Why Florida Has Such High Motorcycle Accident Rates
Terrain unfamiliarity and lax motorcycle helmet laws may contribute to why Florida consistently leads the nation in motorcycle fatalities, but they cannot be blamed exclusively for one’s demise. The state that hosts Daytona Bike Week and numerous other motorcycle events has gotten better at being proactive in protecting motorcyclists, but so far, attempts to fully regulate gear and punish drunk drivers seem futile.
Ultimately, the following includes a list of common causes of motorcycle accidents in the area – some from which riders never walk away.
More People, More Cars. Less Caring.
Nearly 9,500 motorcyclists enjoying their bike were involved in accidents in 2017, with a growing number not walking away. The growth of bike accidents is concurrent with growth of Florida drivers and legal vehicles.
Motorcycles and their operators are afforded the same protections as vehicles. Improper lane usage, riding too close, claiming riders were in blind spots and intoxicated driving cause vehicle operators to make poor decisions, costing lives to be lost. Remember, bikes have two wheels and no airbags, doors or thick glass windshields.
Motorcycles don’t spend thousands on Harleys to enjoy a deadly ride. But that’s what today’s breed of careless driver needlessly gifts to innocent riders.
Inclement Weather, Including Torrential Rains
It’s nobody’s place to judge motorcyclists who wish to ride in rainy, sleety or snowy weather. Florida DOT is normally great about plowing roads and keeping them free of debris so travelers can encounter less mess during their daily or holiday commutes.
Provided motorcycle owners navigate their bikes within the confines of law, and make every effort to remain at or under posted speeds, they’re protected under law. Conversely, cars who speed through rain and fail to see bikers in their lane will often hit them, which will impose civil liability even if an ounce of comparative negligence is brought to court.
Texting and driving induce more accidents today than when cellphones were first introduced, and few knew how to operate them. But it doesn’t stop with texting.
People reaching behind their seats to hand their infant bottles, shuffling through messy floor boards to find notes, playing with radios and trying to put makeup on are other distractions causing vehicles to plow into innocent bikers.
Could more motorcyclists survive distracted driving crashes if safety gear was judiciously worn? Perhaps. But until laws are passed to enforce the use of PPE (personal protective equipment), the notion that motorcyclists are guilty of being unprotected won’t hold water when a distracted driver slammed into their gas tank going 55 in a 30.
Motorcycle Accidents Are Avoidable
Discontinue distracted driving. Use an Uber or Lyft when drinking. Follow the rules of the road. Reduce speeds during questionable weather. Share the road.
The concepts aren’t that difficult, but many forget how to drive when their favorite song is blaring and nothing but sunshine and good vibes are flowing. Those that lack remorse for the motorcycle accidents they cause are briefly punished then released, only to begin the vicious cycle all over.
Change the laws and exercise greater care for motorcyclists, and not only will statistics improve, but more riders will go home to mom, dad, wife, husband and children.
The destructive nature of motorcycle accidents goes without saying. Whether you survived a tragic crash, or represent a decedent who lost their life, the Miami attorneys at Payer & Associates want to help. Take action immediately by consulting with our trial-ready attorneys by email, phone or in person today, and see the difference skilled attorneys can have on your personal injury case.