Channel 7 WJHG reports that the FHP has released more information pertaining to the fatal traffic crash that happened Sunday afternoon on Back Beach Road. According to the report, around 2:30 p.m a 58 year-old male and his passenger were traveling eastbound on U.S. 98 on their motorcycle. At the same time, 51-year-old female was traveling down the same road, but slowed down to take a right hand turn onto Le Grand Drive. Officials say the motorcycle failed to slow down as the car was turning, and the motorcycle collided with the car. Both the driver and passenger of the motorcycle fell off, and were taken to Bay Medical Center. The passenger died at the hospital. Authorities are investigating if alcohol was a factor and at this time charges are pending. No one on the motorcycle was wearing a helmet.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased passenger and the injured motorcyclist.
I hate to read about people who get injured on a motorcycle and are not wearing a helmet. I know it is so much safer to wear a helmet but some people choose to take the risk and not ride with a helmet. The Tampa Bay Times did an article over a year ago about the need for motorcycle helmets. They investigated and found that in the three years before Florida relaxed its helmet law in 2000, the state averaged 160 motorcycle deaths per year. In 2001 after the law changed, helmet use decreased by a lot, motorcycle registrations rose and the annual death toll jumped to 246. By 2006, it had reached an all-time high of 550. After Florida enacted a mandatory motorcycle training law, deaths dropped for three straight years from 2008 to 2010. Now fatalities are going back up. In 2010, 2011 and 2012, Florida motorcycle deaths totaled 382, 452 and 457, respectively. Meanwhile, Florida statistics show a disturbing new trend: Older motorcycle riders are getting back in the saddle and dying in increasing numbers. Florida allows riders who are 21 or older to go without helmets if they have $10,000 of personal injury insurance coverage.
Approved Motorcyclist Helmet List from the Florida Highway Patrol