Florida Motorcyclist’s Fatal Fall Off I-95 Renews Calls for Better Safety Measures

In Florida, 24-year-old Miramar resident Errol Michael Etosha Dodd died on Sunday when he lost control of his motorcycle on I-95 and fell down 60 feet onto the riverbank. The deadly Florida motorcycle accident happened around 3:30 in the morning as Dodd was making his way from I-95s to the New River bridge. He was riding toward the bridge overpass when he struck an SUV that he was trying to pass. Dodd’s motorcycle then hit the concrete barrier before plunging off the road.

This is not the first time that someone has died on or close to one of the many ramps on I-95. In April, a 30-year-old man jumped over the low-lying barrier to relieve himself and fell. In February, three men died when their car fell onto the riverbank after vaulting the exit ramp.

The Florida Department of Transportation Is taking a new look at the ramp design. They are also taking steps to improve the signs and lighting. A 4-foot chain link fence will be installed onto the I-95’s barrier walls close to the New River overpass.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 5,154 motorcycle deaths in 2007, which is the highest number of motorcycle accidents to occur within a year since the NHTSA began collecting crash statistics 28 years ago. This means that of the 41,059 motor vehicle deaths that occurred in 2007, motorcycle fatalities made up 13% of the overall total. The NHTSA also reported a significant increase in motorcycle injuries from 88,000 in 2006 to 103,000 in 2007.

While some motorcycle crashes happen because of a motorcyclist’s negligence, there are many catastrophic accidents that occur because another motorist was negligent, there was an unsafe condition on the road, or the motorcycle was defective.

While Florida’s PIP (personal injury protection) provides drivers some coverage when they are injured in motor vehicle accidents regardless of who was at fault, this coverage does not extend to motorcyclists.

Motorcyclist’s 60-foot plunge renews calls for safety at I-95 ramp, Sun-Sentinel.com, August 25, 2008

Related Web Resources

Florida Department Transportation

Bodily Injury Locations in Fatally Injured Motorcycle Riders (PDF)

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