A motorcycle crash happens too often, especially in Florida where there is the most motorcycle crash fatalities in the nation. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 606 motorcycle crash fatalities and 9.045 injury related crashes in the state in 2015. From 2014 to 2015, fatalities rose 30%.
ABC Action News highlights that the top counties for motorcycle crash deaths are as follows:
- Miami-Dade – 67 deaths
- Hillsborough – 48 deaths
- Broward – 42 deaths
- Palm Beach – 34 deaths
- Pinellas – 27 deaths
Pasco County is not far behind with 22 motorcycle crash fatalities.
According to the report, the majority of motorcyclists (83%) claim to wear a helmet while on their motorcycle. However, 15% of motorcyclists do not have insurance. That’s important because the average cost for a motorcyclist involved in a traffic crash, who was then admitted to the hospital, was $83,676.
Although it is nearly impossible to obtain Personal Injury Protection benefits for motorcycles, a motorcyclist should purchase uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This way, the motorcyclist is protected if injured in a motorcycle crash caused by someone with little or no bodily injury liability coverage.
ABC Action News provides the following safety tips for motorists to avoid a motorcycle crash:
- Respect motorcycle riders. Motorcycles are vehicles too and have the same privileges as an automobile. Be sure to give them ample room.
- Look and Listen. Even if a motorcycle is loud, you may not hear it. Actively look for motorcycles in traffic.
- Leave room. Leave plenty of room between your vehicle and motorcyclists. Uneven terrain, wet roads, and heavy traffic often require a motorcycle rider to react and maneuver differently than automobiles.
- Be aware. Take extra caution when making a left-hand turn, because most automobile-versus-motorcycle crashes occur during left-hand turns.
- Don’t drive distracted. A driver who takes their eyes off the road for two seconds doubles their risk of getting into a crash.
The article also provides these safety tips for motorcyclists:
- Wear safety gear. Helmets that meet DOT compliance standards, eye wear, closed-toe footwear and protective clothing reduce your risk of injury or death in a crash. Remember, the only thing between you and the ground is your protective gear.
- Be visible. Keep headlights, marker and taillights on at dusk and dark, or rainy weather. Wear bright clothing or put reflective strips on your bike to be more visible to other motorists. Avoid being in the blind spots of cars and trucks by following three to four seconds behind the vehicle in front of you.
- Use sound judgment. Avoid weaving between lanes while riding. Be sure to use your signals and stick to the speed limit.
- Get proper training. Completing a motorcycle safety course can not only make you a better rider, but save you money on your motorcycle insurance.
I would add another tip for motorcyclists and that would be to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Let’s make Florida and Tampa Bay famous for other things besides the most motorcycle crash fatalities. Ride and drive safely and watch out for those who don’t!
Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes represents those injured in car accidents, motorcycle crashes, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents and other types of personal injury matters. He is a named partner at the Tampa Bay law firm of Perenich Caulfield Avril Noyes – one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Pinellas County. Call Attorney Matthew Noyes now at 727-796-8282 or complete the form on this page or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.