Motorcycle accidents occur for a wide variety of reasons. While motorcyclists can sometimes be at fault, the other vehicle drivers involved are often to blame. Sadly, many of these accidents lead to severe injuries and even death. According to recent reports, Florida leads the nation in the highest rate of motorcycle fatalities.
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we are heavily involved in the community of amazing bikers throughout the Tampa Bay area and all of Florida. We want motorcycle enthusiasts to ride safe and stay legal. Becoming a safe rider is the best way to ensure your safety and avoid an accident.
The Dangers of Motorcycle Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, roughly 80% of all reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death. In 2019, approximately 84,000 motorcyclists were injured in collisions, and 5,014 were killed throughout the United States.
Of these incidents, a few common trends can be seen.
- Speeding played a role in 33% of fatal motorcycle crashes
- Frontal collisions made up 74% of two-vehicle motorcycle accidents
- 30% of motorcyclists involved in crashes did not have a valid motorcycle license
- 29% of motorcyclists killed in an accident had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher
- 7% of motorcyclists killed in an accident had a low BAC of 0.01-0.07%
While practicing common-sense safety precautions and always following the law can protect motorcyclists, motorcycle drivers cause not all accidents. Driver negligence leads to countless motorcycle collisions throughout the U.S. every year.
How Negligence Leads to Motorcycle Accidents
A recent study by the Florida Department of Transportation reveals that drivers of other vehicles are responsible for auto-motorcycle accidents approximately 60% of the time. Additionally, the same study revealed that most motorcycle accidents involve another vehicle (as opposed to single-vehicle accidents).
So, how do these accidents occur? Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents involving other vehicles include:
Countless motorcycle accidents occur due to distracted driving. Distracted driving is any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the task of driving. This can include talking on the phone, texting, eating, drinking, or even daydreaming.
Distracted driving is especially dangerous for motorcyclists because they are less visible to other drivers and more vulnerable in a crash. A driver who is not paying attention to the road is more likely to fail to see a motorcyclist and may cause an accident.
Another common cause of motorcycle accidents is speeding. Speed limits are set for a reason, and driving over the speed limit increases the risk of an accident. When a driver is speeding, they have less time to react to things on the road and are more likely to lose control of their vehicle. This can be especially dangerous for motorcyclists who can be easily knocked off their bikes by a speeding car.
Another cause of motorcycle accidents is driving under the influence. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs impairs a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely. This can lead to poor decision-making, slowed reaction times, and impaired coordination. Any of these can be dangerous for a motorcyclist sharing the road with an impaired driver.
Illegal Driving Behaviors
Another cause of motorcycle accidents is illegal driving behavior. This can include running red lights, making illegal turns, or even speeding. Any time a driver breaks the law, they increase their chances of being involved in an accident. This is especially true for motorcyclists who are more vulnerable on the road and may be less visible to other drivers.
Other Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
There are many other causes of motorcycle accidents, such as:
- Failing to yield the right-of-way to a motorcyclist
- Failing to look out for bikers/not seeing a motorcyclist on the road
- Changing lanes and hitting a motorcyclist who was in the other lane
- Turning into the path of an oncoming motorcyclist
- Following too closely or merging too closely ahead of a biker
This list is not exhaustive; there are many other examples of how negligence can lead to serious motorcycle accidents. For example, if an auto part, such as a tire or brake pad, has a manufacturing defect, the manufacturer will likely be considered negligent and liable for the accident.
If a motorcycle helmet has a poor design and it fails to protect a biker, the designer of the helmet may be responsible. Even defective road construction/maintenance can be considered negligence.
Common Motorcycle Injuries
Because there is little protection between the road and a motorcycle rider, motorcyclists are more likely to suffer from severe or fatal injuries after a collision. Some common injuries that result from motorcycle accidents include:
- Road Rash: This is when skin rubs or scrapes against the pavement. Road rash can be very painful and often requires medical attention.
- Broken Bones: Motorcyclists are at a higher risk of breaking bones in an accident because they do not have the same level of protection as someone in a car. Broken bones can take weeks or months to heal and may require surgery.
- Head Injuries: Head injuries are some of the most serious injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident. Motorcyclists do not have the same protection for their heads as someone in a car. Head injuries can range from concussions to traumatic brain injuries and can have long-term effects.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis and are some of the most serious injuries in a motorcycle accident. If you or someone you love has suffered a spinal cord injury, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney who can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Florida Motorcycle Safety Tips
If you are a motorcyclist in Florida, there are some things you can do to help stay safe on the road.
- Wear a Helmet: Wearing a helmet is the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself in a motorcycle accident.
- Follow the Rules of the Road: Obey all traffic laws and rules of the road. This includes wearing bright clothing, using your turn signals, and not speeding.
- Be Aware of Your Surroundings: Always be aware of your surroundings and stay alert while driving. Watch out for other cars, pedestrians, and road hazards.
- Drive defensively: Defensive driving means being aware of other drivers on the road and anticipating their actions. This can help you avoid an accident.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Crash
What should you do after an accident? If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, it is important to seek medical attention right away. Even if you do not think you are injured, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Once you have seen a doctor, your next step should be to call an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer.
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, our motorcycle accident lawyers have extensive experience helping accident victims get the compensation they deserve. We will review your case and help you understand your legal options.
Who is Liable in a Motorcycle Accident?
Liability in a motorcycle accident can be complicated. In some cases, multiple parties may be liable for your injuries. It is important to speak with an experienced attorney who can help you understand your rights and options.
If the road you were driving on was in poor condition, the government entity responsible for maintaining the road may be liable. If a distracted driver hits you, they may be liable for your injuries. If you were hit by a drunk driver, the bar or restaurant that served them alcohol might also be liable.
It is important to speak with an attorney who can help you investigate your accident and determine who is liable.
Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for Your Claim
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we focus on helping motorcycle riders and their families recover. We pursue personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death claims to obtain full compensation for damages such as pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost earnings, property damage, and more.
With over 20 years of experience, we draw on constant legal and medical research to help clients recover after being injured in auto accidents in Tampa Bay and the surrounding areas. Founding personal injury attorney, Fran Haasch, is a lifetime member of the Multimillion Dollar Advocates Forum and a member of the American Association for Justice, the Florida Justice Association, and the Tampa Bay Trial Lawyers Association.
Our attorneys are skilled and experienced litigators. We are not afraid to take your personal injury lawsuit to trial if necessary. No matter how complicated your case, our firm is here to help you navigate the legal process from start to finish.
Talk to Our Florida Team about Your Case
If you were injured or your loved one was killed in a motorcycle accident, reach out to the personal injury team at The Fran Haasch Law Group. With over 20 years of experience, we are capable of handling even very complex and serious claims. Our Clearwater motorcycle accident attorneys work with medical experts and accident reconstruction specialists in order to determine how the accident occurred, who is liable, and the full extent of your injuries. From there, our team fights to help you recover the maximum compensation you are owed.
For an evaluation, call us at (727) 784-8191 or contact us online today. We serve clients in Clearwater and throughout the Greater Tampa Bay Region and beyond.