According to a report published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Florida leads the nation in motorcycle accident fatalities. With 467 deaths in 2013 (the most recent year for which data are available), Florida was one of only three states with more than 200 fatalities resulting from motorcycle collisions.
This figure means that nearly 20 percent of motor vehicle fatalities in Florida involve motorcycles, despite the fact that only seven percent of Florida drivers hold motorcycle license endorsements.
Contributing Factors in Florida’s High Rate of Fatal Motorcycle Accidents
What contributes to Florida’s unusually-high rate of motorcycle rider fatalities? Some people point to the repeal of Florida’s mandatory helmet law. According to a representative from AAA, as published by WCTV in Northwest Florida, “Since the repeal of the helmet law in Florida, motorcycle fatalities have more than doubled.”
However, not all fatal accidents involve riders who are not wearing helmets, and AAA’s data show that the vast majority of Florida riders wear a helmet each time they ride. A 2016 survey of Florida motorcycle riders revealed that:
- 86 percent of riders wear a helmet; and, among those who wear helmets, 82 percent put one on each time they ride.
- 81 percent of riders wear a face shield or glasses.
- Nearly two-thirds of riders wear boots (64 percent) and gloves (63 percent)
- More than half (55 percent) of riders wear a jacket or vest armor
- 39 percent of riders wear reflective riding gear
Many riders wear safety gear not because they are concerned about their own riding abilities, but rather because they are concerned about the poor habits of other drivers. While failing to wear a helmet or other safety gear may increase riders’ risks of certain injuries in the event of an accident, all of the gear in the world cannot prevent negligent drivers from causing collisions. Motorcyclists are entitled to share the road, and drivers who injure and kill riders deserve to be held accountable.
As motorcycle accident lawyers, we regularly represent individuals and families who are suffering due to collisions caused by negligent motorists. Some of the most common factors in these collisions include:
- Distracted driving (including talking on the phone, using social media and texting behind the wheel)
- Speeding, tailgating, weaving through traffic and other forms of reckless driving
- Failure to check blind spots before merging or changing lanes
- Failure to look for motorcycles before turning into traffic
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a motorcycle accident, you owe it to yourself to speak with an attorney about your rights. The costs of a devastating collision can impact your life for years to come, and an experienced attorney will be able to help make sure you recover the compensation you deserve.
Contact the Niceville Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Powell, Powell & Powell, P.A.
To learn more about your rights after a motorcycle accident, contact the injury attorneys at Powell, Powell & Powell, P.A. For a confidential, complimentary consultation, call (850) 682-2757 or request an appointment online today.