Daytona Bike Week Accidents

Daytona Bike Week

Daytona Beach Bike Week is a yearly tradition held in Daytona Beach, Florida, where an estimated 500,000 motorcycle riders and enthusiasts congregate for a 10-day festival of motorcycle racing, concerts, parties, and street festivals. Bike Week is heralded as one of the most popular motorcycle rallies in the nation, and alongside Biketoberfest (another motorcycle-related Daytona Beach festival), and the two yearly NASCAR races (the Daytona 500 and the Coke Zero 400), acts as one of the city's greatest draws for tourists. 

Despite this event being a time of great joy and excitement for its attendees and the city of Daytona Beach, there are, sadly, motorcycle accident-related fatalities virtually every year at Bike Week. Since 2000, only a couple of years have gone by without at least one motorcycle accident death, and, in total, there have been 98 deaths (2000-2014), and countless hundreds of serious injuries. The current record for most Bike Week deaths occurred in 2006, when 20 attendees died over the course of the event. 

The number of annual motorcycle fatalities incurred at Bike Week since 2000 can be seen here:

  • 2000: 15 
  • 2001: 6 
  • 2002: 13 
  • 2003: 1
  • 2006: 20 
  • 2007: 8  
  • 2008: 7 
  • 2009: 7 
  • 2010: 4 
  • 2011: 3 
  • 2012: 8 
  • 2013: 3 
  • 2014: 3

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Florida leads the nation in motorcycle fatalities, partially due to deaths occurring at Bike Week and Biketoberfest. Information provided by AAA claims that motorcycles, despite comprising only 7% of all motor vehicles in the state, are involved in roughy 20% of all fatal accidents. This is due, in part, to riders not using helmets or other proper safety attire, combined with the fact that motorcycles are smaller and harder to see than cars, so careless or distracted automobile drivers often hit motorcyclists simply by not noticing that they are there. 

Lastly, motorcycles, by design, are inferior to cars at protecting drivers because they don't offer any structural support to the driver-- no seat belts, no airbags, no protective metal frames, and virtually every motorcycle accident turns into an Occupant Ejection Accident. 

How To Avoid Daytona Beach Motorcycle Accidents

With Biketoberfest coming in a couple short months, and next year's Bike Week just a few months after that, there is no time like the present to learn about how you can help to minimize motorcycle accidents, whether you are a motorcycle rider or an automobile driver. These helpful tips, provided by AAA, will help keep everyone safer on the road:

Safety tips for motorists:

  • Respect motorcycle riders. Motorcycles are vehicles too and have the same privileges as an automobile, so be sure to give them ample room. 
  • Look and Listen. Even if a motorcycle is loud, don’t expect to hear it. Actively look for motorcycles in traffic. 
  • Leave Room. Leave plenty of room between your vehicle and the motorcyclists. Uneven terrain, wet roads, and heavy traffic often require a motorcycle rider to react and maneuver differently than automobiles.Be aware. Take extra caution when making a left-hand turn, because most automobile-versus-motorcycle crashes occur during left-hand turns. 
  • Don't drive distracted. A driver who takes their eyes off the road for two seconds doubles their risk of getting into a crash. 

Safety tips for motorcyclists:

  • Wear safety gear. Helmets that meet a high protection standard, eye wear, closed-toe footwear and protective clothing reduce your risk of injury or death in a crash. Remember, the only thing between you and the ground is your protective gear 
  • Be visible. Keep headlights, marker and tail lights on at dusk and dark or rainy weather. Wear bright clothing or put reflective strips on your bike to be more visible to other motorists. Avoid being in the blind spots of cars and trucks by following three to four seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. 
  • Use sound judgment. Avoid weaving between lanes while riding. Be sure to use your signals and stick to the speed limit. 
  • Get proper training. Completing a motorcycle safety course can not only make you a better rider, but save you money on your motorcycle insurance.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced Daytona Beach injury attorney immediately to discuss your legal options. We are here to help-- call 386-777-7777. 

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