With Florida’s mild weather year round, it may be tempting to take a motorcycle ride, but be careful.
In 2010, 350 people died in motorcycle crashes in Florida, an April 2012 report from the University of South Florida Center for Urban Transportation Research, excluding motorcycle passengers, shows. Overall, it shows 7,484 motorcycle crashes, and 6,686 motorcyclists injured excluding passengers.
Trends show that the fastest growing population of riders are baby boomers, over the age of 45, who have been the rebel motorcycle riders of the 1960’s and 1970’s that are hitting the open road again as their kids have grown up and they now have the financial means to afford a motorcycle again.
The number of motorcycle crashes and injuries nearly doubled between 2000 and 2008, RideSmartFlorida.com, a website to promote motorcycle safety developed by the Florida Department of the Transportation’s Motorcycle Safety Program, shows. But from 2008 to 2010, data reflects a 22.2 percent reduction in crashes and a 21.5 percent reduction in injuries. Implementing Florida’s Motorcycle Safety Coalition and new rider training requirements significantly contributed to this decrease.
Still motorcyclists should wear approved helmets to reduce head injury-related mortality. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study found that the increase in fatalities that occurred after the Florida motorcycle helmet law was repealed in 2002 is due in part to the reduced use of helmets.
Furthermore, statistics show that even though motorcyclists account for 6 percent of Florida’s motoring public, 14.3 percent of all traffic fatalities are motorcyclists and their passengers.
A statewide poll of 2,771 people shows that 93 percent rated failure of motorists to detect and recognize motorcyclists as the most dangerous aspect of riding a motorcycle, followed by roadway defects, 2 percent, weather conditions, 2 percent, other, 2 percent, and lack of protection, 1 percent.
A few contributing factors to motorcycle accidents include failure of motorists to identify motorcyclists presence, sun glare or dirty windshield, and driver inattention. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the carelessness of another driver, aTampa personal injury law firm such as Vanguard Attorneys may assist you. It is important to take photographs of all the vehicles involved, have your motorcycle stored for expert examination, and preserve all the gear worn at the time of the accident.