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Florida's Deadly Roads See Rising Motorcycle Fatalities

Photo via Wikimedia Creative Commons

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found Florida's roads are among the deadliest for motorcyclists. Florida Highway Patrol's data also points to 2016 to being a deadlier year on the roads in  Lee, Charlotte, Hendry, Manatee, and Sarasota counties for all motorists.

Florida led the nation in motorcycle fatalities in 2013 with more than 460 deaths; the latest data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles found 546 fatalities and 38 passenger deaths in 2015. Roughly half of those riders were not wearing a helmet at the time of their fatal crash. Since 2000, it's been legal to ride a motorcycle in Florida without a helmet, provided the driver is over the age of 21 and carries at least $10,000 in medical coverage on his or her insurance.

Monday at 1 p.m. on Gulf Coast Live, motorcycle advocate Mike Spirithawk, a safety officer who runs a South Florida riding academy via the Harley Owners Group, shares his experiences as a ride captain in Southwest Florida's motorcyclist community, and how he approaches riding on Florida's roads.

Also joining the conversation is Lieutenant Gregory S. Bueno with the Florida Highway Patrol, sharing the latest information on the rising number of fatalities on South Florida roads, and what factors are fueling the increase.

Copyright 2020 WGCU. To see more, visit WGCU.

Matthew Smith is a reporter and producer of WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live.