The idea of climbing onto a motorcycle and riding off into the sunset is a fantasy many of us have indulged in. It’s just you, the rumble of the engine, and the open road. Of course, the reality of riding a motorcycle is often much more practical than that, and that open road can look much more like busy city streets.
That’s certainly the case when it comes to Florida. Florida is ranked as the 4th most dangerous state to ride a motorcycle in, with the average yearly fatalities sitting at about 552. With more than one person dying in a motorcycle accident every day, and scores more injured, the idea of getting out on your motorcycle in Florida can be intimidating.
So, what’s causing Florida to be so dangerous for motorcycles?
The Dangers of Riding a Motorcycle in Florida
1. Looks and comfort over safety
Unfortunately, the first reason why motorcycle accidents are so prevalent (and often fatal) is a preventable one. Florida repealed its helmet law in 2000, and the AAA estimates that currently, only 47% of motorcycle riders in Florida wear a helmet on the roads.
Traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of death for motorcycle riders in accidents. In 2019, 57% of fatal crashes were not wearing helmets.
Your brain is the most important part of you, so make sure you’re wearing a helmet to prevent death and serious injury. If that’s not motivation enough, consider the cost. The CDC released a study that reported that medical expenses for motorcycle riders were 13 times higher for those not wearing a helmet than for those who did.
2. Motorcycles surprise sleepy drivers
While everyone on the road should be alert and aware of what is going on around them, motorcycles often surprise drivers by appearing suddenly and often very close to their vehicle. While it can be tempting to use the power your motorcycle has to weave around traffic, try to position yourself on the road as if you were a car to give people ample time to see you.
You should also remember that over 21% of Florida’s residents are over 65, and while we don’t want to paint with a broad brush, there is no getting around the fact that reaction times slow as we age.
3. No external safeguards
Cars, trucks, and other large vehicles have developed and have some serious safety features. While both cars and motorcycles have features like ABS breaking, large vehicles have seatbelts, airbags, automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and more. Cars are tested to see how little injury their passengers are caused in a collision. With a motorcycle, it’s all you – if a car crashes into you from the side, it’s your leg that gets hit first.
Wear clothing that’s designed to protect you from road rash and hard impacts (dress for the slide, not the ride), and avoid riding in dangerous weather. If you’re on a road you don’t know well, take things easy – potholes and debris can spell disaster if you’re going too fast to avoid them.
Florida has the third most fatal accidents in the country (behind only South Carolina and Mississippi), so it’s worth doing all you can to ensure your safety.
Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? We’ll Help You Get Back on Your Feet
While we hope that what we’ve discussed will help you make smart decisions when you go out on your motorcycle, accidents happen, and you can’t bet on everyone else on the road being safe and attentive. If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident that has left you struggling to get back on your feet, we’re here to help.
We’ve helped our clients recover $300 million in compensation, and we operate a no-win, no-fee policy. To find out if we can help you, click here, or call us at 888-280-4878. We’ll ensure you don’t pay for someone else’s mistake.