No one will argue whether Florida is a beautiful place to cruise on a motorcycle.
But as to whether or not it is getting safer, that is open to interpretation.
Let us start with what we know. Between the years of 2000 and 2008, motorcycle
crashes and injuries nearly doubled in Florida. By the end of 2008, new
safety training requirements were put in the law to help stymie the trends,
and it worked. For the next three years, both crashes and injuries dropped
by about ten percent each.
However, since 2011, the number of motorcycle crashes and injuries reported
each year has continued to climb the charts. There has been a fifteen
percent increase each year.
All of this to say that hiring a
motorcycle accident lawyer after a crash is a good idea - an Allstate Insurance Company email which
circulated online back in 2001 said that their analysis confirms victims
of accidents who hire personal injury lawyers get around three times as
much money as those who did not.*
To make matters worse, fatalities resulting from motorcycle crashes follow
the statistical trend, now accounting for more than sixteen percent of
traffic fatalities, though motorcyclists make up only about five percent
of drivers on the road at any given time.
This data has been sourced from the Federal Department of Transportation
and The Florida Department of Transportation (www.ridesmartflorida.com).
What contributing factors lie behind an increase in motorcycle accidents?
Several theories exist. First, Florida is a prime tourist destination,
and motorcycle enthusiasts come from all over the country to attend motorcycle
events and festivals, including the famed Daytona Bike Week, held annually
in March. Winter and spring, in fact, is a popular part of the year for
dozens of other motorcycle events in counties all across the state.
These gatherings can be a catalyst for motorcycle accidents and injuries.
Nationally, studies have shown that alcohol impairment constitutes a larger
percentage as a cause of motorcycle accidents and fatalities than it does
for passenger vehicle accidents and fatalities. There is no reason to
believe Florida statistics do not follow that norm.
It is no secret that consumption of alcohol is a hallmark of a good biker fest.
These events also grow larger every year. The Treasure Coast Bike Fest,
for example, has seen its attendance double each year for eight straight
years.** As more motorcycle enthusiasts come into the culture and community,
the higher the chances will be for accidents and fatalities to continue
Another contributing factor is the repeal of the required helmet law for
motorcyclists in 2000. Statistics show that since the repeal of the law,
the state has logged an increase of more than twenty percent in the number
of fatal motorcycle accidents. Indeed, traumatic brain injury is the number
one cause of death for motorcycle accident-related fatalities in Florida.
Motorcycle crashes and injuries plateaued, dipped, and are back on the
Regardless of the contributing factors or causes driving the disconcerting
trend in the motorcycle crash, injury, and fatality statistics for Florida,
the statistics themselves do not lie.
What we have witnessed is a steady, growing trend in motorcycle crashes
and injuries after the repeal of the helmet law in 2000. Then we saw our
state legislatures take action, and the numbers dipped for three years.
Now we are back where we started – in 2012, the number of motorcycle
crash and injury incidents climbed again to 2008 levels. Since then, the
increase in motorcycle crashes and injuries continue to climb higher each
and every year. Our firm and our attorneys do not have the answers for
how best to tackle this grim shift we are witnessing.
But by brining light to the statistics and trends in motorcycle crashes,
injuries, and fatalities, we hope that we have at least taken a good first
step in reversing the trend for the betterment and safety of the motorcycle
riders, enthusiasts, and clients of our firm with whom we share our beautiful
*Recoveries on individual cases will always vary, and are based on the
individual fact and circumstances surrounding a particular case. This
study should not be a reflection of expectations. All monies recovered
are before attorney's fees and costs are deducted.
**Full Disclosure: The Law Offices of Craig Goldenfarb, P.A. donated $5,000
to ARC of Martin County to be a title sponsor of the Treasure Coast Bike
Fest this year, held on February 9