7 Facts About Motorcycle Deaths in Florida
Florida is a biker’s paradise. Year-round good weather, beautiful rides, scenic ocean byways, and warm sea breezes make Florida a perfect place for any motorcycle enthusiast. But Florida ranks sixth in the nation for the most motorcycle fatalities, as of a recent 2017 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Florida has unique laws that make getting compensated after a motorcycle crash a bit more complicated than in some parts of the country. This is why you should always work closely with a trained personal injury lawyer near you. Here are seven facts about motorcycle deaths in Florida that you may not have known.
#1 – Florida ranks number 6
Even above Illinois, Kentucky, Georgia, and Arizona, Florida motorcycle deaths account for more than 10 deaths per 10,000 registered motorcycles each year.
#2 – Florida helmet laws require you to carry insurance
In many states, there are moves towards requiring helmets for all motorcycle riders and passengers. To be fair, every rider should wear protective headgear. It greatly reduces the risk of serious injury, TBI, and death, in the event of a crash. However, Florida law does not require adults aged 21 and older to wear a helmet, so long as they carry at least $10,000 in medical payment coverage with their insurance company.
#3 – Motorcyclists have 34 times higher chance of death than those in cars
That’s right, you read it correctly. Thirty-four times more likely to die in a motorcycle crash than if in a passenger vehicle. According to 2015 research published in Neuroscience Journal, after performing a cross-sectional study of traumatic brain injuries and related deaths by those in motorcycle collisions versus those in automobiles, the researchers concluded that over a three-year period, when looking at the “Per vehicle mile travelled,” motorcyclists face upwards of a “34-fold higher risk of death” than those riding in passenger vehicles. They are 8 times more likely to be seriously hurt than auto drivers and passengers.
#4 – Motorcyclists aren’t the problem most of the time
According to a Pilot Study by the NHTSA, only about half of all motorcycle collisions can be attributed to rider error, while nearly 30% of the time alcohol is involved. But across all factors being considered, the following seem to hold true:
- 97% of fatal accidents occurred on clear days
- About 65% occurred outside of intersections
- Almost half of all crashes were due in part to driver inattention in some way
#4 – Intersections are the single most common location for injuries
Of all the ways bikers can get hurt on the road, the intersection crash is the most common. It often happens when a car is turning left through a green light and does not see an oncoming motorcycle with the right-of-way.
#5 – Even the media understands that drivers are to blame
According to 2013 reporting from the Sun Sentinel, a report by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) showed that in over ten years of data analysis, researchers at the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research found that drivers were to blame in 60% of all motorcycle crashes – not the motorcyclists.
#6 – Helmets matter for safety
Yes, helmets do make you safer. In fact, all research available shows that wearing a helmet greatly increases your likelihood of surviving a serious crash. However…
#7 – Helmet use cannot be used against you in a civil action for injuries
Despite what insurance companies may want you to believe, if you are seriously injured in a Florida motorcycle crash, the insurance company will almost certainly argue that your non-use of a helmet was partly the cause of your injuries. This is known as comparative fault. However, cyclists are given a pass, because Florida Revised Statutes, Sect. 316.2065 says that use or non-use of a helmet may not be used as evidence of comparative fault in causing one’s own injuries. For motorcyclists, however, as long as you carry $10,000 in medical payments insurance, you are not legally required to wear a helmet. But you still should be prepared to ward off such attacks by an insurance company.
At Draper Law Office, our Kissimmee motorcycle accident attorneys have decades of experience fighting for the rights of injured bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts statewide. Give us a call to get a free case evaluation today.