Florida’s gorgeous weather and picturesque scenery make it a very alluring place for residents and visitors to ride their motorcycles and, when not riding, to find nice places to enjoy a “cool one.” The downside of that lovely scenario is that Florida is among the most dangerous states for motorcycle fatalities. According to 2011 statistics, Florida ranked just behind Texas and just ahead of California, with 426 riders killed. Over one-third of those injured were legally impaired.
Florida proclaimed May 2013 as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month to encourage safety awareness, the importance of wearing a helmet and defensive driving. Sadly, in May there were multiple Florida biking fatalities that emphasized driving sober, driving defensively and wearing proper safety gear cannot always protect a motorcyclist from a calamity.
On May 18, 2013, a motorcyclist who was wearing a helmet was killed in Naples on the Golden Gate Parkway after being struck by a van making a U-turn. That same month, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued its most recent findings on nationwide motorcycle fatalities. It does not make for encouraging reading. The research was done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It reported 4,612 annual fatalities in the U.S. An analysis by the NHTSA found that, of all the fatalities:
- 40 percent were not wearing a helmet
- Nearly half involved a two-vehicle collision
- More than one-third of two-vehicle accidents involved another driver turning left in front of a bike going straight
- More than one-third involved a rider speeding substantially more than cars and trucks
- Nearly three-quarters were more than 40 years old
- Nearly one-quarter of bikers did not have a valid license
While not foolproof, riders may be able to reduce their risk of injury if they:
- Wear a helmet — It can save your life!
- Stay visible — Make sure your head and tail lights work properly andwear bright colors.
- Stay sober — It’s the law.
- Take a safety course — Even if you are an experienced, careful rider.
- Practice defensive driving — Stay out of blind spots.
These driving habits may help keep you alive to enjoy the biker’s paradise.
For more than 35 years we have helped motorcycle accident victims with professionalism and care. Please contact the Law Offices of Cohn & Smith, PA for a free consultation.