According to 2012 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,986 motorcyclists were killed in traffic accidents around the country. Approximately 93,000 motorcyclists were injured in traffic accidents the same year. Florida motorcyclists might want to make themselves aware of the occurrence of alcohol and speeding in motorcycle collisions.
In the motorcycle crashes for which data is available, 27 percent of the drivers had blood alcohol concentrations of higher than .08 percent. This percentage was higher than any other category of driver on the road. Additionally, 29 percent of the motorcycle drivers who died in the crashes had BACs of at least .08 percent. Among those fatally injured in single-vehicle collisions, 43 percent had BACs of at least .08 percent. Those between the ages of 40 and 44 were involved in fatal alcohol-impaired accidents more than any other age range. The 2012 statistics also show that 24 percent of motorcycle drivers involved in fatal accidents did not have valid licenses. Compared to the rate of speeding drivers in other categories of fatal traffic accidents, more motorcycle drivers were speeding, at 34 percent.
In Florida, the law does not require every motorcyclist to wear a helmet. Instead, only those under the age of 21 are required to wear them. Drivers and passengers 21 and older can ride without helmets if they have proof of medical insurance. However, the NHTSA says that 1,699 lives were saved in 2012 because the individuals were wearing helmets, and a further 781 could have been saved if they had worn helmets.
A motorcycle driver who causes a fatal accident while impaired by alcohol might be held responsible for ensuing damages. This means that the surviving relatives of the deceased could receive compensation if they file wrongful death lawsuits against the driver.
Source: Insurance Information Institute , “Motorcycle Crashes”, accessed on Jan. 17, 2015