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Florida motorcycle accidents decline, riders still at high risk in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm

Motorcycle crashes declined dramatically in Broward and Palm Beach counties last year, a drop that state officials credit to safety training and driver awareness campaigns, according to the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.

Our Palm Beach injury lawyers and Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident attorneys hesitate to celebrate. Certainly news that 126 fewer people were killed in Florida motorcycle accidents during 2009 is excellent news. But the fact remains that 376 motorcycle riders were killed, representing about 1 in every 7 of the state’s 2,563 fatal traffic crashes. And, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration releases national figures in the coming weeks, Florida will likely once again join California as the nation’s most dangerous states for motorcycle riding.

We won’t let that keep us from celebrating the good news. But we urge South Florida riders — and particularly new riders — to keep the decline in perspective. Per mile traveled, motorcycle riders are 37 times more likely to die in a crash than the occupant of a passenger car. The majority of those accidents are the fault of another driver, usually someone who fails to yield the right of way.

Motorcycle deaths declined 24 percent across Florida last year, after more than a decade of steep increases, according to 2009 crash statistics released by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Broward County fatal motorcycle accidents declined by 38 percent. In Palm Beach County, fatal motorcycle crashes declined by 47 percent.

Florida began a major push to increase motorcycle safety in 2008, after reporting that motorcycle accidents were responsible for 18 percent of the state’s traffic fatalities, despite making up just 6 percent of its traffic.

While the number of riders seriously injured in motorcycle accidents also declined, the state reports that more than 7,400 riders were seriously hurt as the result of a motorcycle crash in Florida last year.

Freeman & Mallard represents riders who have been seriously injured in motorcycle accidents in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and the Port St. Lucie/Fort Pierce areas. Call today for a free consultation. 1-800-529-2368.

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