motorcycle fatalities

Motorcycle fatalities in Florida rose 30% between 2014 and 2015

From AAA

Drivers should expect an increase in motorcycle traffic on all Florida roadways, as thousands of motorcyclists roar into Daytona for the 76th annual Daytona Bike Week, March 10-19.

Florida has the most motorcycle fatalities in the nation, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. According to the most recent crash data, Florida saw a 30% increase in these deaths, making 2015 the highest on record. Motorcyclists accounted for one-fifth (20%) of motor vehicle fatalities in the state, yet motorcycles only account for 3% of registered vehicles. In 2015, 606 people died and 9,045 were injured in motorcycle crashes on Florida roads.

“Time and time again the effectiveness of motorcycle helmets has been proven through scientific study,” said Karen Morgan, Public Policy Manager, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “AAA strongly supports a universal helmet law in Florida.”

According to a AAA Consumer Pulse™ survey the majority (83%) of motorcyclists claim to wear a helmet when they ride. But according to a motorcycle helmet usage report, only 47% of riders in Florida were observed wearing a helmet while riding.

Motorcycle crashes are costly, yet according to a AAA Consumer Pulse™ survey, one in seven motorcyclists (15%) do not have motorcycle insurance. According to the Florida Department of Health, hospital charges for motorcyclists – treated in a hospital due to a traffic crash – totaled $675,674,964. The average cost for a motorcyclist involved in a traffic crash who was then admitted to the hospital was $83,676. Helmet use has been shown to significantly reduce the cost associated with motorcycle traffic crashes.

“Wearing a helmet could mean the difference between life and death,” said Josh Carrasco, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Our goal is to make sure all motorists arrive safely at their destination, including motorcyclists.”

AAA encourages drivers and motorcyclists not to drive impaired and to follow these safety tips:

Safety Tips for Motorists:

  • Respect motorcycle riders. Motorcycles are vehicles too and have the same privileges as an automobile. Be sure to give them ample room.
  • Look and Listen. Even if a motorcycle is loud, you may not hear it. Actively look for motorcycles in traffic.
  • Leave room. Leave plenty of room between your vehicle and motorcyclists. Uneven terrain, wet roads, and heavy traffic often require a motorcycle rider
  •  react and maneuver differently than automobiles.
  • Be aware. Take extra caution when making a left-hand turn, because most automobile-versus-motorcycle crashes occur during left-hand turns.
  • Don’t drive distracted. A driver who takes their eyes off the road for two seconds doubles their risk of getting into a crash.

Safety Tips for Motorcyclists:

  • Wear safety gear. Helmets that meet DOT compliance standards, eye wear, closed-toe footwear and protective clothing reduce your risk of injury or death in a crash. Remember, the only thing between you and the ground is your protective gear.
  • Be visible. Keep headlights, marker and taillights on at dusk and dark, or rainy weather. Wear bright clothing or put reflective strips on your bike to be more visible to other motorists. Avoid being in the blind spots of cars and trucks by following three to four seconds behind the vehicle in front of you.
  • Use sound judgment. Avoid weaving between lanes while riding. Be sure to use your signals and stick to the speed limit.
  • Get proper training. Completing a motorcycle safety course can not only make you a better rider, but save you money on your motorcycle insurance.


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