Motorcyclist injuries and fatalities on the rise in Florida

In Florida, it’s not uncommon to see people on motorcycles. The weather is warm, the winds aren’t normally very heavy, and the roads are dry. Evening rides can be beautiful along the seaside or through busy city streets. Even with the enjoyment a motorcycle can bring, it can also be dangerous. If you’ve been injured in a crash, then you know all too well how easily another driver’s mistake can put your life in harm’s way.

Northwest Florida has recorded a growing number of injuries and fatalities related to motorcycle use in the last decade, and nationally, traffic deaths have risen by 14 percent in the first half of 2015. Which areas are suffering the most from these growing concerns?

Okaloosa County has reported a rise in the number of motorcyclist fatalities this year. Since January, there have been seven people killed in accidents. In 2014, there were only three people killed, which was the same as in 2013.

What are some of the reasons these motorcyclists could be seeing a higher risk of injury or death? The Lieutenant of the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office reported that distracted motorists were responsible at least in part. These motorists, drivers who are on their phones or texting, put others’ lives at risk every time they look away from the road.

Another reason for the rise may just be because more motorcyclists are out there. Motorcycle riding is growing in popularity, even with the risks it poses. To help reduce accidents, the article suggests wearing bright clothing as a rider and practice the skill of bike riding often; for drivers, be aware of your surroundings.

Source: NFW Daily News, “‘Use it or lose it’ Local motorcycle riders sound off on increase in fatalities,” Kari C. Barlow, Aug. 29, 2015