We all know that motorcycles can be dangerous. For the more than 8 million motorcyclists in the United States, the experience often outweighs the risks. When tragedy strikes, it’s far more likely for a motorcyclist to be seriously injured or even killed. It’s one of the sobering facts that all motorcycle riders must come to terms with. This week, a Florida high school student and motorcycle enthusiast tragically lost his life on the way to school.
Springstead High School Loses Senior
On Tuesday morning, a teenage motorcyclist was killed only a few blocks away from his school. According to state troopers, the 17-year-old student was driving a Suzuki motorcycle when he ran a red light and collided with a car making a left turn at an intersection. The student was wearing his helmet at the time of the accident.
In the wake of the loss, Springstead High School brought in grief counselors for the students affect by this tragedy. More than 50 students met with the counselors. The Springstead principal remembers the lost student as a tireless hard worker who volunteered his free time to help others.
Florida Motorcyclist Statistics
In 2017, there were 5,172 motorcyclists who lost their lives in our country. Florida is the nation’s leader in motorcycle fatalities. The warm weather, bright skies and beautiful scenery bring many motorcyclists to Florida streets, but it’s not all sunshine in our state. In 2013 alone, 467 motorcyclists lost their lives in Florida. Almost a third of those deaths involved motorcyclists above the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
While it’s true that motorcycles are inherently more dangerous than passenger vehicles, that’s not all that accounts for the high rates of fatalities. There are a variety of outside factors that contribute to these sobering statistics.
- Helmet Usage
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle helmets saved more than 1,800 lives in 2016. Florida law does not require motorcyclists to wear helmets as long as they are covered by sufficient insurance.
- License Issues
In 2016, 27% of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes didn’t have valid motorcycle licenses at the time of the accident.
- Driving Under the Influence
As I previously mentioned, close to a third of all motorcycle fatalities in Florida involved motorcycle riders that were above the legal limit for driving. Nationally, a quarter of motorcycle deaths also involved alcohol-impaired riders.
34% of motorcycle fatalities involved motorcyclists that were speeding. This is significantly higher than the rate of drivers in passenger vehicles at 21%.
What Can Be Done?
Sadly, we can’t bring back those who already lost their lives to motorcycle crashes. We can, hopefully, stop future deaths from happening. It’s critically important that we are all aware of motorcycle riders around us. They are harder to see and far more likely to be seriously wounded or killed when an accident does happen.
For motorcyclists, the statistics make it clear. If we want to see motorcycle deaths decrease in our country, these steps are non-negotiable:
- Wear a Helmet.
- Don’t Drink and Drive.
- Slow Down.
They are each so simple, and yet each of these is a major contributor to motorcycle collisions and fatalities. I don’t want to sap any of the joy from cruising the streets for my Florida motorcyclists. I do, however, want to see you all make it home safe. Is it really a sacrifice if it means you stay alive to ride another day?
Contact Brooks Law Group
I’ve witnessed first hand the passion that motorcycle riders have for the roads and for their bikes. I’ve always witnessed what can happen when things go wrong. That’s why the Brooks Law Group is dedicated to fighting for motorcyclists. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, call our offices at (800) LAW-3030. You can also fill out the “Contact Us Now” form located on the top right corner of our website for your free, no obligation case evaluation. You don’t pay unless money is recovered for your case. Don’t wait! Connect with a law firm that cares about you today.