While Florida may be one of the most desirable places to ride a motorcycle, recent data suggests it may also be the most deadly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 467 riders were killed in Florida in 2013. In fact, Florida’s share of biker fatalities was more than 10 percent of the nationwide total that year of 4,399 deaths. In the same year, 88,000 riders were injured on roads throughout the country.
More than 97 million people visit Florida each year. Bikers are attracted to the Sunshine State for the weather, the roads and a variety of events such as Daytona Bike Week. More traffic and more riding lead to more opportunities for bikers to be involved in accidents.
Motorcycle fatalities are so high in the state that they make up about one-fifth of all vehicle-related deaths. Factors that contribute to these fatalities include speeding, alcohol use and failure to wear a helmet. Nearly 35 percent of riders killed in Florida in 2013 had at least some level of detectable alcohol in their bloodstream, and motorcycle fatalities have doubled since Florida repealed its helmet law, in 2000.
In addition to riding at safe speeds, avoiding alcohol and wearing a helmet, there are others steps you as a biker can take to stay safe:
- Wear proper gear to protect you in the event of a crash or fall.
- Make sure your lights are working and that you wear bright or reflective clothing.
- Don’t weave through traffic.
- Take advanced motorcycle classes periodically to improve your skills.
- Pay attention to everything around you.
The longer you ride, the greater the chances that you will eventually be involved in a wreck. If you have been hurt while riding due to the negligence or carelessness of another driver, speak with the knowledgeable Bradenton motorcycle injury attorneys at the firm of Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh to learn about your options.