FROM STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS
Bike Week 2017 continues through this weekend with hundreds of thousands of bikers participating in events just for them throughout Volusia County.
During the start of the two-week event, however, there was some disturbing news revealing that Florida had a 30 percent increase in motorcycle deaths in 2015.
According to AAA, In 2015, 606 people died and 9,045 were injured in motorcycle crashes on roads in the state.
And during the first weekend of Bike Week, which started on March 10, there were at least three major motorcycle crashes in Volusia. Two people died and six were injured within 24 hours.
“We normally do see an increase in the number of traffic fatalities, but we’ve all been saying how this year seems to be busier than the last eight years,” Daytona Beach Police Sgt. Kelsey Harris said in an Orlando Sentinel article. “It’s been bad out there for crashes, and between everything else going on, it’s keeping us very busy.”
How counties ranked
According to the new report, Miami-Dade County ranked first with 67 deaths and Hillsborough County was second with 48 deaths.
There were 26 motorcycle crash deaths in Orange County in 2015; the county tied with Lee County in sixth place.
Volusia and Polk counties tied for 11th place with 21 motorcycle crash deaths reported.
The study also found the majority of bikers claim to wear a helmet, but only 47 percent were seen wearing one while driving.
About 40 percent of motorcyclists killed in crashes between 2013 and 2015 were not wearing helmets, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“Time and time again, the effectiveness of motorcycle helmets has been proven through scientific study,” AAA public policy manager Karen Morgan said. “AAA strongly supports a universal helmet law in Florida.”
It is legal in Florida to ride without a helmet.