Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) is reminding drivers to prevent motorcycle accident injuries with a “Share the Road” public safety campaign.
Last year, nearly 290 motorcycle or bicycle crashes occurred in Florida on average per week, said FLHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “Sharing the road is everyone’s responsibility. Whether driving a large truck, a passenger vehicle, a motorcycle, or a bicycle, keep an eye out for one another and know what your role is on the road.”
Warmer weather is bringing more bicycles and motorcycles onto Florida’s roads. It’s important that everyone on the road exercises caution and looks out for other road users. Nonmotorized vehicles, electric bicycles, and pedestrians have access to No-Passing Zones, allowing drivers to pass them by safely and briefly driving left of center. If a vehicle is making a right turn while overtaking a bicycle in the same direction, it should be at least 20 feet away from the intersection.
Bicyclists riding in groups can go through intersections in groups of 10 or fewer, provided they first come to a full stop. Bike lanes are marked with pavement markers and signs meant for exclusive use by bicyclists; separated bike lanes are marked off by a physical barrier. Everyone has the responsibility to share Florida’s roadways safely.
Law Enforcement Raises Awareness of Motorcycle Accident Injuries
“Florida is a year-round tourist destination and is home to millions of residents and visitors alike. As you travel on our roadways, remember to ‘share the road’ with motorcycles, bicycles, and commercial vehicles so everyone can arrive alive,” said Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum, President of the Florida Sheriffs Association. “The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ Share the Road campaign saves lives, and on behalf of Florida’s sheriffs, I fully endorse this critical campaign to reduce motorcycle accident injuries.”
“The Florida Police Chiefs Association is proud to stand with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and our other public safety partners to urge everyone to Share the Road,” said FPCA president and Daytona Beach Shores Public Safety Department Director Stephan Dembinsky. “Drivers should especially remember to keep an eye out for bicycles and motorcycles and give commercial motor vehicles plenty of space. On behalf of over 1,000 law enforcement executives around the state, we ask all motorists in Florida to Share the Road!”
In addition to motorcycles and bicycles, motorists are reminded to safely share the road with commercial vehicles. Trucks are more difficult to maneuver than passenger vehicles. To ensure maximum visibility, drivers should pass on the left and watch for wide turns. Do not tailgate commercial vehicles, and stay out of the “No Zone,” the blind spots in front, behind, and on both sides.
Motorcyclists and bicyclists can often be difficult for drivers to spot on the road. To obey the law, drivers must provide cyclists with at least three feet of space when overtaking them. Unfortunately, this past year saw a significant rise in bicycle-related crashes and fatalities in Florida: 6,392 bicycle crashes and 182 bicycle fatalities were reported in 2021 – an increase from 158 deaths just one year ago. Similarly, motorcycle crash occurrences have trended upwards as well; 8,625 motorcycle crashes were recorded with 583 fatalities in 2021 compared to 510 deaths in 2020. To ensure their safety, drivers should never attempt to share a lane with a motorcyclist – they are entitled to the full lane.
Colonel Gene Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol, reminded motorists to stay alert and aware of their surroundings when driving and look twice for motorcycles to prevent motorcycle accident injuries. “To ensure that Florida’s vulnerable road users arrive at their destinations safely, we need your help,” Spalding said.
Look Twice for Motorcycles