Daytona Beach, FL – As hundreds of thousands of riders pour into Daytona Beach for the 75th anniversary of Bike Week, a new report shows that Florida is one of the most dangerous places to be for a motorcycle rider.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says Florida has the most motorcycle fatalities in the nation. Motorcyclists make up for 19% of all motor vehicle deaths in the state even though they only make up about 7% of licensed motorists. That’s largely due to big motorcycles rallies like Bike Week and Biketoberfest as well as the refusal of many motorcyclists to wear a helmet.
According to a recent AAA Consumer Pulse survey, 32% of motorcyclists in the Sunshine State think they shouldn’t be required to wear a helmet when riding and 1 in 7 Florida motorcyclists don’t wear one.
“Since the repeal of the helmet law in Florida, motorcycle fatalities have more than doubled,” said Karen Morgan, Public Policy Manager at AAA. “While helmet usage is a controversial issue among riders, [the] bottom line [is] they save lives.”
That same survey also shows that most motorcyclists do wear some form of safety gear while riding. 86% of riders wear a helmet and 81% wear a face shield or glasses. More than half of surveyed riders also wore boots (64%), gloves (63%) and a jacket or vest with protective armor (55%).
The survey also showed that 16% of motorcyclists don’t have insurance.
“Bikers should do everything possible to make themselves visible to motorists while riding,” said AAA spokesman Josh Carrasco. “Motorists need to keep their attention on the task of driving and be alert for increased motorcycle traffic.”
Some of the things AAA recommends for motorcycle riders include keeping headlights and taillights on at dusk and when it’s dark or rainy, wearing bright clothing, having reflective strips on your bike and avoiding blind spots of cars and trucks by following 3 to 4 seconds behind the vehicle in front of you.
Copyright 2016 Southern Stone Communications.