Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) is reminding motorists statewide to share the road with motorcycles and bicycles in an effort to reduce crashes involving these vulnerable road users.
FLHSMV’s Motorcycle and Bicycle Safety Awareness Month is in partnership with the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Police Chiefs Association, Florida Sheriffs Association and the Florida Trucking Association.
“Whether you operate a large truck, passenger vehicle, motorcycle or bicycle, take responsibility for your role on the road,” said FLHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “Drivers must always look twice for other road users, use caution when changing lanes and give others plenty of space. We all share Florida’s roadways, so always look out for one another to Arrive Alive.”
Preliminary figures indicate there were 8,997 motorcycle crashes and 6,546 bicycle crashes in Florida in 2018. On average that’s more than 300 motorcycle and bicycle crashes every week, resulting in 635 motorcycle and bicycle fatalities last year.
“Sharing our roadways is everyone’s responsibility and drivers must stay alert for motorcycles and bicycles,” said Colonel Gene S. Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP). “Safety is FHP’s number one priority, use caution to ensure Florida’s vulnerable road users arrive safely to their destination.”
According to the 2018 preliminary figures, of the 9,657 motorcyclists involved in a crash, 60 percent were wearing a helmet, eight percent more than in 2017. Of the 7,249 bicyclists involved in a crash in 2018, 87 percent were not wearing a helmet.
In addition to motorcycles and bicycles, motorists are reminded to safely share the road with commercial vehicles. Large trucks do not maneuver like passenger vehicles. Drivers are reminded to stay out of the “No Zone,” the blind spots in front, behind and on both sides of commercial vehicles, and never tailgate. Always pass on the left for maximum visibility and watch for wide turns.
“When drivers properly Share the Road, everyone is safer,” said Matt Nasworthy, Florida Public Affairs Director, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “All roadway users need to be aware of their surroundings, follow the rules of the road and give other vehicles ample space to operate safely.”