The Motorcycle Accident Epidemic in Florida
There has always been an amazing image attached to motorcyclists. The too cool for school guy that really doesn’t care what happens. But while this nonchalant attitude may bring a lot of kudos when your peers are concerned there are a lot of safety concerns around this mode of transportation.
As for riding a motorcycle, being too cool for school may not be the best choice to make where safety is concerned.This image that surrounds the owners of motorcyclists has always been twofold, while many people see it as a symbol of coolness there are some that believe otherwise. With the dangers being shown in the numbers of accidents rising there is a support to show why.
Year after year the number of motorcycle deaths and injuries caused due to accidents involving motorcycles doesn’t fail to shock. According to the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Florida has the most number of motorcycle-related deaths and accidents in comparison to any other state in the United States.
With biker festivals happening twice over the year in Florida, it’s no wonder these numbers are so high and why Florida is constantly under the microscope when it comes to this mode of transportation.
What The Statistics Say
While the statistics surrounding motorcycle related accidents are quite dated, they do show steep an incline of almost 3000 death increase over a twenty-year span, averaging roughly between 4300 to 4800 deaths each year. Even more shocking, they account for almost fifteen percent of all accidents that occur on the road making it 80 percent more likely for a person to be involved in a motorcycle accident than they would be in a car accident.
While car accidents are just as scary for the person involved as a motorcycles accident, most car accidents are a result of one or more vehicles and their rate of fatality is dropping rapidly. With this information and the very fact that almost fifty percent of all motorcycle accidents are single vehicle accidents the chances of fatality whilst riding a motorcycle is now 26 percent more likely than whilst traveling in a motor vehicle.
Why is Florida More Dangerous?
The most argued so dangerous when it comes fact for the reason for Florida being so dangerous when it comes to motorcycle accidents is attributed to a law passed in 2000. This law allows for any adult rider of a motorcycle or moped to ride without the use of a helmet or any sort of safety headgear if they are covered by insurance that covers motorcycles. A driver can also not wear a helmet if they have health insurance with a coverage of at least $10,000. Almost one out of six drivers do not have this insurance and one out of seven drivers do not have this insurance.
These types of accidents are very common as they involve other vehicles. A common scenario is a single lane highway and the vehicle drifting into the other lane. In many of these accidents, about 78% of them, the car strikes the motorcycle in the front. Head-on collisions can be very fatal, especially to the motorcyclist.
This is a menacing situation which accounts for nearly 42% of all motorcycle accidents that occur between a car and a motorcycle when a car makes a left-hand turn. The car generally strikes the motorcycle when passing a car or trying to overtake it. Sometimes the car simply goes straight through an intersection. Although these accidents can happen between two cars as well, the motorcycle being smaller makes it less visible to the vehicle turning. The vehicle hitting the motorcycle is generally found at fault but the cyclists can also be partly at fault when on the wrong lane or speeding.
Motorcycles tend to drive between lanes or cars moving slowly, especially in traffic jams.
This is a Major Cause of Motorcycle Accidents Mainly Because:
- Cars are closer to the cyclist.
- There is less space to maneuver.
- Cars may not be aware that someone will pass them in stopped or slowed traffic.
Drunk Driving and Speeding
Nearly half of all motorcycle accidents involve drunk driving or speeding. Crashes related to alcohol use or speeding are generally the ones that cause severe injuries or death. Drunk drivers can’t clearly see other people or may even enter a road in the opposite direction causing a collision.
Fixed Objects and Road Hazards
Although these objects may look like they can’t harm anybody they surely can. Nearly 15% of motorcycle accidents are caused by a collision between the motorcycle and the fixed object. These are deadly accidents as the motorcycle rider doesn’t have enough protection for the impact. Road hazards such as dead animals, potholes, uneven lanes, and many other irregularities can also cause a motorcycle accident.
They look great but they can be quite dangerous. Whether a super-sport or sports motorcycle, you can go extremely fast. Individuals riding these motorcycles are generally under the age of 30, therefore, they tend to be risk-takers and less cautious. It’s important to notice that there are four times more people dying in a sports motorcycle accident than in a regular motorcycle accident.
What To Do After a Motorcycle Accident?
- Check yourself and others for injuries This is the most important thing to do. Immediately call 911 if you or anybody involved in the accident was injured. Making that call doesn’t mean you are responsible for the accident.
- Take good photos You need to make sure the scene is safe and take good pics. Cell phones always come in handy. You can take photos from a variety of angles. Document the motorcycle and any other vehicles involved together with circumstances surrounding the accident.
- Make sure you move your bike off the road Your bicycle should be removed from the road as it may become a hazard, especially at night, causing other accidents and injuries you may also be responsible for.
- Gather as much info as you can Sometimes you are not able to call 911 but you can contact the local police department. This is helpful as the police officer will draw up a police report. This will work to your advantage as it has details about your case. You can also speak to witnesses, other drivers, and even passengers to help you gather important information. Some things to include are other party’s vehicle info and contact info, officer’s name and badge number, police report number, vehicle’s VIN, and insurance company contact info for individuals involved in the accident.
- Contact your insurance A personal injury lawyer is very helpful during this step. Sometimes you are innocent but the other parties say it was actually your fault. Also, you may have significant injuries from your accident, or perhaps the insurance company denied your claim. An attorney can help you get the rightful compensation for any damages received.
Call a Personal Injury Lawyer
While the debate around motorcycle is ongoing and the facts above are traumatizing, no one wishes to be involved in such a situation, if you are ever faced by the traumatized effects of a motorcycle accident as a driver or a passenger contact us for help and support during this situation by an experienced personal injury lawyer. Consult one of our team members at 305-91-6666.