Whether you are a rider yourself, or you only see others riding as you drive your car or truck each day, you will want to take note that May is Motorcycle and Bicycle Safety Awareness Month. While safe driving of and around motorcycles and bicycles is important all year round, it’s nice to have one month of the year that everyone can take to re-learn and remind others of road rules and safety tips.
The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Department has launched a “Share the Road” campaign for the state of Florida. This website is an excellent resource for safety information and is worth a read as you take to the South Florida roads. However, you may wonder “why?” Why is motorcycle and bicycle safety such a big deal? Avoiding accidents, injury and fatalities are the reasons why. We’ve gathered a few statistics that will likely convince you to take note!
In 2016, Florida reported 6,665 bicycle crashes, with 140 fatalities. This means just over 1.8 percent of crashes resulted in a fatality. This ALSO makes the state of Florida the deadliest state for Cyclists nationwide. Compare this with the overall rate of crashes—there were 395,461 overall crashes with 2,917 fatalities. This means just over .7 of a percent of crashes resulted in a fatality. While any fatality is one too many, the truth is that an accident involving a cyclist is much more likely to cause a fatality.
The most dangerous county for cyclist in the state of Florida is Miami-Dade County according to 2016 stats; Miami-Dade County leads the state with 15 fatalities followed by Broward and Hillsborough County both with 13, and Sumter County with 12.
When it comes to motorcycles, the stats aren’t as cut and dried. However, it is important to note that Florida has the second highest number of registered motorcycles in the country—trailing only to California with its huge population. Accidents with motorcycles are more likely to result in a fatality than a standard car accident too. Florida drivers must be mindful and make sure they are aware of the bikers around them.
So, next time you hit the highway in Miami-Dade, Broward, and West Palm Beach counties or anywhere else in the state, make sure you are prepared to “Share the Road.” Also, if you are a rider yourself, make sure you are following all safety rules too—and you’ll contribute to the safety of everyone on the highway.