2016 Was Not a Banner Year for Motorcycle Riders
According to the Governor’s Safety Association and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2016 was one of the worst years for Florida motorcyclists. In fact, this state was #1 in fatal motorcycle crashes last year. Although motorcycles comprise only 3% of all of Florida’s registered vehicles, they account for 1 out of every 5 (20%) of all vehicular fatalities in the state. Over 600 motorcyclists lost their lives on Florida’s roads last year and the number of deaths has been increasing every year since 2013.
Needless to say, there are a number of factors that can lead to accidents and contribute to catastrophic injuries and fatalities. The primary factor is the exposure or lack of protection for riders when traveling on their bikes. Other than helmets and protective leather clothing, the average motorcyclist is fighting an uphill battle when it comes to avoiding injury. However, in roughly 40% of all motorcycle fatalities, the individual was not wearing a helmet.
In many cases, these accidents result from the compounding of two or more factors. According to the NHTSA or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the following 8 factors oftentimes lead to motorcycle crashes and serious injuries or fatalities:
- age of the rider
- carelessness or recklessness
- impairment from alcohol and/or drugs
- lack of experience
- lack of proper licensing
- other traffic on the road
- speeding related factors
- weather conditions
Furthermore, the state of Florida hosts numerous motorcycle related events. During these times, you’ll see an increase in the number of Floridian motorcycle enthusiasts as well as aficionados from out of state.
A Quick Tip From the CDC
While many states have laws regarding the mandatory wearing of helmets when riding a motorcycle, Florida’s laws are somewhat unique in that area. You are required to wear a helmet if you are under 21 years of age. Once you have reached that age, you are allowed to ride a motorcycle without a helmet. However, you must have motorcycle insurance that covers a minimum of $10,000 in medical benefits in order to treat any injuries you sustain while riding.
Regardless, the best way to prevent catastrophic injuries and fatalities resulting from head trauma is to wear a protective motorcycle helmet. It is just too risky when you consider how easy they are to wear and how effective they can be when it comes to saving your life. Plus, it’s just irresponsible. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), motorcycle helmets are highly effective at protecting the individual from catastrophic injuries and death.