Florida's Motorcycle Deaths Drop Slightly, Still Tops Nation
Eddie FarahMarch 01, 2009 12:28 AM
An Elkton, Florida man slid his motorcycle into the back of another vehicle last Tuesday evening in St. Augustine.
He was flown to Shands-Jacksonville in critical condition. Brandon C. Marlow, 22 was not wearing a helmet, which is allowed in Florida if you are an adult with adequate insurance.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Marlow was trying to avoid a vehicle when he forced the bike down, then slid in to the vehicle.
Marlow was lucky. Jerry Williamson, 42, died in February when he crashed his Harley-Davidson into a Cadillac that turned into his lane in St. Pete Beach.
Benjamin Mower died last month in Florida. He crashed his motorcycle into a car turning into his lane. He was 19-years-old.
If you are in a wreck in a motorcycle you are 35 times more likely to die than in an accident involving a vehicle, according to government statistics.
And Florida tops California and Texas for the number of motorcycle deaths – 489 in 2008.
Maybe it is because of the price of gasoline or more people without jobs, but the number of motorcycle deaths was actually higher in 2006 – 521 and 2007 – 517 deaths reported.
“We don’t have an explanation,” said Courtney Heidelberg of the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to the St. Petersburg Times.
There may be something to attribute to the “Ride Proud. Dress Loud” campaign statewide that encouraged motorcycle riders to dress in brightly colored clothes to increase their visibility. Also the state got more serious about safety by requiring all bikers to pass a basic safety course to get a license. Many who die do so without the proper license.
Mix motorcycles and car, and the motorcycles always lose, no matter who is to blame. #