Florida motorcyclists need to be vigilant on the road. Since they don’t have the extra protection the metal frame a car or truck offers, if they’re involved in accidents, the odds of sustaining serious injuries are fairly high.
Unfortunately, even when a Florida motorcyclist is responsible and aware of their surroundings, they can still be injured in accidents resulting from someone else’s negligence. The following are among the more common reasons this happens. That said, regardless of the cause, if you’re injured in a Florida motorcycle accident, you should very strongly consider meeting with an attorney to optimize your chances of collecting fair compensation.
Drivers making left-hand turns account for a substantial portion of Florida motorcycle accidents. Some data even suggests that 42% of all motorcycle accidents involve left-turning drivers.
These collisions may occur if a motorcyclist is trying to overtake or pass a car making a left turn. Or, they may be heading straight through an intersection alongside a left-turning driver.
This once again highlights the importance of being cautious and paying attention to the intentions of other motorists when riding a motorcycle. That said, those motorists also need to make their intentions clear. For example, a motorcyclist might pass a driver on the left and not realize they were preparing to make a turn because they never indicated they were doing so.
It’s worth noting that left-hand turns can also involve two cars. However, it’s very common for them to involve a car striking a motorcycle because, due to its size, a motorcycle is typically harder to see than a car.
The risks associated with the fact that motorcycles are already harder to spot on the road are exacerbated by blind spots. A driver whose vehicle has a blind spot may suddenly change lanes without knowing a motorcyclist was beside them. In many instances, this happens too quickly for a motorcyclist to avoid a collision.
Research shows that many vehicles have these types of blind spots. While research also indicates that collision avoidance systems are reducing the frequency of accidents resulting from them, because these systems are not standard yet, blind spots are still a major cause of motorcycle collisions.
Poor Speed Estimation
It’s crucial that drivers not pull out in front of approaching motorcyclists when turning onto roads unless they’re absolutely certain they have enough space and time to accelerate to a proper speed. Unfortunately, sometimes drivers neglect this responsibility. It’s also not uncommon for drivers to mistakenly believe they’ve accurately estimated the speed of an approaching motorcyclist. They may genuinely think there’s enough space between them to justify pulling out in front of the motorcycle, when in fact the motorcyclist was traveling much faster than they assumed.
Regardless, the consequences of this type of accident can be severe. When a driver pulls in front of a motorcyclist who doesn’t have sufficient time to stop or maneuver around them, the driver may slam into the back of the vehicle. This will often result in them being thrown from their motorcycle at a very high velocity.
Hazardous road conditions can put any driver at risk of injury. That said, these conditions are often more likely to put motorcyclists at risk.
Motorcycles aren’t as stable as cars and other vehicles. Again, they also don’t offer the same degree of protection. Thus, unexpected hazards, such as dead animals in the road, slick roads, and more have a greater likelihood of causing motorcyclists to be involved in major accidents.
Weather conditions can also put motorcyclists in harm’s way to a greater extent than other drivers. For example, a driver operating a car in heavy rain merely needs to turn on their lights and windshield wipers and drive more slowly than they normally would to reduce their chances of being involved in an accident.
The circumstances are very different for a motorcyclist. Operating a motorcycle in heavy rain can be quite uncomfortable and even painful. At the very least, it’s distracting enough to make driving safely much more difficult than usual.
No one can control the weather. Sometimes hazards cause motorcycle accidents that aren’t anyone’s fault. Other hazards, though, can be prevented. For example, it’s important that government agencies properly maintain roads to ensure dangerous conditions don’t cause avoidable accidents.
Once more, motorcycles are already difficult to spot in some circumstances. They’re naturally even more difficult to see when a driver is distracted.
Distracted driving has been a prominent cause of motorcycle accidents for decades. Sadly, with the rise of smartphones, this has become a growing problem.
Drivers also need to be aware of what constitutes a distraction. A driver who doesn’t make the mistake of using their phone while behind the wheel might still engage in distracted driving without realizing it. For example, simply reaching down into a bag of food can be enough to result in a serious collision. Essentially, anything that takes a driver’s full attention away from the road, even more a minute, has the potential to cause an accident.
This even applies to emotional factors. A driver who is very upset for any reason may be too distracted by their own thoughts or feelings to properly pay attention to the road. All motorists should remember this before choosing to drive when they’re in a sensitive emotional state.
Driving Under the Influence
There is no excuse for a motorist not understanding just how dangerous driving under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants is. Despite this, far too many drivers do so every single day. The accidents resulting from their negligence are often fatal.
This can be a particularly significant problem in a destination state like Florida. Every year, young people flock to Florida beaches for occasions like spring break. During these celebrations, they may overindulge in alcohol before getting behind the wheel.
Drowsy driving is a similar potential cause of a motorcycle accident. Many people don’t realize that, according to researchers, lack of adequate sleep can cause the same degree of impairment as alcohol. While someone might assume that drowsy driving is less irresponsible than drunk driving, neither is acceptable.
Speeding is a contributing factor in many motor vehicle accidents. Motorcycle accidents are no exception.
When someone is driving too fast, their ability to respond to a motorcyclist in their path is significantly reduced. They may not have time to react, and even if they do, their vehicle might not have time to stop before a collision occurs.
Any type of motorcycle accident can cause major injury. That said, the injuries a Florida motorcyclist might sustain in an accident in which speeding was involved have a very good chance of being serious simply because a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed represents a greater potential danger than a vehicle moving slowly.
What Florida Motorcyclists Need to Know about Potential Injuries
Some motorcyclists are fortunate enough to escape from accidents with only a few minor abrasions or bruises.
Others aren’t so lucky. For example, if a motorcyclist is thrown from their vehicle during a collision and their head strikes the pavement, they may sustain a traumatic brain injury. These injuries can permanently diminish a victim’s quality of life, cognitive abilities, emotional wellbeing, and much more. This is among the chief reasons it’s essential that motorcyclists always wear their helmets.
Motorcycle accident victims may also suffer spinal cord injuries. If such injuries result in paralysis, victims’ entire lifestyles change in an instant. Their earning potential is also significantly reduced.
Broken bones can have similar effects on a motorcycle victim’s life. Although broken bones may heal, before that happens, they can prevent someone from returning to work, cause lasting pain, and much more.
It’s also necessary to account for the less tangible ways a motorcycle accident might impact a person’s wellness. For example, if someone was involved in a major motorcycle accident, they might understandably develop severe anxiety related not only to riding a motorcycle, but to driving in general. As a result, they may require mental health treatment, and they might no longer feel comfortable driving at all, which could substantially interfere with their overall lifestyle.
These are all reasons it’s essential that Florida motorcycle accident victims be compensated fairly for their losses. A personal injury attorney will help tremendously in these circumstances. Personal injury attorneys know how insurance companies operate, and thus understand how to provide motorcycle accident victims with effective representation. Without an attorney’s help, it can be very difficult for someone injured in a Florida motorcycle accident to collect the full amount of compensation to which they’re entitled.
Why Choose LJW Legal?
When you need a motorcycle accident attorney in Florida, you need the peace of mind you get from knowing your case is in the hands of experts who can genuinely deliver results, and not merely promise to do so. That’s why you should choose LJW Legal. We have a proven track record of helping people just like you secure the compensation they deserve. To learn more, contact us online today.