Motorcycle accidents occur for a wide variety of reasons. While motorcyclists can be and sometimes are at fault, the other involved driver/drivers 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.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 88,000 motorcyclists were injured in collisions in 2015 and 4,976 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
- 27% of motorcyclists involved in crashes did not have a valid motorcycle license
- 27% 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 clearly protect motorcyclists, not all motorcycle accidents are caused by bikers. In fact, 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:
- Distracted driving, including cell phone use and texting behind the wheel
- Drunk driving or operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs
- Speeding, aggressive driving, and other dangerous or reckless behavior
- 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 in the other lane
- Turning into the path of an oncoming motorcyclist
- Following too closely or merging too closely ahead of a biker
- Illegal driving behaviors, such as running red lights or stop signs
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.
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 nearly 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.