While May is designated as Motorcycle Safety Month, in the state of Florida motorcycle accidents are a danger year-round. Motorcycles are extremely popular in the Sunshine State due to the ideal year-round weather, the great scenery and the long stretches of flat roads. Unfortunately, with the number of motorcycles on the highways, motorcycle accidents are all-too-common.
According to the NHTSA, the state of Florida had the highest number of motorcycle accident fatalities in 2015 at 577. Despite the fact that California and Texas both have a higher population and a larger size, Florida nonetheless takes the number one spot for motorcycle fatalities.
Are These Motorcycle Fatalities Preventable?
According to the NHTSA, a significant number of motorcycle fatalities are preventable. Per vehicle mile traveled in 2016, motorcycle fatalities occurred a staggering 28 times more frequently than passenger car occupant fatalities (as a result of a traffic accident). While more than a quarter of motorcyclists were found to be lacking a valid motorcycle license which is a factor in motorcycle crashes, the primary cause of motorcycle accidents is still other auto drivers. Car drivers routinely:
- Change lanes without properly looking for motorcyclists
- Open their car door into traffic without looking for motorcyclists
- Make left-hand turns at intersections without seeing an oncoming motorcyclist
- Back out of parking spots without properly looking for motorcyclists
When a motorcyclist in involved in an accident, they often sustain serious and life-threatening injuries. Motorcyclists have virtually no protection—unlike drivers who have airbags, safety belts, and a steel and glass “cage.” One problem, according to the NHTSA, lies in the fact that more and more motorcyclists are foregoing helmets, despite the fact that it is estimated that motorcycle helmets saved nearly 2,000 motorcyclists’ lives in 2016, and the fact that at least 802 more lives could have been saved if helmets had been worn. Florida repealed the universal helmet law in 2000 for riders over the age of 21, however, those who choose not to wear a helmet must carry $10,000 of medical payment insurance.
Distracted Driving Kills Motorcyclists
While motorcycles certainly have a smaller profile than larger vehicles, they are hardly invisible. Yet the number one reason drivers fail to recognize motorcyclists on the road is due to distracted driving. Distraction is fast becoming the number one cause of all types of auto accidents. Drivers often conduct business on their phone or eat entire meals while behind the wheel. Drivers also text, talk on the phone, talk to passengers, turn around to see what the children are doing, or simply daydream on their daily commute. All of these distracted driving behaviors can easily prevent a driver from seeing a motorcyclist, leading to a tragic—although totally preventable—fatal motorcycle accident.
Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important to know that you have rights. You have a right to collect compensation from the “at fault” driver for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. At Fetterman & Associates, we believe that every injured accident victim deserves justice. That’s why our West Palm Beach motorcycle accident lawyers fight aggressively for every one of our clients. Call us today at 561-845-2510 for a free initial consultation and review of your case. We can help you recover after a tragic motorcycle accident – so call us today!
For More Information
- 5 Safety Tips to Avoid Motorcycle Accidents in Florida
- Essential Motorcycle Safety Tips