Motorcyclists are one of the most vulnerable groups who use the roads, and are at risk for sustaining serious injuries if an accident occurs. The motorcycle fatality rate is much higher than that for passenger cars or light trucks.
Number of Motorcycle Accidents in Florida and the Greater U.S.
In Florida in 2012, there were 281,340 reported traffic accidents, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Of those, 9,384 of those were crashes involving motorcycles. Tragically, 425 motorcyclists were killed in these crashes, and an additional 7,809 motorcyclists were injured.
On a national level, in 2012, there were 4,957 motorcyclists killed in traffic accidents, and 93,000 motorcyclists injured. Nationally, motorcyclists made up 15 percent of all traffic fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The occupant fatality rate in 2012 was as follows.
- For motorcycle accidents: 58.63 per 100,000 registered vehicles.
- For passenger car accidents: 9.66 per 100,000 registered vehicles.
- For light trucks: 7.92 per 100,000 registered vehicles.
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Alcohol Involved in Motorcycle Accidents
In 2012 in the state of Florida, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, alcohol was involved in 17,258 total recorded crashes (including both motorcycles and other automobiles). Alcohol also played a role in 877 traffic fatalities, and 12,066 injuries. In Florida, 27 percent of motorcyclists killed in 2012 had a blood alcohol content level of .08 percent or higher, reports the NHTSA.
According to the NHTSA, in fatal crashes in 2012, a higher percentage of motorcyclists had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08 percent or higher (the legal limit for driving), than another other motorist group. In fact, 27 percent of all motorcyclist fatalities were operating the motorcycle at the time of accident with a BAC of .08 percent or higher, compared to 23 percent for passenger cars and 22 percent for light trucks.
Helmet Use and Effectiveness
Motorcycle helmets have long been revered for their ability to save the lives of the motorcyclists who wear them. In the United States in 2012, it is estimated by the NHTSA that helmets were responsible for saving the lives of 1,699 motorcyclists involved in an accident.
Additionally, for every 100 motorcyclists who were killed in a fatal crash while not wearing a helmet, it is estimated that 37 of them could have been saved had a helmet been worn. Finally, 42 percent of the motorcyclists killed in automobile accidents were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.
In Florida, 209 fatalities occurred in 2012 amongst motorcyclists not wearing a helmet while driving, and another 10 occurred amongst motorcyclists not wearing a U.S. Department of Transportation-approved helmet, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Additionally, those drivers not wearing a helmet in motorcycle accidents in 2012 suffered 1,043 serious injuries, and 1,537 non-incapacitating injuries. In Florida, 56 percent of motorcyclist fatalities involved riders not wearing a helmet.
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What to Do If You’re Injured in a Motorcycle Accident
Oftentimes, an accident involving a motorcycle is not the fault of the motorcyclist, but instead the fault of another driver. When the aggressive, illegal, or unsafe actions of another motorist cause an injury to a motorcyclist, the motorcyclist deserved to be compensated.
If you’ve been the victim of a motorcycle accident and have sustained serious and permanent injuries as a result, you have the right to file a personal injury claim for damages. A personal injury claim can help you recover the compensation you need to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and more. At Chalik & Chalik, our attorneys can provide you with the legal guidance you need to file a claim, and can help you understand your rights and options.