A 64-year-old New Port Richey motorcyclist was killed Tuesday around 1:30 p.m. when another motorist executed a left turn in front of him on State Road 54.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the motorcyclist was travelling west on State Road 54 when an 86-year-old woman coming from the east turned left in front of him.
The motorcycle and the car smashed into each other and came to a halt in the intersection. The motorcyclist was wearing a helmet and was taken to the hospital, which is where he passed away.
An investigation into the crash is currently underway.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported that 4,985 motorcyclists were killed in 2018. Overall, motorcyclists make up 14% of all traffic fatalities and are 28 times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision when compared to drivers in passenger vehicles.
If you own a motorcycle and live in Florida, then you know that you can enjoy pretty much year-round riding. While cruising the open road can be exhilarating, it can be equally dangerous. Even the safest of motorcyclists – those that have excellent balance, coordination, and exercise great judgement – can find themselves involved in a collision with a negligent driver sharing the road.
Driving a car and riding a motorcycle require two very different skill sets. This is why the state of Florida requires new motorcycle riders to pass a basic skills course and obtain a motorcycle license endorsement. Anyone that operates a motorcycle in the state of Florida without an endorsement is in violation of the law. With that said, the NHTSA also found that in 2017 29% of motorcyclists involved in fatal accidents were operating their motorcycles without a valid motorcycle license.
As we mentioned before, operating a motorcycle requires practice and skill. Before you take your bike out on the road you want to make sure you feel confident in controlling the bike and can handle it in any type of condition, such as inclement weather and various road hazards, like wet or slick streets, road debris, and potholes.
Another good tip is to check that your bike is in good working order before taking it out. Check the tire pressure, hand and foot brakes, signal indicators, headlights, and fluid levels before taking your bike for a spin. Always check for oil or gas leaks. If you need to carry a bag or other cargo with you on your ride, then you need to secure it to the bike and adjust the tire pressure and suspension so that the added weight is accommodated properly. On that same note, if you have a passenger, then they need to mount the motorcycle after the engine has started and sit directly behind you as far forward as possible. Your passenger needs to be told to keep their feet on the foot rests at all times and steer clear of the muffler. Your passenger should hold on to your waist, belt, or even hips and try to limit their movement. If you need to lean, then your passenger should lean in the same direction as you. Finally, a passenger should only dismount once you tell them it is safe to do so.
When you are on the road, always wear a helmet that meets the requirements of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). There will be a DOT symbol on the back of the helmet to let you know it is approved. If you are in the market for a new helmet, the NHTSA can help you choose one that is right for you.