Florida - The American Automobile Association (AAA) says Florida leads the nation in motorcycle crash fatalities and that Florida drivers should expect an increase in motorcycle traffic on all Florida roadways as thousands motorcyclists travel to Daytona Beach for the 76th annual Daytona Bike Week, March 10-19.
According to AAA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the most recet crash data, Florida had a 30% increase in these deaths, making 2015 the highest on record. Motorcyclists accounted for 20% of motor vehicle fatalities in the state. In 2015, 606 people died and 9,045 were injured in motorcycle crashes on Florida roads.
“Time and time again the effectiveness of motorcycle helmets has been proven through scientific study,” said Karen Morgan, Public Policy Manager, AAA - The Auto Club Group. “AAA strongly supports a universal helmet law in Florida.”
AAA recommends the following safety tips for motorists:
- Respect motorcycle riders. Motorcycles are vehicles too and have the same privileges as an automobile. Be sure to give them ample room.
- Look and Listen. Even if a motorcycle is loud, you may not hear it. Actively look for motorcycles in traffic.
- Leave room. Leave plenty of room between your vehicle and motorcyclists. Uneven terrain, wet roads, and heavy traffic often require a motorcycle rider to react and maneuver differently than automobiles.
- Be aware. Take extra caution when making a left-hand turn, because most automobile-versus-motorcycle crashes occur during left-hand turns.
- Don't drive distracted. A driver who takes their eyes off the road for two seconds doubles their risk of getting into a crash.
AAA recommends the following safety tips for motorcyclists:
- Wear safety gear. Helmets that meet DOT compliance standards, eye wear, closed-toe footwear and protective clothing reduce your risk of injury or death in a crash. Remember, the only thing between you and the ground is your protective gear.
- Be visible. Keep headlights, marker and taillights on at dusk and dark, or rainy weather. Wear bright clothing or put reflective strips on your bike to be more visible to other motorists. Avoid being in the blind spots of cars and trucks by following three to four seconds behind the vehicle in front of you.
- Use sound judgment. Avoid weaving between lanes while riding. Be sure to use your signals and stick to the speed limit.
- Get proper training. Completing a motorcycle safety course can not only make you a better rider, but save you money on your motorcycle insurance.
Charts courtesy of AAA.
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