Motorcyclists are at an increased danger of serious injury and death because they are vulnerable to the elements in a crash. Riders don’t have a vehicle and seatbelt protection to keep them safe, and many adults don’t wear helmets while they drive their motorcycles. According to Ride Smart Florida, 552 people died in motorcycle accidents in 2020 out of 3,332 traffic fatalities in Florida.
Accident Lawyer John Fagan has handled thousands of motorcycle accident cases with lifelong injuries or wrongful death. He understands how devastating these losses can be for injured victims and their families. John Fagan and his experienced legal team can help you pursue justice.
Florida Helmet Laws Let Motorcyclists Down
It is safest to operate your motorcycle while wearing a helmet, no matter how far you’re driving or how fast. The State of Florida requires anyone riding a motorcycle under 21 to wear a helmet, whether they are a passenger or a driver. However, adults are free to choose. Florida Law doesn’t require an adult to wear a helmet, only that they wear proper eye protection while driving on public roads. Wearing a helmet is paramount to your safety in the event of a car crash.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are overrepresented in deaths from traffic accidents. In 2019, riders were 29 times more likely to be fatally injured in an auto accident than people in a motor vehicle and four times more likely to experience injury. For every 100 riders killed without a helmet, 37 of them could have been saved.
Improper Protective Gear and Attire Increase Injury Risk
Wearing a helmet and eye protection are just two ways motorcyclists can reduce their risk of injury in an accident. It’s essential to cover your arms and legs with durable materials such as leather and heavy denim that could protect your skin in a crash. Boots and shoes should also be thick, cover your ankles, and wear gloves to improve your grip on the handles. Covering your bare skin will avoid significant injuries if you skid across the road.
Brightly colored clothing and reflective materials are also advised, so you’re more visible to motor vehicles.
What Causes Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcycles depend on other drivers to see them and accommodate them on Florida roadways. One of the most common causes of fatal motorcycle crashes in 2019 involved cars making a left-hand turns and hitting bikes. These collisions could be due to low visibility, speeding, or lack of awareness.
Other causes of motorcycle accidents in Florida include:
- Head-on collisions: These are the deadliest motorcycle crashes due to the uneven forces between a large vehicle and a motorcycle. Cars typically weigh four times that of a bike, and motorcycles don’t have the luxury of safety features such as seatbelts.
- Fixed object collisions: These accidents may involve a tree, the metal siding along a road, or other objects. After a rainstorm, veering off a slippery road can easily lead you into a fence or thick tree. These crashes caused 23% of motorcycle accident fatalities in 2019.
- Road Hazards: Whether it’s gravel on the pavement, unexpected railway tracks, or an uneven road surface, motorcycle drivers must be on constant high alert while driving. A small bump in a car or truck can cause a severe crash on a motorcycle.
- Lane splitting: This practice is illegal in Florida, but it doesn’t stop some drivers from snaking between a line of cars. When a motorcycle weaves along a path of slow-moving or stopped vehicles, accidents can happen due to the small space to maneuver and the other drivers not expecting the rider next to them.
- Motorcyclist driving behaviors: Like motor vehicle accidents, impaired driving kills many motorcyclists a year. Alcohol and drug use, speeding, and not wearing helmets are driving habits that cause preventable accidents.
Have You Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?
If you’ve been seriously hurt or lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, you may have a lawsuit against the negligent party. Our experienced lawyer is known for his tenacity in helping injured victims, and their families get the compensation they deserve for their pain and suffering.
Our practice is dedicated to helping accident victims. If you ever need help with a legal problem or just want information on this subject, you can always reach our firm at 777-JOHN. We serve clients throughout Florida with our main office in Orange Park and consult offices in Palatka, Middleburg, Keystone Heights, Starke, Gainesville, and Ocala.