Florida motorcyclists know how essential safety precautions are when it comes to taking the streets on two wheels. Between 2001 and 2008, over 1,222,000 people were treated in emergency rooms in the United States for non-fatal injuries related to motorcycle crashes.
Did you know that motorcycle operators must be more skillful than vehicle operators are? That is the opinion of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration who says a high percentage of crashes involving motorcycles result in severe injury or death. Apart from crash helmets and protective clothing, bikers have none of the protection offered to motor vehicle drivers, such as the bodies of the vehicles, safety belts and airbags.
I don't own a motorcycle but I imagine that those who are motorcycle enthusiasts must be very concerned when riding the roads, they would want to make sure all drivers of vehicles see their motorcycle so they are not injured in an accident where a vehicle abruptly makes a careless decision and the motorcycle (and those on them) are serious injured, if not killed. Unfortunately, this did not occur earlier this month, near Fort Walton Beach. Various news agencies report that one person was killed after a car drove into the path of an oncoming motorcycle. FHP officials report a 46-year-old female from Fort Walton Beach was stopped at the three-way intersection of Comanche Street at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. She tried to make a left hand turn onto the boulevard but pulled out in front of a motorcycle driven by a 56-year old man from Baker. The driver of the motorcycle and his passenger, a 54-year-old female, also of Baker were taken to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center. The driver suffered minor injuries, but his passenger died from her injuries.
Earlier this month, Panama City Beach had a deadly motorcycle accident on Back Beach Road. The accident occurred at the intersection of Panama City Beach Parkway and Argonaut Street. According to a police report, a 2005 Mercury Monterey van was eastbound on Back Beach and entered into the break between medians at Argonaut Street. As the van drove into the westbound lanes, it pulled out in front of a Harley Davidson motorcycle, driven by a 53 year-old male from Opelika, Alabama.
Motorcycle riders, groups and medical professionals are still weighing in on the Sunshine State's policies. Riders who have ridden for years have seen tragic accidents and ridden in all kinds of traffic and weather. Some of those well weathered riders chose to wear a helmet, even though since 2000, it's been legal in Florida to ride without a helmet, provided the rider:
The Northwest Florida Daily News reports a Laurel Hill motorcyclist was killed late Friday around 9:40 p.m. when he was struck head-on by another vehicle while traveling on U.S. Highway 90 in the Holt community, The 51 year-old male was riding a 2014 Harley-Davidson motorcycle east on U.S. Highway 90, approaching a 2001 Saturn driven by 21-year-old male of Milton. The Saturn was headed west, veered into the oncoming lane and hit the Harley-Davidson before traveling another 500 feet down the road. The male and his motorcycle were thrown to the shoulder of the road, and he died at the scene of the accident. The driver of the Saturn was taken to North Okaloosa Medical Center with minor injuries. He was released at 3:40 a.m. Saturday and immediately charged with DUI Manslaughter and driving without a valid driver's license, the news release said.
WJHG Channel 7 out of Panama City reports that a tragic accident occurred last Wednesday morning between a motorcycle and minivan which left the motor cycle driver in serious condition. At approximately 6:40 a.m., 25 year-old man was riding on his Harley Davidson east down Back Beach Road when Florida Highway Patrol officials say a minivan pulled out directly into his path. The driver of the minivan was attempting to turn left onto Back Beach from Allison Avenue. The collision caused the man to be ejected from his motorcycle and sent the minivan spinning across the road. The driver of the motorcycle was sent to Bay Medical for serious injuries. The driver of the minivan was charged with making an improper left turn.
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.