The number of bikers being fatally injured during bike week has been growing for the past few years. For example, in 2020, six bikers lost their lives, and the number climbed to eight in 2021. In 2022, the death toll was six again; however, 88 serious injuries and 163 trauma patients were treated at local hospitals.
These disturbing trends are something to note with Bike Week 2023 approaching (March 3 to March 12).
What Is Daytona Bike Week?
Daytona Bike Week is held each year, with this year being the 82nd event. Over 500,000 motorcycle riders and others are estimated to flock to this area for the 10-day festival, which includes street festivities, parties, concerts, and motorcycle racing.
Even though this is a fun time for everyone, the number of motorcycle accident fatalities surges this time each year. Since 2000 only a few years have passed without at least one motorcycle accident fatality. In fact, between 2000 and 2014, there were 98 deaths and hundreds of serious injuries.
To date, 2006 still holds the record for the most Bike Week deaths, when 20 people died during the 10-day festival.
The NHTSA has reported that Florida tops the list for motorcycle fatalities. This is attributed to the deaths during Bike Week and Biketoberfest (another Daytona Beach-based motorcycle event).
According to the AAA, motorcycles are involved in about 20% of fatal accidents, even though they only make up seven percent of the vehicles on the road. Part of this is because many riders do not use helmets and other safety gear, and motorcycles are much harder to see.
Tips to Stay Safe During Bike Week 2023
Now that you know the numbers, it is essential to take steps to keep yourself and others safe during Bike Week 2023.
Wear the Proper Safety Gear
According to Florida law, all motorcycle riders must wear an approved helmet. The exception to this is riders who are over 21 and who have a minimum insurance coverage of $10,000 to cover medical costs if they are involved in an accident. All riders who are 16 or younger must wear a helmet, with no exceptions.
However, helmets are not the only safety gear you need. You should also wear protective eyewear, protective clothing, and closed-toe footwear.
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, what you are wearing is the only thing separating you from the ground.
Make Sure You Are Visible
You should keep your headlights, tail lights, and marker lights on at dawn and dusk. They should also be on when it is rainy or foggy.
Along with the lights on your bike, be sure to wear bright clothing and put reflective strips on your bike. This ensures other motorists can see you.
Never linger in a vehicle’s blind spots, and be sure to stay three to four seconds behind the vehicle driving in front of you.
Make Smart Decisions
You should never weave in and out of traffic while riding your motorcycle. It is important to remember that lane splitting is illegal in Florida.
You must also use your signals when turning and adhere to the set speed limit.
Your Rights When Riding a Motorcycle During Bike Week
If you plan to participate in the festivities during Bike Week 2023, stay safe and use the tips above.
At Zimmet & Zimmet, we understand how quickly an accident can happen and how devastating the outcome can be. We provide legal representation for motorcycle accident victims and will work to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Motorcycle accident injuries are often severe, with many being life-changing. Most people attend Bike Week to enjoy all things motorcycle-related. If you are involved in an accident, it can ruin your experience and leave you with significant medical bills and injuries.
If you find yourself in a situation where you were involved in an accident with a negligent driver, call our office to schedule a free consultation. You can count on our legal team to help you recover the maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.