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Florida: one of the deadliest states for motorcyclists

Florida is one of the country's leaders in a troubling category: motorcycle accidents. Every year, more riders are in wrecks in the Sunshine State than just about any other state.

Last year was no exception. As News4Jax reports, there were a total of 9,535 motorcycle crashes in Florida in 2017, along with 6,521 collisions with bicycles. Sadly, 611 people were killed in those wrecks - nearly 12 victims per week.

Why so many motorcycle crashes in Florida?

Why does this keep happening? Lack of respect for Florida's traffic laws may be one reason. Motorcyclists have as much right of way as cars and trucks, but too many drivers fail to look out for bikes before changing lanes or attempting a turn. Sometimes, they are driving while distracted by their cellphone instead of watching the road.

The resulting impact is much more dangerous to riders than to everyone inside the truck or car. Most modern four-wheeled vehicles have steel frames, crumple zones, seat belts and airbags. Motorcycles have none of these safety features. So when a rider gets hit by a much larger vehicle, he or she is likely to get thrown onto the road. Safety gear like a helmet, pads and a riding jacket help, but only to a point.

The aftermath

Too often, the rider is badly hurt and needs emergency medical care. If he or she survives, there will likely be months or years of pain, suffering and disability ahead. Even worse, as the News4Jax story reminds us, often the victims of motorcycle accidents don't make it.

Motorcyclists who were seriously hurt because of a dangerous driver may be entitled to substantial compensation for their lost wages, pain and suffering, medical bills and other costs. If you are considering legal action, your first step is to talk with an experienced personal injury attorney.

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