Study: Florida leads nation in motorcycle deaths

- More people are dying in motorcycle crashes in Florida, than any other state.

Recently, AAA highlighted findings from the National Highway Traffic Highway Safety Administration. A study found Florida leading the nation for motorcycle crash deaths with 606 deaths in 2015.

The list includes multiple counties throughout Tampa including, Hillsborough, Pinellas Polk and Pasco counties:

Motorcycle Crash Deaths by County (NHTSA):
1. Miami Dade 67
2. Hillsborough 48
3. Broward 42
4.Palm Beach 34
5. Pinellas 27
6.Lee and Orange (Tie) 26
8. Duval 23
9. Brevard and Pasco (Tie) 22
11. Polk and Volusia (Tie) 21

AAA analysts surveyed 200 residents this year and more than 80 percent claimed to wear helmets. Another usage report found just under 50 percent of motorcyclists wearing helmets while riding.

AAA provided the following safety information for drivers and motorcyclists on the road:

Safety Tips for Motorists:

  • Respect motorcycle riders. Motorcycles are vehicles too and have the same privileges as an automobile. Be sure to give them ample room.
  • Look and Listen. Even if a motorcycle is loud, you may not hear it. Actively look for motorcycles in traffic.
  • Leave room. Leave plenty of room between your vehicle and motorcyclists. Uneven terrain, wet roads, and heavy traffic often require a motorcycle rider to react and maneuver differently than automobiles.
  • Be aware. Take extra caution when making a left-hand turn, because most automobile-versus-motorcycle crashes occur during left-hand turns.
  • Don't drive distracted. A driver who takes their eyes off the road for two seconds doubles their risk of getting into a crash.

Safety Tips for Motorcyclists:

  • Wear safety gear. Helmets that meet DOT compliance standards, eye wear, closed-toe footwear and protective clothing reduce your risk of injury or death in a crash. Remember, the only thing between you and the ground is your protective gear.
  • Be visible. Keep headlights, marker and taillights on at dusk and dark, or rainy weather. Wear bright clothing or put reflective strips on your bike to be more visible to other motorists. Avoid being in the blind spots of cars and trucks by following three to four seconds behind the vehicle in front of you.
  • Use sound judgment. Avoid weaving between lanes while riding. Be sure to use your signals and stick to the speed limit.
  • Get proper training. Completing a motorcycle safety course can not only make you a better rider, but save you money on your motorcycle insurance.
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