Motorcycling is serious business here in the state of Florida. Our riders take it very seriously, and the motorcyclists who venture to the Sunshine State do as well. Unfortunately, the number of people killed in motorcycle accidents in the state is on the rise, according to The Tampa Tribune.
Florida continues to rank high in the number of motorcyclist fatalities. One study shows that there were close to 300 deadly motorcycle accidents during the first nine months of 2012.
Our motorcycle accident lawyers understand that these risks are only going to increase. Quickly approaching is Daytona Beach Bike Week, when 500,000 people rally to the area for the 10-day event. It’s the best-known biker rally in the nation and one of the longest. Bike Week events span throughout the state. With concerts, racing, street festivals and parties, we can expect our motorcycling population to increase throughout the next few months. While much of the U.S. is covered in snow and other icy weather conditions, two-wheeled travelers venture south for the sunshine and our breezy roadways. Law enforcement for Bike Week is provided by the Daytona Beach Police Department and the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, but is in reality a statewide effort that is not effective without the safe driving habits and education of riders from across the country.
“For every mile traveled, you have a 30 times higher risk of getting killed on a motorcycle than riding in a car,” said Jim Hedlund, a traffic safety researcher who compiled and analyzed data for the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). “And wearing a helmet reduces your chances of getting killed by 40 percent.”
Every year, officials with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and with the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) work to educate and promote safety throughout this dangerous time of year. They work to encourage motorcyclists to ride responsibly by not drinking and riding and wearing highly visible colors. They also asked other motorists to be more aware and watch for motorcycles during the popular event. Drivers of vehicles are encouraged to look twice in their rearview and side mirrors before switching lanes or making turns.
In 2012, officials with the FHP worked close to 50 motorcycle-involved accidents in Volusia County during Bike Week. Five fatalities were included in this 10-day period. A record 20 people were killed during Bike Week 2006. Following that year, transportation and safety organizations took a closer look at motorcycle safety.
With that increase, the possibility of more motorcycle crashes goes up, and both motorcyclists and other drivers should stay within speed limits and follow the rules.
In 2000, motorcycle fatalities accounted for about eight percent of all traffic fatalities in the State, but by 2008 the percentage had increased to 17.8 percent. By 2010, motorcycle fatalities dropped to roughly 14 percent of all traffic fatalities. In 2011, motorcycle fatalities have returned to 2008 levels, accounting for about 17 percent of all traffic fatalities.
If you or someone you love has been injured, contact Hollander Law Form at 888-751-7770 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. There is no fee unless we win.