motorcycle helmetA 71-year-old Sumter County biker was killed Saturday afternoon after colliding with a car in Leesburg, causing traffic on U.S. 441 to be shut down for three hours.

The motorcyclist apparently struck a Chevy Malibu driven by a 75-year-old
Leesburg woman. The biker was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to Leesburg police, the accident occurred at 2:29 p.m. at the intersection of U.S. Highway 441 and County Road 449.

According to preliminary investigation reports, the biker was driving his motorcycle northbound in the inside lane when he crashed into the Malibu making a left-hand turn in front of him.

The driver of the Chevy Malibu was taken to Leesburg Regional Medical Center and treated for minor injuries.

No charges have been filed as of yet. Police are further investigating the crash.

Reports indicate the motorcyclist was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.

According to the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS), the use of Department of Transportation-compliant motorcycle helmets rose significantly in 2011 to 66 percent, up from 54 percent in 2010. The number of bikers and passengers wearing noncompliant helmets decreased from 14 percent in 2010 to 8 percent in 2011. Likewise, the number of motorcyclists and passengers not wearing helmets decreased from 32 percent in 2010 to 26 percent in 2011, including bikers in areas with no universal helmet laws.

In the state of Florida, motorcyclists are not always required to wear helmets. If you are over 21 years of age and have at least $10,000 in medical coverage, you are not legally required to wear a helmet when operating a motorcycle. Despite the fact that helmets are optional in Florida, statistics show that the risks of brain injury can be significantly reduced by wearing a helmet. Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has conducted numerous studies that suggest motorcycle helmets are responsible for preventing thousands of deaths every year. While motorcycle helmets have been proven to save lives, they do not prevent deaths 100 percent of the time.

Unfortunately, other motorists tend to not pay attention to bikers sharing the roadway. Sadly, this increases the number of fatal injuries seen year to year. In many circumstances, drivers will execute a turn in front of a biker or pull out in front of motorcyclist without seeing them, making it impossible for a motorcyclist to survive the impact of the crash.

The Villages Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you and your loved ones obtain the compensation you need and deserve following a fatal motorcycle accident. If your loved one was killed in a motorcycle collision, whether they were wearing a helmet or not, we can help you obtain a fair settlement for your loss. At Whittel & Melton, we can guide you through the process of filing a wrongful death claim and advise you of your legal rights and options. We will stop at nothing to ensure you receive the maximum compensation you are due.

If your loved one has been killed in a motorcycle accident in Sumter, Marion or Lake County, contact The Villages Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton online or call 352-369-5334.