Blog » 2015 » June » Riding Doesn't Transport You to a Destination; It is the Destination

Riding Doesn't Transport You to a Destination; It is the Destination

Motorcycles are the ultimate “fun” vehicle. They offer a powerful, open-air ride that no car can match, which was magnificently described in the classic novel, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: "You’re completely in contact with it all. You’re in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming.”

One of the most obvious measurements of motorcycle popularity reveals that Florida is second only to California with how many motorcycles are registered – over 574,100. This growing popularity comes at a price -- despite being only 3 percent of all road vehicles, motorcycles are involved in 14 percent of highway deaths.

Ride Your Motorcycle to Work Day Brings Awareness

In an effort to increase visibility, motorcycle enthusiasts worldwide participate in Ride Your Motorcycle to Work Day each year on the third Monday of June. A non-profit organization, Ride to Work, evolved out of a grassroots demonstration to help organize and promote Ride to Work Day.

By encouraging those motorcyclists who only ride their bikes for recreation to ride for their commute, the goal is to show:

  • The number of motorcyclists to the general public and to politicians
  • That motorcyclists are from all occupations and all walks of life
  • That motorcyclists can reduce traffic and parking congestion in large cities
  • That motorcycles are for transportation as well as recreation
  • That motorcycling is a social good.

Unfortunately, riding a motorcycle is dangerous, and even the most experienced riders can’t stop someone else from doing something reckless. Many motorcycle accidents and injuries occur when other drivers fail to see motorcycles or to leave a safe following distance.

Studies Show Drivers Mostly at Fault for Crashes

A 2013 Florida Department of Transportation study based on 10 years of crash data concluded that other drivers were at fault in 60 percent of two-vehicle motorcycle accidents.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), accidents involving left-turning vehicles are a particular threat with about one-third of two-vehicle motorcycle accidents happening when other drivers violate the right of way and turn left in front of motorcycles.

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) estimated that there were 4,584 motorcycle fatalities in 2014, with Florida ranking third for most fatalities among the states.

Further, the GHSA says recent statistics from the NHTSA show that "per mile driven, fatality rates for motorcyclists were 26 times that of passenger vehicle occupants in 2013." The trend of motorcycle injuries and fatalities as compared to traffic injuries and fatalities in Florida shows that motorcycle injuries have increased by 50 percent and motorcycle fatalities have increased by almost 90 percent during the past decade. During the same period, traffic fatalities have reduced by 20 percent and traffic injuries have reduced by 10 percent.

Society's Bias Against Riders

Our current culture largely considers motorcycles to be adult toys. Sometimes, riders themselves add to that perception by treating their bikes as sportbikes built for speed or cruisers built for socializing.

Commuting to work gives a boost to the sensible viewpoint that motorcycles are a legitimate mode of personal transportation. By reminding other drivers that motorcycle riders are our neighbors, co-workers, teachers, healthcare professionals, etc., they will hopefully pay a little more attention when they see bikes on the road.

Motorcycles are by their nature less crashworthy than closed vehicles and less visible to other drivers. Do what you can to keep yourself safe and, at a minimum, wear protective gear and a helmet. If you have any questions about this topic or if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you are invited to contact Stabinski & Funt, P.A., for a free, no-obligation, confidential consultation with our Miami personal injury attorneys.

DISCLAIMER: Any information about past verdicts and settlements is based on the unique facts of each case. Every case is different, and future cases may not achieve the same or similar results. These amounts reflect the gross recovery (before attorneys’ fees and expenses are deducted).

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