Motorcycle deaths have skyrocketed throughout Florida. A study released by AAA indicates that in 2015, 606 Florida motorcyclists died in motorcycle crashes. This number represents a 30 percent increase since 2014. The study also highlights a grim statistic: motorcycles represent just 3 percent of motor vehicles in Florida, yet they are involved in 20 percent of the motorcycle deaths in Florida.
Florida motorcycle organizations are responding in the increase in deaths by promoting motorcycle safety while in Florida roadways. The organization Ride Smart Florida, for example, was created in partnership with the Florida Department of Transportation. Their goal is to promote “rider education and training, rider conspicuity, motorist awareness, personal protective equipment, operator licensing, and the deadly consequences associated with rider impairment and speeding.”
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Numerous organizations provide motorcycle training courses throughout the state, from Alachua County to Washington County. These training courses highlight the risks of motorcycling and teach users how to ride safely by following proper precautions.
Motorcycle Deaths are Largely Preventable
John Carrasco, AAA spokesman, cited impaired driving, speeding, and failing to wear a helmet as the main causes of motorcycle crash fatalities. It is important to note that all of these causes are easily prevent through safe motorcycle riding measures. Wearing a helmet, biking at safe speeds, and not biking while impaired are common sense measures that all bikers should be able to follow. By adhering to these simple rules, the fatality level would likely drop dramatically.
Although most bikers know that riding a motorcycle comes with some risks, the study by AAA and other studies throughout the nation indicate that many risks can be avoided by taking proper precautions. Some basic precautions include:
- Never ride a motorcycle while chemically impaired. If you have been drinking, you probably know not to get on your bike. But you may not know that drugs, even some prescription drugs, can interfere with your ability to make quick decisions while on your bike. If you are unsure if your medication may interfere with your ability to ride, ask your pharmacist or physician.
- Wear the proper gear. Yes, a helmet is important! Head injuries are one of the major causes of motorcycle deaths, and they are largely preventable by simply wearing a helmet. The good news is that helmets have come a long way. Recent helmets are more lightweight and allow the biker to easily see and hear what is going on around them.
- Follow the speed limit. I know we all get out there on the open road and are tempted to test out our bike and our own nerves, but biking at improper speeds is a major contributor to motorcycle deaths. Take your time and enjoy the ride!
- Maintain proper speeds for road conditions. This is another important consideration. If roadways are wet, slick, or if it is foggy, you may need to ride below the speed limit. It’s far better to be safe than sorry, and bikers can easily lose control during bad weather or road conditions.
- Take a motorcycle safety course. If you are a new motorcycle rider or you haven’t ridden in a while, it’s a great idea to take a motorcycle safety course. Even if you just want to ensure that your skills aren’t rusty, take a course! They are generally inexpensive, and often a lot of fun as you can meet other bikers in your area.
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Proper precautions are important in preventing motorcycle deaths. Adhere to the rules of the roadways, and make good, common sense choices about when (and when NOT) to ride. At Kass & Moses, an experienced motorcycle crash lawyer is available 24/7 to provide a free consultation to any biker who has been in a crash. Contact us at 1-800-MOTORCYCLE. We are bikers who work to prevent motorcycle deaths.