440 Motorcyclists Died Last Year – Officials say “Share the Road”
FLORIDA – RNRF viewers know all too well, the number of serious injury and often fatal motorcycle accidents we have the unpleasant task of reporting. Last year, there were nearly 10,000 motorcycle crashes in Florida, resulting in 9,800 injuries and 440 deaths, according to State Officials.
When we post notice of these tragic accidents, it always leads to angry viewer comments and heated debate over who was responsible for the accident. Motorcyclists almost always blame the “cager” a term used to describe a passenger vehicle, and “cagers” usually say it was the reckless biker’s fault.
Rather than lay blame on one side or the other, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and the Florida Department of Transportation have begun a new campaign designed to provide helpful information for both drivers and riders.
May is now recognized as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and officials are asking everyone to Share the Road, in an effort to reduce the number of death and serious injury accidents.
The DHSMV and FDOT have provided the following helpful tips for motorcyclists and motorists:
Tips for motorcyclists:
- Make yourself more visible to motorists: Wear bright colors.
- Always wear safety gear.
- Train regularly.
- Stay out of blind spots, especially around large trucks. The smaller the vehicle, the more difficult it is for truck drivers to see it.
- Obey the speed limit. Twenty percent of speed-related motorcycle crashes (46) in 2014 resulted in a fatality.
- Always drive sober.
- Inspect your motorcycle before each ride to ensure your safety by having it in good working order.
Reducing the number of motorcycle-involved crashes goes beyond training and prevention on the part of the motorcyclist. Motorcycles are vehicles with the same rights and privileges as any motor vehicle on the roadway.
Tips for drivers:
- Always allow a motorcyclist the full lane width; never try to share a lane.
- Check for motorcycles by looking in your mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections. Remain extra vigilant when entering or crossing intersections. In 2014, 15 percent (66) fatal motorcycle-involved crashes occurred within an intersection.
- Do not tailgate. Allow more following distance when following a motorcycle, so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
- Eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, and mind on driving – don’t drive distracted.
- Always drive sober.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ™2013 – 2015 Real News Real Fast, Inc.