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Florida Motorcyclist Strikes Tree, Dies in Collision With Passing Car

motorcycle totaled on side of roadAs the winter weather turns into warmer spring weather, more and more motorcyclists are taking to the roads in Florida. It follows that motorcyclists need a refresher on how to remain safe while riding throughout spring and summer in Florida. A recent motorcycle accident in Spring Hill highlights the danger that stems from driving a bike at high speeds without proper protective gear.

A 34-year-old man was killed in a Florida motorcycle accident on March 28. The man lost control of his motorcycle when he was attempting to navigate a curve in the road near Pinehurst Drive and Talbot Circle.

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As the motorcyclist rounded the curve, he struck a tree, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The impact caused him to fly into the roadway where was struck by a passing pick-up truck. The man was declared dead on the scene. He was not wearing a helmet at the time of the motorcycle collision.

Fatal motorcycle accidents are extremely common in Florida. Ride Smart Florida, an organization that promotes motorcycling safety, reports that in 2009 there were 8,313 motorcycle crashes. While this number is a decline from previous years, 376 people still lost their lives in Florida motorcycle accidents in 2009.

It's important that anyone who wishes to ride a motorcycle use the most critical safety gear available - a protective helmet. Much like the seat belt in a car, the helmet has saved countless lives. Other motorcycling safety tips include:

  • Participate in rider training and receive proper licensing as required by law
  • Wear protective gear such as helmets and apparel
  • Exercise caution to avoid violating speed limits and other safety laws

Equally as important as motorcycle safety tips is not driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A motorcycle allows for a much smaller margin of error and riders should always remain alert to avoid a catastrophic motorcycle accident.

Source: St. Petersburg Times "FHP Identifies Motorcyclist Killed in Spring Hill Accident," 3/28/2011

1 Comment

Let me preface this commentary with the following: it doesn't appear that in this case, wearing a helmet would have prevented this person's death. He hit a tree, was knocked off at impact, was thrown into the road, and then was struck fatally. Now with that said, I see w/respect to motorcycle helmets in Florida: the law requires that all riders younger than 21 years wear helmets, without exception. Those 21 years and older may ride without helmets only if they can show proof that they are covered by a medical insurance policy. Currently, only 27 states have a law requiring all riders to wear a helmet. (See for more info on motorcycle helmet laws throughout the United States.) Why there is not a comprehensive federal/national law about this is beyond me. Many riders have stated that wearing a helmet would alter the rider's experience; the freedom factor I guess-the wind threw their hair, etc. I think the tough factor plays a role as well. NOTE: (For my self preservation) all members of motorcycle gangs, such as the "Hell's Angels, would be exempt from this law of course. I'm not trying to imply that they should risk their lives, I'm just trying to save mine. However, I would probably be even more fearful if such a gang, the whole gang, road up wearing helmets with their "tags/patches" on their helmets as well. In fact, if they can prove they are in a "bonafide gang," perhaps with a special license they could have the choice. But I digress.
Take the seatbelt for example: No one wanted to wear a seatbelt. It would hinder the driver in some way some said. But eventually people got used to it, it becoming a routine step when entering the car. This step/law has saved many lives and is strictly enforced. (Why the laws about handheld devices are not is beyond me as well.) If one can prevent their injury or even death by wearing a helmet while doing something they love, wouldn't they want to take such a precaution so they have even more time to do so? Take race car drivers e.g. they wear and surround themselves with all that protective gear so they can "Ride another day."
Take this story for instance. I would have hated to be the driver who unfortunately hit this biker, although through no fault of his own. I would be horrified of course, but it would-not that this is the case with this accident-be even worse if it was evident that he/she could have survived if he/she wore a helmet.
Of course, obeying traffic laws such as the speed limit is imperative. You have much less of a chance to avoid collisions and such if speeding; there is less time to take evasive action to avoid such an occurrence.

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