A recent motorcycle accident has highlighted the dangers of these vehicles on Florida roads. In early November, a motorcyclist was tragically killed after another car allegedly cut him off in an intersection.
According to a November 2015 report in the Sun-Sentinel, the motorcyclist was pronounced dead on the scene, while the driver was not injured in the crash.
Of course, many of us may assume that riding a motorcycle is inherently more dangerous than driving a car on Florida’s roads. But is this really true? And if so, why?
Statistics Show the Dangers of Riding a Motorcycle in Florida
Ultimately, riding a motorcycle is, in fact, significantly more dangerous than driving a car in Florida. According to RideSmartFlorida, a program sponsored by the Florida Department of Transportation, 444 motorcycles were killed in Florida alone, a significant increase from 227 only 12 years earlier. Of course, this is only a small fraction of the number of riders who sustained serious or even minor injuries while riding.
And the statistics further show that while motorcycle wrecks in Florida only represented a total of 3.1 percent of traffic crashes in 2013, they accounted for 19.2 percent of traffic fatalities. This, in turn, highlights the true dangers of riding a motorcycle in the Sunshine State.
Why Can Riding a Motorcycle Be So Dangerous?
The statistics mentioned above certainly lead to one conclusion; specifically, that riding a motorcycle is inherently more dangerous than driving a car. And in general, this is true. After all, while drivers and their passengers are protected by a 2,000-pound shell of steel, motorcyclists have no physical defenses from external factors in the event of a crash. This leaves motorcyclists and their passengers at a greater risk of sustaining catastrophic injuries, even in an otherwise minor wreck.
In addition to inherent dangers, however, there are a number of actions taken by many motorcyclists in the Sunshine State that only compound the risks already present. For one, far too many motorcyclists choose not to wear a helmet approved by the Department of Transportation; RideSmartFlorida asserts that in 2013 slightly more than half of all riders opted to wear certified headgear. To be sure, while failure to wear a helmet may not lead to a crash, it is often a contributing factor to serious brain injury or death, should a wreck take place.
And beyond helmet use, the statistics also show that alcohol use is often noted in motorcycle crashes. In 2009, for example, 37 percent of fatal motorcycle wrecks involved alcohol.
Stay Safe, and Call an Attorney if You or a Loved One Has Been Injured
In reality, if you love riding a motorcycle in Florida, the best way to protect yourself is by always riding in a defensive manner, wearing a helmet and other protective gear, and choosing to stay sober while on your bike. These precautions are simple ways to help stay safe.
Sadly though, accidents do happen, and often lead to devastating injuries. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a motorcycle wreck in Florida, it is in your best interest to contact a skilled legal professional for help recovering compensation immediately thereafter. Passionate Florida attorney Jarrett Blakeley understands the physical and emotional pain you may be experiencing, and is dedicated to fighting for your rights to recovery. For more information and a free consultation, don’t hesitate to call the office today at 954-253-9445.