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Florida has the most fatalities of motorcyclists in the U.S.

Motorcycles are a consistent sight on Florida roadways. Although most drivers of conventional vehicles will share the road with bikers to the benefit and safety of everyone, motorcyclists are at constant risk for significant injuries and fatalities. This is due to their vulnerability and not having the protection that is accorded to drivers of cars and trucks. There are, of course, many reasons for motorcycle crashes. Researchers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are studying the number of crashes and their causes. It found that Florida has the highest number of motorcycle fatalities in the U.S.

The study showed that 19 percent of fatalities in Florida were motorcyclists, while they only accounted for 7 percent of licensed drivers. A survey by AAA Consumer Pulse found that 16 percent of motorcyclists are riding without motorcycle insurance, and that the societal cost for a motorcycle fatality comes to $1.48 million. Economic loss calculates medical expenses, legal fees, court costs, emergency services, insurance administration, loss of productivity, workplace losses, and damage to property.

Since Florida does not mandate that riders over a certain age need to wear a helmet, this is viewed as a contributing factor to these fatalities. Almost one out of three riders do not believe that it should be a legal mandate to wear a helmet when riding. However, many riders say they do wear safety equipment when they are riding. 86 percent wear a helmet; 81 percent wear a face shield or glasses; 64 percent wear boots; 63 percent wear gloves; and 55 percent wear a jacket or vest that is enhanced.

The safety advice given to drivers as part of the research makes clear the dangers that bikers face and what can cause a motorcycle crash. Drivers are advised to provide room to the riders; to keep a close eye on and listen for them; show respect to their right to the road; be cognizant of them; and avoid being a distracted driver. A failure to yield, and distracted drivers are two of the main causes of accidents involving motorcyclists. Since a motorcyclist can be seriously injured or killed with the problems and costs that accompany these outcomes, those who are affected by motorcycle accidents need to understand their potential right to be compensated. Discussing the matter with an attorney who is experienced in helping motorcyclists and their family members may be the first step to pursuing a claim.

Source: news4jax.com, "Report: Florida deadliest state for motorcyclists," Kumasi Aaron, March 2, 2017

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