South Florida motorcycle accidents can result in serious injuries and sometimes fatalities.
Recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that almost 19percent of fatal accidents that take place in Florida involve a bicycle or motorcycle. In light of these statistics, Florida currently holds the number one slot in terms of nationwide motorcycle fatalities. Alarmingly, nearly one in five Florida motorcycle operators do not even carry motorcycle insurance, and the majority do not wear helmets when they operate their motorcycles on Florida roadways.
For Miami-Dade County, reports from Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles show there were 1,029 motorcycle crashes just in 2018 alone.
Motorcycle accidents can occur anywhere and may come about in a variety of ways. In some case, the motorcycle operator is negligent and causes or contributes to the accident. In other cases, the accident comes about when another motor vehicle driver collides with the motorcycle, causing injuries to the motorcycle operator and his or her passengers. Motorcycles are no match for large cars and especially trucks, and when a collision occurs, serious injuries can result. Moreover, the driver and passengers of a car or truck have a protective shell around them. Motorcyclists and their passengers do not have the benefit of this protective covering, and they usually suffer disproportionately as a result.
If you have sustained serious injuries as a motorcycle operator or passenger, you may be eligible to recover monetary compensation under the law. The North Miami Beach motorcycle accident attorneys at Sibley Dolman can meet with you to discuss your case and can assist you with proving every aspect of your personal injury case.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents are well known for their intensity and propensity for inflicting brutal injuries on riders. These accidents share a lot with car accidents in terms of injuries, causes, and risk factors yet have many unique qualities of their own. For example, motorcycle accidents tend to cause more severe injuries to riders and are more common among the rider base despite there being a significantly lower amount of people that ride motorcycles. Motorcycle accidents have a few risk factors that have a tendency to cause motorcycle accidents more than others such as:
Motorcycle Rider Visibility
One of the primary causes of motorcycle accidents across the state and country is the lack of visibility that comes with riding a motorcycle. Many drivers collide with motorcyclists simply because they do not realize that they are in their way. Motorcycles can easily slip into the blind spots of larger motor vehicles and get hit when those motor vehicles make a number of maneuvers. Motorcyclists take a number of measures to maximize their visibility to other drivers by painting their bikes, using powerful lights, and wearing reflective clothing among other things. Ultimately, a motorcyclist can take every precaution to maximize their visibility and end up still being hit by ignorant drivers.
Perhaps the most common reason motor vehicles, in general, are involved in an accident is distracted driving. most people are familiar with texting and driving as the primary example of distracted driving yet this often doesn’t apply to motorcyclists that typically can’t text while driving. However, there are a number of other behaviors that distracted driving consists of that motorcyclists can partake in. For example, rubbernecking is considered an example of distracted driving that motorcyclists can partake in despite the unique nature of their vehicle’s operation. Other motorists are typically the greater risk for driver distraction since smartphone use among other things is much more likely.
Motorcyclists are well known to have a penchant for high-speed riding. One of the most attractive features of motorcycles is the ability to experience high speed while exposed on a bike so that it feels like you are flying down the road. While this is attractive and draws many people to riding motorcycles, it is also a very common cause for a motorcycle accident. Riding a motorcycle at high speed decreases the amount of time a motorcyclist has to take evasive maneuvers or maneuver in general.
The primary maneuver that results in collisions with motorcyclists is lane switching. As drivers switch from lane to lane or when motorcyclists switch from lane to lane, there is a high risk that a motorist will not see a motorcyclist and collide with them because they were either in their blindspot or out of sheer negligence. Motorcyclists can also increase their risk of being involved in an accident when they engage in a maneuver known as lane splitting. This is when a motorcyclist takes advantage of their vehicle’s smaller size in order to ride between lanes and vehicles so that they can beat traffic. This is an illegal maneuver in the state of Florida due to the danger it represents.
Safety Precautions that Motorcyclists Can Take
Motorcyclists and their passengers can take several safety precautions to lessen the chances of an accident. Some of these important measures include:
Helmets and Motorcycle Safety
Wearing a motorcycle helmet while riding. According to both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, motorcycle helmets reduce the risk of death by 37 percent in motorcycle crashes and reduce the risk of head injuries by 69 percent. However, according to recent statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 40 percent of motorcyclists who were died in crashes between 2013 and 2015 were not wearing helmets. Motorcycle helmets offer some (albeit limited) head and eye protection in the event of a crash, helping to lessen the chances of sustaining a traumatic brain injury. Moreover, they help the motorcycle operator hear better by eliminating wind noise and other roadway distractions.
Replacing motorcycle helmets regularly. Motorcycle helmets experience wear and tear with time. Therefore, keep an eye on your helmet, and when signs of damage appear, replace it. Motorcycle helmets can also crack in an accident. If and when that happens, discard the helmet and never wear it again, since wearing a previously cracked helmet can cause you to sustain a severe head injury or concussion if you are involved in a future accident.
Drinking and Driving a Motorcycle
Never operate a motorcycle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drugs and alcohol can significantly impair a motorcycle operator’s depth perception, distance perception, and vision. It also goes without saying that drugs and alcohol can delay a motorcyclist’s reaction time, significantly increasing the possibility of a collision.
Weather Increases Motorcycle Accident Risk
Taking weather conditions into account. Wet and slippery weather conditions can cause motorcycles to skid. This danger further increases when a motorcyclist drives at a high rate of speed.
Taking traffic conditions into account. The highways and roadways in the North Miami Beach area are heavily trafficked and busy. Therefore, it goes without saying that motorcyclists should watch their speeds and following distances during heavy traffic hours and be extra careful and vigilant during those times.
Motorcycle Accidents and Injuries Caused by Negligent Drivers
Sometimes, no matter how much caution motorcycle operators and their passengers exercise, negligent drivers collide with motorcycles and cause serious injuries. A hard impact can cause a motorcyclist and his or her passenger to fall off the motorcycle and strike heads and bodies on the ground. Common injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents where accident victims strike the ground include traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), bone fractures, paralysis, spinal cord injuries, scarring, soft tissue injuries, and in the worst cases, death.
When motor vehicle drivers operate their vehicles in careless and reckless ways—usually by speeding or violating some other traffic law—they can be held accountable in cases involving permanent injuries or extensive damages. The owner of the at-fault vehicle can also be held liable if he or she entrusted the vehicle to the negligent driver. In these instances, the motorcycle accident victim may recover compensation for all related medical and physical therapy bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of use, and lost enjoyment of life. In serious cases involving permanent injuries and damages, the motorcycle accident victim may also recover monetary compensation for the estimated costs of future medical care and treatments, such as future surgeries or care at an assisted living facility or nursing home. The motorcycle accident attorneys at Sibley Dolman can help you recover the damages that you deserve and that will make you whole following your accident.
Call a North Miami Beach Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today for a Free Legal Consultation and Case Evaluation
The insurance company is not on your side in car and motorcycle accident injury cases and will do everything it can to lessen your damages. If you have sustained serious injuries in a motorcycle accident, you need a knowledgeable and experienced team of attorneys who will advocate for your legal rights. The attorneys at Sibley Dolman can be your advocates both during settlement negotiations and, if necessary, in the courtroom. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a North Miami Beach motorcycle accident attorney, please call us at (305)-676-8154 or contact us online today.
1820 NE 163rd St #306,
North Miami Beach, FL 33162