It’s that time of the year, Bike Week in Daytona Beach, running from Friday, March 4, through Sunday, March 13, a time when hundreds of thousand of motorcyclists gather from all over the country to celebrate their love of the open road. According to Volusia county tourism officials, over 500,000 people are expected to attend the 10-day festival. What better time to focus on motorcycle safety and to stress the simple things motorcycle drivers and riders can do to increase their odds of getting home safely?
A Few Motorcycle Safety Statistics
The fatality rate for riding on a motorcycle is 6 times higher than the fatality rate for a passenger car according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is recommended that helmets be worn at all times by all passengers as well as the additional safety gear of gloves, pants and sturdy-soled shoes.
The NHTSA also states that although motorcyclists account for less than one percent of all vehicle mile travelled, motorcycle fatalities represent over 14 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities. You are 25 times more likely to be killed while driving or a passenger on a motorcycle than you would be when driving or riding in a passenger vehicle.
Wearing a motorcycle helmet saved over 1500 lives in 2013 alone, the most recent year when statistics were available according to the NHTSA. The agency adds that if all motorcyclist had worn a helmet that year, 715 additional deaths could have been avoided.
During Bike Week, local trauma hospitals see more than 4 times as many motorcycle-related injuries as in a typical week according to Kevin Captain, trauma manager at Halifax Health Medical Center. Captain cites the state’s lack of an adequate helmet law in Florida as a direct cause of the increase in head traumas, the most frequent type of serious injuries. In preparation for Bike Week, Captain stocks up on blood and blood products.