Florida Motorcycle Accidents and Safety Issues
The climate and terrain in Florida are perfect for motorcycle riding. Local bikers ride as both a form of recreation and transportation, while visitors from around the country are drawn to the Sunshine State for our well known bike weeks and special events. What many of these riders are unaware of is the fact that Florida leads the nation in the overall number of severe and often fatal motorcycle accidents and injuries. The following details some of the common reasons these accidents occur, as well as steps bikers can take to ensure their safety.
Florida Number One In Motorcycle Accident Deaths
According to the latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Florida is listed as top in the nation for the number of fatal motorcycle accidents that occur each year within the state. With more than 570 riders killed in 2015, that is over a hundred more fatalities that in larger states, such as California and Texas, and more than the number of motorcycle deaths that occurred during the same year in the states of Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Alabama combined.
Alcohol plays a leading role in a majority of motorcycle accidents, injuries, and deaths, more so than with other type of motor vehicle crash. It was listed as either a primary or contributing cause in over 35 percent of fatal Florida biker crashes, almost ten percent higher than the national average of 27 percent. In addition to driving under the influence, the NHTSA lists the following as additional factors which contribute to motorcycle accidents and injuries:
- Reckless driving behaviors such as speeding and disregarding traffic signals;
- Driver inexperience and lack of training;
- Road, traffic, and weather conditions;
- Riding without the appropriate gear, such as gloves to help maintain a grip on the steering wheel and goggles to cut down on glare.
Preventing Motorcycle Accidents and Injuries
The NHTSA reports that while failing to wear a helmet does not necessarily increase your odds of being in a motorcycle accident, it does increase the likelihood that your injuries will be severe. While Florida motorcycle safety laws allow motorcyclists to ride without a helmet depending on the type of bike and their age, wearing one can help protect riders against serious head injuries and brain trauma that could lead to permanent disabilities and even death.
To ensure the safety of yourself, your passengers, and others on the road, the American Automobile Association (AAA) advises all bikers to following these safety tips:
- Make sure headlights and brake lights are in good working order, and use them at dusk and when driving in bad weather.
- Keep safe distance between you and other vehicles at all times.
- If you are drinking, do not drive.
- In addition to wearing a helmet, wear the proper clothing and footwear to decrease the risks of injuries.
If you or someone you love is involved in an accident, notify local law enforcement and contact the Law Firm of William E. Raikes III. Our Fort Pierce motorcycle accident attorney understands the severe injuries that often result from these accidents, and can assist you in getting the compensation you are entitled to. Contact our office to request a free consultation.