lehighvalleylive.com, “Out of tragedy, a local teen’s drive to require motorcycle helmets“, Tony Rhodin, Oct. 25, 2017