Daytona Bike Week Safety | Perewitz

Exclusive Interview

Daytona Bike Week, while in full swing, will have 300,000 riders in a relative small area. According to Allstate Insurance Company research, there are three particularly hazard intersections that have repeatedly caused the most reason for safety concern.

The intersections are; 1) Conroy Road and Millennia Blvd in Orlando, 2) Bellevue Avenue at Clyde Morris Blvd in Daytona Beach and Williamson Boulevard and 3) Highway 92 also in Daytona Beach.

According to the City of Orlando, there were 53,405 crashes documented within city limits between January 2004 and July 2009. Of the documented crashes, 822 involved a motorcycle – 3.4 percent of those resulted in a fatality. More than 70% of crashes involving a motorcycle occurred at or in proximity to an intersection. When struck by another vehicle, motorcyclists are 15.3 times more likely to die than other motorists and motorcyclists accounted for 19.3% of total crash fatalities.

Allstate and Dave Perewitz of Perewitz Cycle Fabrication are raising awareness for motorcyclists as part of its Once Is Never Enough (ONE) program tour, and they’re giving Florida a preview of the program before it is kicked off nationally. To remind motorists that "ONE" extra second is all it takes to look for riders before crossing an intersection to avoid a collision and potentially save a life, we’re placing yellow diamond-shaped cautionary traffic signs at some of the cities’ most dangerous intersections for motorcyclists. The signs, emblazoned with the word L-O-O-K and a silhouette of a motorcycle, will remain throughout Bike Week and will be donated to the cities to encourage permanent use.

Dave Perewitz expanded on the issues…

"Daytona is not much different for any other city that has a big motorcycle rally. You’ve got an influx of hundreds of thousands of people coming into town. Everybody’s excited, especially the people from up north–they’re getting down into the warm weather. They haven’t ridden their bikes since last fall. So, all that excitement adds to the possibilities of not paying enough attention. You’re riding down the street and the next thing you know, you’re looking at a cool bike parked on the side of the road, or you’re looking at the girls in the bikinis doing the bike washes. It doesn’t take much and there are always distractions. Because of these distractions, there are going to be more accidents. There are more people paying less attention."

"Allstate came to me because of my experience in the motorcycle industry and we’ve partnered together to promote safety and to promote the message Once Is Never Enough. I’ve been building and riding bikes almost 40 years and there have been a lot of changes in the motorcycle industry and events, but the one thing that has never changed has been the need for motorcycle awareness. I am, together with Allstate, trying to spread that message of safety and awareness."

"Most motorcycle accidents occur at intersections. We’re tying to promote the message–when you go into an intersection look to the left, look to the right, and then look to the left again. That might save your life. That might save someone else’s life. That second time you look, you might see that car that was hidden behind the truck. Or you might see the bike that was hidden behind the car. Or you might see something else you might have missed the first time. It really does make a difference."

"Allstate has put up LOOK signs at various dangerous intersections in Orlando and Daytona. These are big yellow signs with the word ‘look’ on them and it has a silhouette of a motorcycle underneath. It’s just another reminder for people to look twice–Once Is Never Enough. The campaign is geared toward everyone, not just motorcycles, not just automobiles; it’s geared toward all drivers. It’s an awareness program for everyone."

"I built Allstate a custom bike. That bike will be on tour. We’re doing all major motorcycle events this year. I’ll be at the Allstate Garage with the bike, along with other bikes I’ve built. They’ll be on display at each event and people can come over and they can sign-up and take a chance to win the bike. Allstate will give the bike to a lucky winner. It’s a way Allstate is trying to give back. It’s bright orange with the Allstate logo on it. I’ll be at the track at the Allstate Garage all week at Daytona."

"Everything that we build, we ride. We don’t build any bikes just for show. We build everything so you can ride it. I usually ride every bike we build. So, naturally, I want to be as safe as I can. Everything we build, I try to incorporate as many safety factors as I can. We usually go way overboard on brakes–braking is such an important factor. And there’s the old saying, ‘Loud pipes save lives.’ All of my bikes have loud pipes. We make sure the bike has mirrors. We go overboard on real lighting. We’re using the latest technology LED lights. All of these things make such a difference so people can see you. If they can’t see you, they can sure hear you."