Four years after passing legislation requiring all motorcycle riders go through a training course before earning a motorcycle endorsement on a Florida driver's license, the number of fatal motor cycle accidents in Florida has declined annually. Coupled with efforts aimed at increasing awareness off motorcycles and motorcycle safety issues, including declaring May to be Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, both Florida and national groups hope the number of people seriously or fatally injured in a motorcycle accident will keep going down.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), riding a motorcycle carries serious risks of injury or death. A rider is 25 times more likely to die in a motorcycle crash than are passengers involved in car accidents. Motorcyclists are five times more likely than car passengers to be injured in a wreck.
Motorcycle riders and drivers of other vehicles share responsibility in improving safety for cyclists. Drivers of cars should:
- Be on the lookout for motorcycles
- Use turn signals even if you don't see other vehicles around you
- Check and recheck mirrors and blind spots
Motorcycle riders should:
- Stay visible
- Stay out of other drivers' blindspots
- Maintain safe following distances
- Wear bright colored clothing
- Wear a DOT-compliant helmet
The number of Florida drivers with motorcycle endorsements continues to increase; Harley Davidson reported a 25 percent jump in sales in the first quarter of 2012. More and more people are taking to the road on two wheels and it's the responsibility of everyone on the road to make the roadways as safe as possible for themselves, their passengers and others.
Source: Consumer News, "Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month reminds drivers, riders to share the road," May 1, 2012