Florida has long been a popular place for motorcycle riders to live and enjoy their sport and hobby. The attraction of Daytona’s Bike Week long ago cemented our reputation as a favorite biker hangout and the fact that riders don’t have to wear helmets if they are over the age of 21 and had adequate insurance adds to the allure of freedom.
But the freedom from helmets which was passed in 2002, led to a sharp increase in the number of head injuries and motorcycle fatalities. By 2008, just over half of all motorcycle fatalities were wearing helmets, while 35 percent chose not to wear helmets.
Statistics from the state of Florida concerning motorcycles from December 2009 finds that:
Motorcycle use has Increased
The number of motorcycles registered in the state has increased 124 percent since 2000. By comparison, the number of motor vehicles registered in Florida has increased 34 percent.
Accidents are Decreasing
After a steady increase in fatalities that peaked in 2006 and 2007 at 550 fatalities each year, by 2008 there were 9,618 motorcycle collisions in Florida that led to 532 fatalities. By 2009, the number of fatalities had dropped to 402, an amazing 24 percent. The drop in motorcycle fatalities from 2007 to 2008 was just 3.4 percent.
A mandatory new rider training course and more emphasis on apprehending drivers under the influence may be working. Florida also has emphasized to motorists that riders must Share the Road with motorcycles.
80 percent of motorcycle crashes result in death or injury to the biker
Since 2000, the motorcycle fatality rate has stayed at about 8.5 fatalities per 10,000 registered motorcycles.
Alcohol Involvement and Rider Fatalities
In looking at motorcycle collisions for 2008, the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles and Highway Safety found just over 41 percent of motorcycle fatalities involved alcohol or drug involvement by the biker.
Bikers Are Getting older
Since 2000, the age of riders age 45 and up has increased 174 percent. Baby boomers are returning to the sport in record numbers. But they may not have the experience and training they need to stay safe. No matter what your age, a biker training course or new riders is mandatory. Of those killed in 2008, 97 percent were males and of that number 178 were age 45 or older. Of the 14 female fatalities, three were 45-years-old or older.
Florida is a Comparative Negligence State
That means that you can be considered partially at-fault for your accident and still collect damages, which will be adjusted depending on your comparative fault. It is advised to carry uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage, and as much as possible, because it is the biker who will sustain the most damage in a collision. If the other driver does not have insurance and is at-fault, you would not be compensated for your losses without this coverage.
The Jacksonville motorcycle accident attorneys at Farah & Farah can consult with you on your crash and will represent you fully and fairly in a court of law or before the insurance adjustors. Call 855-797-9899 today to find out how we can help you.