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Syracuse Motorcycle Accident Without Helmet Leads to Biker Death

A Syracuse man was killed on Saturday while riding his motorcycle, without a helmet, to protest New York’s motorcycle helmet law. According to, at or about 1:30 p.m. on July 2, 2011, 55 year old Philip Contos went over the handlebars of his Harley motorcycle. Apparently, Mr. Contos looked down to inspect a problem and, when he looked up, traffic had slowed. He slammed on his brakes, fishtailed and was propelled forward onto his head. He was pronounced dead at University Hospital in Syracuse.

According to Syracuse motorcycle accident lawyer Michael A. Bottar, Esq., of Bottar Law, PLLC, a New York personal injury law firm, “approximately 5,000 people are killed every year while operating a motorcycle – many due to head trauma.” Even though helmets save lives, as many as 50% of riders report that they do not wear a helmet. Common complaints about helmets include impaired sight lines, difficultly hearing traffic sounds and discomfort. Bottar added, “the single most critical factor in the prevention of a motorcycle head injury is the use of a safety helmet, assuming the helmet is one that complies with FMVSS218.”

Helmets are a necessary safety countermeasure because motor vehicle operators often fail to see motorcycle riders. Bottar added, “two-thirds of all motorcycle accidents occur when a car invades the motorcycle right-of-way.”

If you were involved in a New York motorcycle accident, contact Bottar Law, PLLC to speak with an experienced attorney about your right to recover for personal injuries, medical bills and lost wages.

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