Motorcycle Accident Fatalities Rose 23 Percent Last Year in Florida
A report has recently come out that has found that in the last year motorcycle fatalities have increased by almost a quarter in Florida. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the agency that put out the new statistics, also thinks that this trend will continue to rise. This prediction should concern not only motorcycle riders, but also other vehicles on the road. This article will examine these findings and look at the reason for the increase. It will also remind drivers of cars and motorcycles about some common safety tips to hopefully make the road even safer.
Reason for Increase in Fatality Increase
News 4 out of Jacksonville, Florida spoke with Karen Morgan, the public policy manager of AAA, who thinks that there is only one reason for this increase in motorcycle fatalities: the repeal of the mandatory helmet law in Florida. She states statistics that find that motorcycle fatalities have doubled since the repeal of the law. She says, “While helmet laws are a controversial issue, AAA strongly supports helmet laws. Bottom line: helmets save lives.”
In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has quantified this amount. They found that out of 100 fatalities of motorcycle riders who did not have helmets on, if all of them had worn helmets, then 37 of them would have survived.
However, about a third of Florida motorcycle owners do not believe that there should be a mandatory helmet law for motorcycle riders, versus 85 percent of the general population that does support mandatory helmet laws.
Though most Florida bikers do agree with helmet laws, it does not mean that they actually wear helmets. The University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research did a study that observed motorcycle riders’ helmet habits, and saw that about half of those riding motorcycles chose not to wear a helmet.
Safety Tips for Drivers and Riders
No matter how you feel about mandatory helmet laws, there are ways to stay safe while you are riding a motorcycle, or driving a car near motorcycle riders. Aside from wearing a helmet, motorcycle riders and drivers can:
- Stay Alert – Drivers need to keep an eye and an ear out for motorcycles. While some bikes are loud, others are much more difficult to hear. Those riding motorcycles should also try to do their best to keep visible, which means staying out of cars’ blind spots.
- Respect the Rules of the Road – People on motorcycles have the same rights and obligations as people driving cars. Cars need to respect the fact that motorcycles are on the road and make sure to give them ample space to ride safely. Bikers need to make sure they also follow traffic laws so cars can anticipate where the bike will be and drive accordingly.
Tampa Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident or a loved one is killed while riding a motorcycle, you should contact a skilled motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. Our dedicated Tampa attorneys at the Romero Law Firm can help you get the recovery you deserve after your accident.