Report: Fla. leads US in motorcycle deaths

Posted at 9:49 AM, Mar 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-02 11:56:43-05

With Bike Week in Daytona Beach just around the corner, Triple-A is warning Florida drivers to expect to see more motorcycles on the road.

The organization is also highlighting a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that the state has the most motorcycle fatalities in the nation.

“Since the repeal of the helmet law in Florida, motorcycle fatalities have more than doubled,” AAA The Auto Club Group Public Policy Manager Karen Morgan said in a news release. “While helmet usage is a controversial issue among riders bottom line they save lives,” she said. 

Motorcyclists accounted for about one-fifth of motor vehicle fatalities in the state, while only making up about seven percent of licensed motorists, according to Triple-A.

Triple-A offers these safety tips for motorists:

• Respect motorcycle riders. Motorcycles are vehicles too and have the same privileges as an automobile, so be sure to give them ample room.
• Look and Listen. Even if a motorcycle is loud, don’t expect to hear it. Actively look for motorcycles in traffic.
• Leave Room. Leave plenty of room between your vehicle and the 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.

Triple-A offers these safety tips for motorcyclists:

• Wear safety gear. Helmets that meet a high protection standard, 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.