It is well-known that Florida is viewed as one of the most dangerous states in the nation for motorcyclists. But what does this mean in terms of actual numbers? Hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries.
According to preliminary data posted by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there were 8,837 motorcycle crashes in 2019 (down slightly from 9,143 the year prior). Those crashes resulted in 509 fatalities. Records also indicate 7,709 injuries, which could have ranged from relatively minor, to drastic and life-altering.
Crashes peaked in March, with May and April seeing the second- and third-highest incident totals, respectively.
Causes of motorcycle crashes
All motorcycle riders know they have a role in protecting themselves from harm. Stay in control of the vehicle, don’t drive while under the influence and wear proper gear.
Oftentimes, however, it isn’t the motorcyclist that is at fault for a crash. Wrecks frequently occur because of the actions of other motorists. So what behaviors by drivers in cars and trucks can put motorcyclists in danger? The Florida Motorcycle Safety Coalition says mistakes include:
- Failing to double-check traffic at intersections, including when making a left turn
- Not accounting for blind spots when changing lanes
- Not giving motorcyclists enough space
- Driving while distracted
- Driving while under the influence
A motorcycle crash can have life-changing consequences. Both the operator and any passengers are far more exposed – and therefore vulnerable to injury – than occupants of cars and trucks. That fact, combined with state laws, can leave injured motorcyclists in an incredibly difficult position. Fortunately, when another individual’s negligent behavior caused the suffering, there are potential avenues for relief.