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Which Driver is At Fault in an Obstructed View Motorcycle Accident in Florida?

You’ve seen the bumper stickers: “Watch for Motorcycles! They’re everywhere! “or “Look Twice, Save a Life.” It certainly seems true in Florida, especially at this time of year. More than 600,000 motorcycles are registered in the state, and great weather draws thousands more as motorcycle enthusiasts from around the nation flock to numerous motorcycle shows and rallies throughout the year. With so many motorcycles on the roadways, you’d think motorists would be accustomed to seeing them. According to the NHTSA, almost 19% of all traffic fatalities are motorcyclists and their passengers, and in many cases the drivers claim that they simply didn’t see the motorcycle.

There are many reasons why motorcycles may be difficult for motorists to see. Even though there are many motorcycles on the road, there are still many, many more cars, making motorcycles the minority. Many drivers in Florida may actually be out-of-state visitors from places where motorcycles are not as prevalent. They are simply not accustomed to sharing the road with motorcycles. Motorcycles are also much smaller than cars, and are easily hidden by other cars, trucks, and roadway obstructions. A driver also might fail to see a motorcycle because their view is blocked by their vehicle’s door frame, headrests, or even their passenger’s head.

Motorcyclists and Defensive Driving

Motorcyclists can improve their odds of remaining safe on their bike by driving defensively, avoiding blind spots and always assuming that other drivers don’t see them. Florida laws require that motorcyclists use headlights at all times, not just at night. Bright-colored and reflective helmets are available, and adding reflective stickers can really increase visibility. Specialty clothing, such as vests and jackets, are available in light, bright, reflective colors and also can be customized with reflective patches or tape to add an extra measure of conspicuity.

Even if a motorcycle driver has done all he can to prevent an accident, there are still instances when motorists may be held responsible for a motorcycle-motor vehicle collision, through distracted driving negligence or allowing obstructions in their vehicle that impair their vision. Florida law requires that a vehicle’s windshield be free of any obstruction that prevents a driver from having a clear view of the roadway and surrounding vehicles. GPS units may be mounted on a windshield in Florida, but any stickers, decals, or non-transparent coverings are prohibited if they impede the driver’s full range of vision. Even a cracked windshield can cause distortion or blind spots, and may prevent a motorist from seeing a nearby motorcycle.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA

If you are a motorcyclist who has been injured by a driver with an obstructed view, call the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA at (727)451-6900. We are experienced in representing injured motorcycle drivers or riders who have been subjected to unfair treatment by insurance companies, who often assume carelessness or recklessness on the part of the motorcyclist. We understand the special nuances of motorcycle/vehicle accidents and have the resources, willingness, and ability to take your case to trial if necessary. The insurance company begins their investigation as soon as they know about an accident. Allow a qualified Clearwater Motorcycle Attorney to begin investigating your most unfortunate accident if you find yourself in need.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765