Motorcycles and scooters are popular modes of transportation in Florida for many reasons, including Florida’s beautiful weather, beaches and scenic roadways. In addition, the high price of gas earlier in this decade factored into vehicle operators’ decisions to use motorcycles and scooters as a means of transportation. As gas prices decreased, many continued to use these modes of transportation.
According to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) motorcycle and scooter riders represent 7 percent of licensed drivers, 3 percent of registered motor vehicles, and less than 1 percent of traffic on Florida’s highways. However, they represented 19 percent of Florida’s traffic fatalities and 12 percent of serious injuries during the last five years.
To address this issue, the FDOT Motorcycle Safety Program for 2018 is targeting the reduction of serious injuries and fatalities which involve motorcycle riders. The program focuses on education and support for motorcycle riders, trainers, sponsors, local government, law enforcement agencies, and emergency services throughout the state of Florida.
The strategies of the FDOT Motorcycle Safety Program are:
- Improve the skill levels of motorcyclists through increased participation in rider education programs and proper license endorsements
- Promote the safe operation of motorcycles, including sharing the road, responsible riding, and the use of proper safety gear
- Consider the unique vulnerabilities and characteristics of motorcyclists when designing and improving transportation infrastructure
The Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at the University of South Florida will, as in past years, continue to coordinate and implement the FDOT Motorcycle Safety Strategic Plan. The center will “identify critical issues, establish achievable performance indicators, and evaluate the effectiveness of all motorcycle safety programs.”
In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the 2018 Motorcycle Safety Program, CUTR will conduct behavioral and statistical studies of motorcyclists “to determine the effect of funded grant projects on reducing motorcycle crashes, injuries and fatalities.”
Motorcycle accidents in Southwest Florida happen virtually every day. Most recently on July 6, 2018, a 19-year-old motorcyclist died of his injuries in Collier County when a vehicle took a left-hand turn in front of him, even though, authorities reported, he had the right of way. Although alcohol was not involved, charges were pending as of July 6.
The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that motorists sharing the road with motorcycles do not anticipate motorcyclists’ movements. Because of this, the U. S. Department of transportation recommends that motorists:
- Slow down when approaching intersections.
- Check for motorcycles and other vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
- Leave room when behind motorcyclists to allow sufficient braking distance.
- Recognize that a motorcycle’s brake lights may not be engaged when it is decelerating.
- Double check blind spots.
“Since motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable, other Florida motorists must be aware of the possibility they may be sharing the road with a motorcycle. Vehicle drivers are required by law to drive responsibly,” said Fort Myers Motorcycle Accident Attorney, Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. “If you or a loved one is injured in a motorcycle accident, please contact us. We have the experience to assist you.”
Fort Myers Motorcycle Accident Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.