Preliminary data from the Governors Highway Safety Association indicates that the number of fatalities for motorcyclists increased approximately 10% in 2015. In other words, in the United States, 450 more bikers were killed on the road last year for an approximate total of over 5,000. In general, motorcycle deaths account for 15% of all motor vehicle fatalities.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a proper helmet could decrease a motorcyclist’s probability of fatal injuries by 37%. However, only 19 states mandate helmet usage by all motorcycle riders. In Florida, pursuant to section 316.211, Florida Statutes, a person is not required to wear a helmet if he or she is over 21 years of age and is covered by an insurance policy with at least $10,000 in medical benefits for injuries incurred as a result of a motorcycle crash.
FHP Offers Tips to Share the Road with Motorcycles
With 550 recorded deaths, Florida reported the highest number of fatal motorcycle accidents. With such high numbers, bikers are encouraged to wear all necessary protective armor and to be as visible as possible to other motorists. Additionally, other drivers are encouraged to use caution and to be aware of their surroundings.
The Florida Highway Patrol has reported that one of the biggest problems for bikers is cars making left-hand turns in front of the motorcycles. It is important to recognize that motorcyclists and moped drivers have the same rights and responsibilities as any other vehicle driver on the road. Thus, if a motorcycle is traveling straight, it has the right of way to any vehicle attempting to make a left turn.
FHP is also warning drivers not to share a lane with a motorcycle. A motorcycle is entitled to the entire travel lane and should be given the appropriate amount of space. Furthermore, a motorcycle should not be followed too closely because it can stop faster than other vehicles. At a minimum a four-second “buffer zone” should be maintained between a vehicle and motorcycle.
Tampa Motorcycle Accident Law Firm | Capaz Law Firm
The Tampa motorcycle accident lawyers at Capaz Law Firm understand that a motorcycle accident can happen to even the safest motorcyclist because many accidents are not the fault of the injured biker. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle crash, call the Capaz Law Firm for a free consultation as soon as possible. Our accident injury attorneys fight to obtain the maximum amount of compensation for injury victims. Call 813-440-2700 today.