As Daytona Beach, Florida wrapped up their annual Bike Week last weekend, they were left with a 6th and final motorcycle fatality that week. Last year during Bike Week 2021, there were also 6 motorcycle related deaths related to the event. While it makes sense that there would be some fatalities during the world’s largest 10-day motorcycle festival, motorcycle accidents and fatalities are actually common in Florida year round.
A data analysis from Salter, Healy, Rivera & Heptner shows that Florida actually has the highest number of motorcycle deaths out of any state in the country. Additionally, the study shows that Volusia County has a higher than average number of motorcycle accidents, which could potentially be attributed to Bike Week taking place there.
Distractions are inevitably a potential reason for traffic accidents. Other motorcycle accident causes often include speeding, driving under the influence, or being hit by a car that’s turning left or changing lanes. In order to further understand the causes of motorcycle crashes and how to prevent them, let’s examine the causes of fatalities from this year’s event.
2022 Bike Week Fatalities
March 5: In the first fatal crash of the week, two motorcyclists died when a car veered from the eastbound lane into the westbound and struck them. A third motorcyclist was also hit and was injured, but not killed. The reason that the car swerved into the wrong lane is unknown, but the crash did occur after dark, around 10:35pm.
March 7: The third fatality was a 39 year-old man from Palm Coast. He was killed in a crash after hitting an SUV. This was the only fatality of the week that occurred in St. Johns county, not Volusia County where the motorcycle event took place.
March 7: On the same day, that afternoon, another crash occurred. Police said the rider died at the scene of the accident.
March 9: A 42-year old man from Pembroke Pines lost control of his bike, running it off the road. He was ejected into a ditch on the side of the road and died. The crash occurred at 4:30am, however the exact reason he lost control is unknown.
March 13: On the last day of the event, around 11:30am, a 20 year-old motorcyclist was killed when he crashed into a pickup truck turning left. The motorcyclist was reportedly speeding, and it’s unclear whether the pickup was following traffic laws. The motorcyclist died on impact.
Clearly not all motorcycle accidents can be attributed to one cause, although there seem to be a few common reasons. Unfortunately motorcycles are small and don’t offer much protection, making them more dangerous even in the best conditions. It is the responsibility of both motorcyclists and other drivers to make the road a safe place for all vehicles. With hundreds of thousands of motorcycle riders attending Bike Week every year, there are bound to be some accidents. Hopefully everyone can learn from the 2022 event and try to improve their focus on the road and drive safely.