Motorcycles are defined as mopeds, two- or three-wheeled motorcycles, off-road motorcycles, scooters, mini bikes, and pocket bikes. Motorcyclists are more at risk for fatal or serious accidents on the road than are drivers. Motorcycles are less stable than four-wheeled vehicles, and provide no protection when riders are in crashes. Even with helmet laws, licensing, safety training and Share the Roadway campaigns, motorcyclists are susceptible to serious injuries in collisions with motor vehicles, medians, trees and more.
According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report, 4,586 people died in motorcycle crashes and 92,000 motorcyclists were injured in 2014. The Governors Highway Safety (GHS) reports that per mile driven, fatality rates for motorcyclists were 26 times that of passenger vehicle occupants in 2013 (NHTSA, 2015). GHS also reported that while motorcycles comprise only 3 percent of vehicles on the roads they account for 14 percent of all motor vehicle-related fatalities.
Historically, Florida has lead the nation in motorcycle deaths along with California and Texas. TampaBay.com reported that in 2001, after Florida changed the mandatory helmet law, helmet use plummeted, while motorcycle registration rose along with the annual death rate – to a high of 550 by 2006. In 2008 the state enacted a mandatory motorcycle training law and deaths dropped for three straight years from 2008 to 2010. Today, Florida allows riders who are over 21 to go without a helmet. A new alarming trend is older motorcycle riders are getting back in the saddle and dying in increasing numbers.
Some common causes of Motorcycle Accidents include:
- Drug or alcohol Intoxication
- Aggressive or reckless driving (speeding)
- Lack of license
- Failure to obey traffic laws
- Improper road maintenance (potholes, gravel, etc.)
- Road hazards – (debris, dead animals, slick pavement conditions, etc.)
- Driver distraction / Inattention
- Motorcycle-car collisions
- Open door accidents
- Single-bike accidents
- Motor vehicle fails to see motorcycle
- Motor vehicle fails to yield the right of way to a motorcycle (left hand turns)
- Motor vehicle cuts in front of a motorcycle
- Motor vehicle fails to check for a motorcycle before making a lane change
- Motor vehicle enters an intersection into the path of a motorcycle
Motorcycle accidents are violent events with the majority ending in death or serious injury. Unlike a car, there is nothing to protect a biker from the crash impact of a heavy vehicle or truck. In some cases, victims are being thrown or ejected from the motorcycle. Injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents are often catastrophic including, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, disfigurement, road rash, broken bones, lacerations, paralysis, and even death.
It is important to hire an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to help identify liability determination and compensation. Someone who understands both Florida insurance and motorcycle laws. Attorney Tami Wolfe has been handling Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice cases in the tri-county area for 25 years and has obtained numerous verdicts and settlements for her clients.
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, contact Tami Wolfe online for a FREE Consultation or call her at (954) 791-0477.