According to a recent study by the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research, if states, including Florida, monitored and forced compliance with safety laws, they could prevent millions of unnecessary personal injuries annually.
As personal injury attorneys representing victims of accidents in the Palm Beaches, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, we know too well that the leading cause of wrongful deaths of people age one to 40 years are accidental injuries. Yet amazingly many states, including Florida, refuse to pass common sense laws which would prevent injuries, save lives and lower overall health care costs.
While Florida does have mandatory seat-belt laws, which are proven to prevent about 12,000 annual car accident wrongful deaths; our legislature passed a law allowing motorcycle riders not to wear a helmet. Considering that helmets prevent approximately 1,5000 lives annually, and given the state’s obligation to pay the enormous medical bills incurred by those who sustain brain injuries from head trauma, such lack of legislative action is certainly reckless .
Not all blame falls upon the state, as national injury prevention funding has decreased almost twenty five percent over the last five years. We can only hope that the Florida Legislature will have the fortitude to disregard lobbyists and take aggressive action to pass and enforce needed safety laws.