Common Causes of Florida Motorcycle Accidents
Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) lists approximately 596,000 motorcycles registered in Florida, putting it at the second highest in the U.S., behind California. This does not include the thousands of bikers who come to the state every year for events like Bikefest and Daytona Bike Week. With so many motorcyclists on the road, the state sees its share of accidents, but in truth, many of these crashes are preventable, because the same causes continue to appear in police reports. Being more aware of the frequent causes may help to prevent them.
Lack of safety equipment. Wearing a motorcycle helmet is optional in Florida for those over the age of 21. While this is a choice that any biker may make, statistics do show that injuries fall when helmets are required, as a general rule. Combining a lack of safety equipment with speed or any other factor can make injuries more likely to occur or may make injuries more severe.
Distracted driving. In general, distracted driving for any reason is extraordinarily dangerous, but it can be especially so for motorcyclists, because when auto drivers are not watching the road, it is much easier to miss a motorcycle in traffic than another car. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die in accidents than drivers or passengers of larger vehicles, and when someone is distracted, they cannot take any kind of evasive action to avoid a wreck.
Substance abuse. Any kind of indulgence in drink or drugs before getting behind the wheel impairs a driver’s ability to react as quickly as they may need to. Driving under the influence is a crime, as one might imagine, but it can also give rise to a civil lawsuit, especially since the showing of DUI can be used to make a negligence case easier to prove.
Lane splitting. Lane splitting is the practice of motorcycles to ride between two lanes of traffic instead of staying in lanes and moving with the regular flow. Only California has legalized this practice, but motorcyclists in Florida and elsewhere do it routinely. Because motorcycles are so comparatively small, though, it can be easy for them to be ignored or for the motorcyclist to get bogged down in the small space between vehicles.
General lack of awareness on the part of automobile and truck drivers. Motorcycles are obviously much smaller than most of the other vehicles on Florida roads, and as such, many car and truck drivers simply do not see them at times. This can yield to accidents where the car or truck does not stop to give the motorcyclist the right-of-way, resulting in a collision that can be fatal – most often to the motorcyclist, who has far less protection than an auto driver.
Contact A Tampa Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Drivers have a duty to exercise reasonable care while driving on Florida roads, and engaging in dangerous or reckless behavior can lead to significant liability if the worst were to happen. If you have been injured while riding your motorcycle, contacting a knowledgeable Tampa motorcycle accident lawyer can be a good step toward seeking compensation for your bills. The dedicated legal professionals at the Rinaldo Law Group are happy to try and answer your questions and guide you through the process. Contact us today for a free consultation.