As the mass of hundreds of thousands of motorcycle riders in Daytona Beach, Florida disbands following the end of Daytona Bike Fest for 2014, the public is being granted some insight into trauma and hospital admittance statistics for motorcyclists involved in accidents.
Each year, Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona publishes a report, commissioned by Trauma Center Manager Kevin Captain, which provides a look into how busy the emergency room ward was. The report is considered conclusive, because Halifax Health is the only trauma unit that services Daytona Beach Bike Week participants.
The center says it attended to 50 motorcycle crash-related trauma visits during the weeks of March 7th-16th, 2014, while the Bike Fest was in full swing. Last year the center recorded only 44 visits, representing a 12% increase in visits this year.
Two deaths were recorded by the hospital for patients in care, from injuries sustained following a motorcycle accident. The report also goes into more detail about who the patients were in aggregate. The average age of a patient was 44, with more than 80% of patients being male.
There really is no concrete evidence for an explanation behind the increase, says Captain. We only know that motorcycle crash and injuries have been on a steady rise since 2000, dipping slightly in 2008, but then again continuing the upward trend since.
Back in 2000, Florida’s helmet law was repealed, resulting in a steady 21 percent increase in fatalities resulting from motorcycle crashes on Florida roadways over the last 14 years. In 2008, new motorcycle licensing requirements incorporated mandatory safety classes and instruction, which is credited with a 3-year dip in fatalities and injuries.
But since 2011, the numbers have been again on a steady rise, which judging from the statistics Halifax released last month, shows no signs of abating. For more information on the rise of motorcycle accidents in Florida, click the link for detailed report our firm released recently.
There are State and Federally-funded public safety outreach programs that are active in Florida, like Survive the Ride and Ride Smart Florida. These programs are aimed at spreading motorcycle safety outreach across the state. But whether or not they are effective will remain to be seen.
There isn’t much our firm can do to prevent motorcycle accidents at Daytona Bike Fest, but we can provide some help now. If you or someone you know has been involved in a motorcycle accident, call our firm to find out if we can pursue compensation for an injury or death. The call is free, and there is no upfront cost to begin working on your case.