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Palm Beach winters unfortunately no stranger to motorcycle accidents

Motorcycle enthusiasts love Florida’s weather and scenic highways but motorists need to be observant when sharing the road to prevent a Palm Beach motorcycle accident.

Until the economic downturn, the number of motorcycle accidents nationwide had increased each year for more than a decade. Florida, Texas, and California lead the nation in fatal crashes involving motorcycles.

News Channel 5 reported on the death of another rider just last week. A crash at the intersection of Military Trail and Orlando Avenue between a Lexus and Harley Davidson left the rider critically injured. It was unclear who was at fault. Sadly, the rider died after arriving at the hospital.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) in 2009, Florida ranked second in fatal motorcycle crashes with 380, second only to Texas, which had 408. Third was California with 376. The total number of persons killed in those 380 crashes was 454.

The safest day to ride was Monday, which 37 fatal crashes. Saturdays and Sundays are the most dangerous riding days, recording over 75 fatal crashes each day. Motorcyclists are twice as likely to crash in April than in June. Most of the fatalities occurred between the hours of 6 p.m. and 1 a.m.

If you are over the age of 21 Florida does not require riders to wear a helmet. However, motorcyclists not wearing a helmet then must carry $10,000 of medical payment insurance.

statistics on helmet use in 2010 showed that DOT approved helmet use was down 13% from 2009. Helmets are 41% effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle passengers and 37% effective for motorcycle riders. In 2009, the NHTSA estimated that 1,483 motorcyclist lives were saved because they were wearing a helmet.

The Governors Highway Safety Association offer these tips for sharing the road with motorcycles:

-Do not share the lane with a motorcycle; give the motorcycle the entire lane.

-Always signal when merging into traffic or changing lanes.

-Motorcycles are small and fit into your blind spots. Turn your head and look all around at intersections and when changing lanes.

-Don’t trust a turn signal on a motorcycle (they aren’t self canceling). Make sure the motorcycle is turning before you go.

-Give motorcycles plenty of room in order to maneuver around road hazards like uneven pavement, gravel or potholes.

-Never tailgate a motorcycle; they can stop a lot faster than a passenger vehicle.

If you or someone you know have been injured in a motorcycle accident in West Palm Beach, Margate, Port St. Lucie, or the surrounding areas call 1-800-529-2368 for a free consultation.

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