Memorial Day weekend is the time of year when more than 300,000 people head to Myrtle Beach’s Black Bike Week for three days of live music, motorcycle racing and parties. In the words of Atlantic Beach Mayor Irene Armstrong, it’s all about bike riding in style and showing off.
But now, it may be about something else. This year there were six shootings during the event, including three fatalities. A cloud is gathering over this longstanding, one of a kind event, and it is becoming symbolic of a national trend. This year an online petition has been started, advocating an end to the revels.
While no one can blame the denizens of Myrtle Beach for wanting to restore calm and safety to the Memorial Day weekend, the criminal behavior of a handful out of tens of thousands of bikers masks a different reality. A 2010 study from Johns Hopkins University shows that African American motorcycle riders are twice as likely to die from their injuries as others. It is easy to assume that this has something to do with not wearing a helmet. After all, Black Bike Week has a “no helmet” law in effect during the celebrations. This suggests that African American bike riders don’t like wearing helmets, so the difference between African American and Caucasian motorcycle fatalities is due to African Americans riding without a helmet.
However, a study in the American Journal of Surgery compares the number of deaths among African American and Caucasian bike riders who do wear a helmet, and there is still a significant difference in fatalities. Fewer African American bike riders survive accidents even when they wear helmets. The authors of the study suggest that the reason more African American motorcycle riders are killed could be limited access to quality healthcare.
So does this mean anyone headed for Black Bike Week should just throw caution in the air and ride without a helmet? Why should they care, if the helmet doesn’t make a difference? However, a helmet does make a difference and sound legal advice is use caution and a helmet, whenever you are on your bike. If you are injured, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. The law office of Bruce Hagen can help you get the funds owed to you for a full recovery after suffering injuries from a motorcycle accident.