Last month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its Traffic Safety Facts for motorcycles. Some of the facts included in the key findings include:
- 4,976 motorcyclists were killed in 2015, which represented an 8 percent increase in motorcycle fatalities from 2014
- Motorcycle deaths accounted for 14 percent of motor vehicle fatalities in 2015
- 88,000 motorcyclists were injured in accidents during 2015
- Motorcycle fatalities occurred 29 times more frequently than fatalities involving passenger cars
- It is estimated that helmets saved the lives of 1,772 in 2015
For all data released by NHTSA you can access the NHTSA report on its website.
HOW DID FLORIDA COMPARE TO THE NATIONAL DATA FOR MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS?
The 2015 Crash Facts Annual Report by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle shows a 3.52 percent increase in motorcycle crashes from 2014 to 2015 (9,854 crashes to 10,201 crashes). The number of motorcyclists killed in crashes increased by almost 28 percent to 546 people while passenger deaths increased almost 73 percent to 38 deaths. Motorcycle accident injuries also increased by almost two and a half percent to 8,231 for 2015.
According to the information provided by the NHTSA, Florida led the nation in motorcycle fatalities for 2013 and 2015. The state had the second highest number of motorcycle accident fatalities in 2014. As you can see, the number of motorcycle accidents continue to increase in our state. All riders must take precautions to decrease their risk of being injured or killed in a motorcycle accident.
SAFETY TIPS FOR MOTORCYCLE RIDERS FROM A LAKE CITY ATTORNEY
- Wear a Helmet – According to Florida helmet laws, a rider can choose not to wear a helmet if he or she is at least 21 years old and has at least $10,000 in medical insurance coverage. However, motorcycle helmets are designed to absorb the impact of a crash. Because a motorcyclist has no protection in a crash, wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of traumatic brain injury.
- Take a Course – If you are a new rider, it is a good idea to take a course in motorcycle safety. Riders must complete a Basic Rider Course or Basic Rider Course updated with an authorized sponsor to obtain a motorcycle license in Florida.
- Wear Protective Gear – Just as a helmet can protect your head from injury, boots, gloves, and leather clothing can reduce injuries in the event of a motorcycle crash.
- Ride Defensively – Always assume that other drivers are not paying attention to you when riding a motorcycle. Avoid distractions while riding so you can focus completely on traffic and conditions.
- Always Ride Sober and Awake – Drunk driving and drowsy driving are just as dangerous for motorcyclists as it is for all other drivers.
- Motorcycle Maintenance – Make sure you maintain your motorcycle by having routine inspections, replacing worn parts, and making all necessary repairs before riding. Each time you ride, check your mirrors, brakes, horn, lights, throttle, and clutch to make sure they are operating correctly.
FILING AN INSURANCE CLAIM FOR A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT
Even the safest motorcyclist can be injured in a motorcycle accident. You can take every precaution to reduce your risk of being injured in a crash, but there is one thing you cannot control — other drivers. If you are in an accident that is not your fault, you may have the right to file an insurance claim against the other driver. However, the insurance company for the other driver will do everything it can to deny your claim. A Lake City motorcycle accident attorney can help you file an insurance claim when the other driver hit you.
CALL NOW FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, call our office to schedule a free consultation with a Lake City motorcycle accident lawyer.
You can contact the Koberlein Law Offices by calling our Lake City office at 386-269-9802 or by calling our Gainesville office at 352-519-4357. You may also request a free case evaluation or ask a question by using the contact form on our website.