Driving a motorcycle presents challenges to the operator, and exposes them to serious injuries even in collisions which would be minor if the crash were between two motor vehicles. At the Dawson Law Firm, we’ve been handling motorcycle cases for over 30 years and understand the nuances of these types of cases and the obstacles to overcome because of insurance limitations.
Florida’s average number of motorcycle deaths is slightly higher than California’s, despite having a substantially smaller total population. The situation becomes even more dire when looking at the number of fatalities per one million residents, where Florida’s 6% is close to double the next highest.
After digesting these sobering statistics, the question becomes: why? Why is Florida the most dangerous state for motorcyclists? Why are so many motorcycle accidents happening here? More importantly, what can you do to protect yourself on the road?
Reasons for Florida Being the Most Dangerous State for Motorcyclists
While there isn’t a single, clear cut reason Florida tops the list, there are several contributing factors that are worth examining.
Motorcycles are extremely popular in Florida. The Sunshine State has more than 570,000 registered motorcycles. It’s also home to Daytona Beach Bike Week, which is currently in its 77th year and one of the largest motorcycling events in the world.
One reason for the number of motorcycle crashes in Florida is a simple fact that people frequently don’t see the motorcycles when changing lanes and making turns. This could be attributed to many factors which include the elderly population of Florida continue to drive, the many distractions that exist which divert attention from the roadway, or simple carelessness. The simple fact is that motorcycle crashes occur with great frequency and serious injuries requiring an attorney almost always result.
Given the large number of individuals biking, the number of fatalities involving motorcyclists begins to make a bit more sense. Even if the motorcycle driver takes all the proper precautions, including wearing a helmet, an appropriate clothing, the simple fact is that cars usually when motorcycles usually lose.
Next, Florida’s roads are good for motorcycling. Highways like I-95 and I-75 provide long stretches of open road. South Florida’s A1A road offers stunning views of million-dollar mansions and the Atlantic Ocean.
Florida’s warm weather may seem perfect for taking to the highway and riding, but frequent rain and a four-month hurricane season suggest otherwise. This combination of appealing roads and dangerous weather is a big reason for the number of motorcycle fatalities.
What You Can Do to Protect Yourself
Based on the information above, it may seem like poor choice to be a motorcyclist in Florida. This is not the case. While there are precautions that you will want to take, Florida is a great place for motorcyclists.
To help reduce the chance of injury, you may want to:
Ride at safe speeds. It is very tempting to gun it while riding in a group, but you want to maintain safe and legal speeds while biking.
Pay close attention to semi-trucks. Eighteen wheelers and smaller semi-trucks are incredibly dangerous for motorcyclists. They have large blind spots and cause wind turbulence. They also decrease the visibility of other drivers on the road.
Ride with people you know and trust. It is much easier to end up in an accident if you ride with people who are reckless or intoxicated. Do not risk it. Instead only ride with people you know are responsible and safe bikers.
Always wear appropriate gear. This does not mean wear just any helmet. It means wear a helmet with a face shield, boots with nonskid soles, clothing with reflective tape, and gloves with reinforced fingers.
Prepare your motorcycle for the ride. Check your hydraulic and coolant fluids are topped off. Make sure there is no oil or gas leaking. You will want to make certain that your bike’s clutch and throttle are working properly. Test both brakes. This is the minimum amount of prep you want to put your motorcycle through.
Dawson Law Firm is experienced in handling motorcycle accident cases. In fact, lead counsel, Joseph Dawson owned a motor cycle for years so there is a personal understanding of the dangers of driving a motorcycle. If you have a bodily injury claim for a motorcycle or car, contact us today. Our team of experienced attorneys will handle your case. Our team philosophy is simple: prepare a case for trial in order to settle. Call us.