Distracted driving has been steadily increasing and so have vehicle accidents, including motorcycle fatalities. The vulnerability of motorcyclists makes driving defensively that much more important for them. Unlike states in northern climes, which deal with cold and snow, Florida’s weather makes year-round riding here standard. However, with that comes the rise in opportunity for motorcycle accidents.
The Grim Statistics
Statistics for traffic accidents are sobering. Globally, according to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, each year approximately 1.3 million people die in vehicle accidents. That’s roughly 3,287 deaths daily. Young adults, 15 – 44 years of age, make up more than half of these traffic fatalities.
Closer to home, more than 37,000 people lose their lives in fatal accidents annually in the United States. So far in 2017, Florida has already seen 215,254 crashes, with 1,505 of those involving fatalities. This information comes from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV.) Florida motorcycle accidents are already in the hundreds for 2017. With over 600 motorcycle fatalities in the state last year, it is obvious there is a serious problem here.
Why Are Motorcycle Fatalities so Prevalent in Florida?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show that 19% of motor vehicle fatalities in Florida happen to motorcyclists. The same report shows that motorcyclists account for nearly 7% of the licensed drivers.
One factor in the rise of Florida motorcycle fatalities seems to be the fact that fewer bikers are wearing helmets. Many cyclists do not like to wear this safety gear, yet since the helmet law was repealed in Florida, the death rate of bikers has climbed to over twice what it was with the law. Even though bikers may not want to wear approved helmets, the numbers show that they save lives.
Practice Safe Driving
Both bikers and motorists can bring down the number of accidents on Florida roadways by practicing safe driving. One of the big factors in the overall rise in accidents is distracted driving. Texting while driving or fidgeting with mobile devices has made roadways, in general, more hazardous.
If you ride a motorbike, realize that drivers may be distracted and could drift into your lane unexpectedly, so always stay alert. Use your lights to make yourself more visible. Reflective strips on your bike, as well as reflective clothing, will help too. Know what the blind spots are on other vehicles and avoid them.
Motorists can help make the roads safer for motorcycles by paying attention and watching out for them. Realize that Florida roads always have motorcycles on them, so drive with awareness. Pay particular attention to left turns. This maneuver is most likely to cause an accident between a motorcycle and a car.
Florida can be safer for everyone if people get the proper training for driving their vehicles, whether a car or motorcycle and they drive with care. Pay attention to the road and don’t allow distractions to take your eyes off it. If you need to answer that text or email, pull off the road. Don’t put anyone’s life in danger. You may think it will only take a second, but that’s all the time that’s required to end a life in a traffic accident.
Your friends at Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A. would like to see Florida’s roads made safer for all. Our staff takes great pleasure in being involved in community events here in the Port Charlotte area. As partakers of community life, we are committed to helping improve the lives of our neighbors and friends. As part of that commitment, we encourage you to reach out to us when faced with personal injury or the wrongful death of a loved one.
Our attorneys provide you with excellent skill and the expertise required for the best possible outcome when it comes to litigation. We care about our clients and work hard to make the process as comfortable and efficient as possible. Contact us if you have questions.