Florida Motorcycle Accidents: What are the most common causes?
Motorcycle accidents can be devastating, leaving victims with lifelong injuries that can affect their income, mental health, and general stability. Devastating injuries can cause a loss of income, major lifestyle changes, and much more.
These injuries often occur at the fault of another driver who’s acting with negligence. If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident because of someone else’s negligence, please contact one of our talented attorneys here at Jones Law Group.
Statistics on Motorcycle Accidents in Florida
In 2018, there were 4,985 fatalities because of motorcycle accidents in the United States. On top of that, 82,000 people were injured because of motorcycle accidents in the same year.
In Florida alone, there were 600 motorcyclists killed in 2016. That’s approximately 12% of motorcycle accident fatalities in the entire country. According to the NHTSA, Florida ranks sixth as the state with the most motorcycle accidents as of 2017.
Florida Motorcycle Laws
Motorcycle laws and regulations are designed to keep motorcyclists safe. Florida’s motorcycle laws are more lenient than some other states, which likely contributes to why it’s a dangerous place to ride. Florida motorcycle laws include:
- The Helmet Law: A rider may choose whether or not they want to wear a helmet while operating their motorcycle, but only if they’re over the age of 21 and covered by an insurance policy that provides at least $10,000 in medical benefits. All riders under the age of 21 are required to wear a helmet.
- Headsets: Riders are not allowed to wear a headset that is attached to their helmet. Riders may not operate their vehicle while using a headset, headphones, or other listening devices.
- Eye Protection: Eye protection is always required. Even if you’re not wearing a helmet, you must wear eye protection.
- Turn Signals: Turn signals are required on every motor vehicle in the state of Florida, including motorcycles and trailers.
- Lane Splitting: Lane splitting is illegal in the state of Florida. You may not ride in or pass another vehicle in a lane already occupied by another vehicle.
What are common causes of motorcycle accidents?
Motorcycle accidents happen very frequently in the United States for various reasons, including drunk driving, distracted driving, aggressive driving, and unsafe lane changes. Most motorcycle accidents happen because of negligent drivers and not motorcyclists. Negligence can look like the following.
Unsafe Lane Changes
If a car or truck driver changes lanes without checking their blind spots and putting on their blinker, they could strike a motorcycle on its side, causing an accident.
In the instance that you’re parked on the side of a busy street, you should always check to make sure no one is coming before opening your car door. A motorcyclist may not be able to slow down in time to avoid crashing into your newly opened door.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is hazardous no matter what but can be even more dangerous with motorcyclists are on the road. Because they’re much smaller than other passenger vehicles, a drunk driver may not see them, or they may overly fixate on them, causing an accident.
Distracted driving can include:
- talking on the phone,
- looking for a playlist or directions,
- reading emails,
- watching videos,
- applying makeup
If someone is engaging in a distraction while driving, they may not notice a motorcycle stop in front of them at a red light or stop sign, or they might not notice a slowdown. They likely won’t have enough time to avoid the accident if they weren’t paying enough attention.
Inexperienced drivers aren’t yet familiar with motorcycles and bicycles, and they may not know well enough to look out for them. Their inexperience could cause an accident to occur.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcyclists don’t have the protection that passenger vehicle drivers do. Therefore, their injuries may be more severe, especially in high-impact accidents. Common motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Broken bones
- Road rash
Road rash is especially common in motorcycle accidents, as it occurs when a rider is thrown from their bike, scraping their skin (bare or through clothes) against the asphalt. Road rash can cause nerve damage, and severe injuries may require skin grafts.
Injuries like traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injuries can cause devastating side effects, causing one’s life to greatly change because of their injuries.
Damages in a Motorcycle Accident Case
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages as paid for by the liable party.
You can expect to be paid for both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages cover any damages that have a monetary value associated with them, such as medical bills and lost wages.
Non-economic damages can be harder to estimate. They cover losses that don’t have a monetary value associated with them. This includes pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of earning capacity.
Non-economic damages are calculated based on how much your quality of life has changed because of the accident and your subsequent injuries. Therefore, this compensation differs between cases.
When to Hire a Motorcycle Accident Injury Attorney
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, please contact one of our talented motorcycle accident attorneys for help with your case. Our team of lawyers has years of experience working on motorcycle accident cases, and we can get you the compensation you deserve.
We’ll deal with insurance companies on your behalf, make sure you’re getting the medical attention you require, and take the stress off of your shoulders so you can focus on resting, relaxing, and recovering.