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Rise of Motorcycle Accidents Fatalities in Florida

News 4 out of Jacksonville, Florida has recently reported that there has been a 23 percent rise in motorcycle fatalities in Florida since the previous year. The statistics come from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, and they predict that motorcycle fatalities will continue to rise due to low gas prices this summer.

Reason for Increase

Karen Morgan, public policy manager for AAA, lays the blame on one single factor: “Since the repeal of the helmet law in Florida, motorcycle fatalities have more than doubled,” she says. “While helmet laws are a controversial issue, AAA strongly supports helmet laws. Bottom line: helmets save lives.”

Though AAA strongly supports mandatory helmet laws, one-third of Florida motorcycle riders do not support being required to wear a helmet while riding. However, AAA also found that 85 percent of the general public in Florida support mandatory helmet laws for people riding motorcycles.

Further, a study by the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research observed that about half of all people they saw riding motorcycles were not wearing helmets.

While wearing a helmet can help to prevent some fatalities, it will not completely eliminate motorcycle fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that out of 100 deaths of motorcyclists without helmets, 37 of them would have survived had they been wearing helmets.

Safety Tips for Drivers and Bikers

Wearing helmets is not the only safety issue for drivers and bikers. There are many things that both drivers and bikers can do to help keep motorcycle riders safe. Below are a few ideas from AAA about ways to avoid accidents involving motorcycles:

  • Drivers should try to be as aware of motorcycles as possible while on the road. While some motorcycles are loud and easy to hear, others may not be and drivers should rely on their other senses to detect motorcyclists around them.
  • While drivers should make sure to stay alert for motorcycles, people riding motorcycles should make themselves as visible as possible for other drivers to see and/or hear. Bikers need to beware of cars’ blind spots and should make sure to be at least a few seconds behind cars to make sure there is room to stop quickly.
  • Drivers should respect bikers on the road and understand that bikers have the same rights and responsibilities as other drivers. Drivers need to give bikers adequate space and allow them to change lanes or make any other moves that they need to.
  • Bikers should wear safety and visibility gear to be visible to cars even in the dark. Safety gear includes leathers, helmets, and other gear that can help protect motorcyclists in the event of a crash. Visibility gear can include reflective tape and lights.

Clearwater Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need to have skilled attorneys on your side to help you receive full compensation for your injuries. Our passionate Clearwater personal injury attorneys at Roman & Roman, P.A. can help you make the most of your claim.

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