Written on Aug 22, 2014 9:51:00 AM
Surprising Facts About Florida Motorcycle Accidents
With our wide-open roads and clear summer air, it’s no shock that Florida is a motorcyclist’s paradise. In fact, from 1991 to 2008, the Florida Department of Transportation recorded a 350% increase in registered motorcyclists in the state.
However, with this increase comes a heightened risk of motorcycle accidents… and fatal crash statistics in Florida are some of the most unsettling throughout the entire United States. In 2006, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that 13 cars for every 100,000 were involved in fatal auto accidents; for motorcycles, the number is almost 6 times that of car fatalities, recorded as around 73 motorcycles for every 100,000 on the road.
By raw data, a motorcyclist’s risk of involvement in a fatal accident is 35 times that of an automobile driver, per mile traveled. While these statistics concern motorcyclists around the United States, Florida in particular is an unfortunate hub of motorcycle accidents, leading all other states in fatal accidents annually.
The Unfortunate Truth of Florida Motorcycle Accidents
With the rise of registered motorcyclists in the state, Florida has also seen a drastic increase in motorcycle accidents and injuries. From 2001 to 2008, the Florida Department of Transportation recorded an 84.3% increase in motorcycle accident injuries, compared to a 60% increase on the national level.
Even more unsettling is the statistic for motorcycle fatalities in the state: compared to all traffic fatalities in Florida, motorcyclists account for 17.8%, whereas they account for 14.2% on the national level. Why does Florida have these unnaturally high levels of motorcycle injury, and lead the nation in annual motorcycle accident fatalities? The answer, it turns out, it actually quite simple… it all has to do with our state’s relaxed helmet laws.
Causes and Prevention
In the state of Florida, helmets are not a requirement for motorcyclists beyond age 21; this freedom, however, comes at a great cost… and that’s significantly increased risk of serious injury and death in the event of an accident.
In 2010, the Florida Department of Transportation recorded Florida helmet use at 55.3 percent total, with the highest rate being sports bike riders, wearing helmets in 76% of cases, and lowest among moped and scooter riders, who wear helmets at a recorded 38.8% of the time.
Helmet use percentage and fatal accident rates in Florida have been positively correlated for decades, as the hard data recorded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Florida Department of Transportation proves.
However, while helmet use often plays a decisive role in motorcycle accident fatalities, there are a myriad of lesser, yet severe, injuries that can result from a motorcycle crash, helmet or not. In these cases, it’s always best to contact a professional motorcycle accident attorney right away, as these professionals can help you get the compensation you need and provide the necessary support for recovery in the event of an accident.
If you have been in a motorcycle accident, or have a loved one that has recently been involved in a crash resulting in injury, be on the lookout for the following injuries; acting sooner, rather than later, can save lives.
- Tissue damage to skin and muscles
- Road burns
- Bodily disfigurement, or facial disfigurement (almost entirely avoidable with full-face helmet use)
- Injury from bodily collision with road barriers, fences, trees and other foreign bodies
- Brain damage and concussions, rampant among motorcycle accident victims
- Broken or dislocated joints, particularly elbows, shoulders, hips and knees
- Nerve damage to fingers and hands, common when riders try to brace or stop their fall
What You Can Do
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, fatal or otherwise, one of the best things you can do is immediately contacting a local motorcycle accident attorney. These professionals can support you in the recovery process, while also significantly helping conversations with the police, insurance agencies and treatment providers.
When it comes to seeking the compensation you might require to get your life back on track after a significant motorcycle accident, there are no better resources than insightful, compassionate legal professionals. Don’t take a chance with your auto accident claims; find the support structure you need by contacting a motorcycle accident attorney today.
If you’d like more information on recovering from a motorcycle accident in the state of Florida, or to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our expert attorneys, contact Lowman Law Firm today.