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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).