Motorist vs. Motorcyclist Crashes | Frequent Driver Mistakes

December 8, 2015 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Motorist vs. Motorcyclist Crashes | Frequent Driver Mistakes With endless sunny skies as well as Florida's growing population and popularity with motorcycle enthusiasts, such safety is one of the upmost important issues of the state. The number of motorcycle crashes, fatalities and injuries in the United States have increased in recent years, and Florida has shown the same upward trend. Motorcycle traffic crashes often result in fatal or serious injuries requiring inpatient or outpatient hospital care and treatment. Fatal injuries, though the most severe, account for only a small portion of the overall injury burden among motorcyclists. In fact, nearly seven times more non-fatal hospitalizations and over 20 times more emergency department visits occurred for non-fatal injuries during the three year period from 2007 to 2011.
    • In 2011, the median hospital charge for motorcyclists admitted to a Florida hospital for the treatment of traffic crash injuries was $56,966.
    • In 2011, the median hospital charge for motorcyclists treated and released from a Florida emergency department for the treatment of traffic crash injuries was $3,585
    • The total hospital charges for initial treatment of motorcyclists injured in traffic crashes in 2011 was $ 411,783,763
    • In 2011, 49% of motorcyclist hospitalizations and emergency department visits were not covered by commercial insurance [1].
The Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA regularly represents the interests of Clearwater and Tampa Bay motorcyclists who have been injured in an accident and may be treated unfairly by an insurance company. These exceptionally expensive hospital stays and difficult insurance coverage is something that the law group has expertise in when dealing with accident legality and the harsh assumptions people have about motorcyclists. A way to crack down on these stereotypes of the “motorcycle junkie” is by knowing the frequent motorcyclist and motorist mistakes.  11 Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents: 
  1. Vehicles turning left: These collisions account for 42% of all crashes between motorcycles and other vehicles. If a car fails to see the motorcycle or judges their speed incorrectly, they will turn left in front of the motorcycle causing the crash. This is statistically the worst kind of situation for the motorcyclist.
  2. Head-on collisions: A key majority of motorcycle crashes with cars happen when they collide head-on. These types of crashes result in a higher fatality rate than other types of crashes.
  3. Lane splitting: When motorcyclists ride in between two lanes of cars, usually when there's traffic or car movement is slow and stopped, there's a chance it may not end well. It is essential for motorcyclists to be smart when they ride and to use precaution when opting for lane splitting. And while lane splitting is illegal in Florida, according to the Hurt Report, the maneuver reduced the motorcyclist's exposure to constant accelerating and breaking vehicles, consequently reducing their crash occurrence on highways. Whether it's safer or not, bottom line is that it's illegal and still a common cause of accident [3].
  4. Changing lanes: A car from another lane may suddenly veer into the space of a motorcyclist's because of their blind spots or negligence in looking. It is important for motorcyclists to be aware of blind spots because bikes can easily fit into these spots.
  5. Turning a corner too fast: When motorcyclists round a corner too fast, they risk the loss of traction or reaction time to whatever may be in their oath on the other side of a corner. On the road, “slow in and fast out” is an effective rule of thumb. Enter a corner wide, to increase vision and at an easy pace and then pick up speed on the way out [2].
  6. Speeding and alcohol impairment: Statistically, approximately half of single-vehicle motorcycle crashes have speeding and alcohol use as factors. This information was concluded by the largest study ever conducted on motorcycle accident causation in 1981 and still stands today.
  7. Crashes between motorcycles and stationary objects: Motorcyclists crashing with fixed objects results in 25% of motorcyclist deaths. Cyclist's call the area next to parked cars within a doors' width “The Death Zone” for a reason. Never ride between an active traffic lane and parked cars. This is not just because people will open their doors, but also because pedestrians step out, cars pull out for visual reference and other reasons for which will cause a collision.
  8. Road hazards: Hazards such as potholes, icy conditions, uneven lanes and debris in the road pose significant danger to motorcyclists [3].
  9. Weather related: Any weather condition that leaves the pavement slippery can lead to loss of traction for motorcyclists. Rain in Florida is inevitable and sometimes cyclists find themselves stuck in a down pour. It's always smart to check the weather before riding and to also be as cautious as possible with low visibility.
  10. Riding with a distracting riders: It is common for motorcyclists to go on rides together. Sometimes riding with buddies and knowing of riding mistakes such as driving erratically or drifting off into day dreams can help to encourage safety. It is always best to prevent accidents with bikers by riding together in a staggered formation.
  11. Locking the front break: Because of various distractions, motorcyclists' can grab the front of the break too much and end up tumbling over the handlebars. The best way to make sure that this doesn't happen is to learn how to properly use the front break on the motorcycle and to always be aware when riding.
While there are a variety of other reasons for accidents, these 11 common causes are the most prevalent. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA Being prepared for all common causes of accidents is always a good habit to practice as motorcyclists are exposed on the road. However, no matter how many precautionary measures a motorcyclist takes, they still have to share the road with motorists and truckers who can be careless or distracted. Regrettably, these distracted drivers can cause life-threatening injuries that not only harm motorcyclists, but also their families. If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident that was caused by the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to compensation. As stated before, the Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA regularly represents the interests of Clearwater and Tampa Bay motorcyclists who have been injured in an accident and may be treated unfairly by an insurance company. The experienced personal injury attorneys know how to handle claims for both motorcyclists and their passengers, and will advance the case into trial if necessary. If you've been involved in a motorcycle accident, call (727) 451-6900 to arrange a case evaluation and to schedule a consultation. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 (727) 451-6900 References: [2]  10 Common Motorcycle Crashes and How To Avoid Them [3]


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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