Fatal Motorcycle Accidents
The sunshine state is home to numerous motorcyclists, and is a destination point for many others who long for the open road and pleasant temperatures. But riding the Florida highway is more than fun and games. In fact, Florida holds the dubious honor of leading the country in motorcycle fatalities.
What we know about Motorcycle Fatalities
Although only 3 percent of the vehicles on the road are motorcycles, they account for 20 percent of roadway fatalities. In just 2015, there were over 600 motorcycle deaths. A study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) points to three key reasons for fatal motorcycle collisions:
- Impaired driving;
- Riding without a helmet.
Here’s another interesting tidbit: although most bikers purport to wear a helmet when riding, less than half of them were actually seen wearing them on the road. That’s a big problem, since four out of ten motorcycle fatalities involve individuals who are not wearing a helmet.
Real Lives Impacted
Sadly, these are more than just ugly statistics. Regardless of the cause of the accident, every single incident involves real people and real tragedy:
- Halloween night 2017 was the last time one man ever rode his Harley. That was the night he collided with another vehicle in a busy intersection, sustaining life-threatening injuries that led to his death. He was not wearing a helmet.
- On the same night, a married couple on their motorcycle crashed into a vehicle that pulled out unexpectedly in front of it. The driver of the bike was seriously injured. His 33-year old wife killed. She was pregnant. Neither of them was wearing a helmet.
Naturally, every accident is based on a number of factors. Because motorcycles are less visible than cars and trucks, irrespective of who’s at fault, bikers generally get the short end of the stick. That’s what makes it more important than ever that they take extra steps to remain safe. Seasoned riders share this advice:
- Don’t ride with people you don’t trust. If you think your buddy is a lot of fun, but tends to be wild on the road, don’t share the lane.
- Make yourself visible. Wear bright clothing and a helmet, and keep your headlights on.
- Stay off the road if you’re tired. Know yourself, and pull over before the drowsiness hits.
- Keep a minimum of 20 feet between yourself and fellow riders.
- Be especially cautious around semi trucks. Besides the obvious problem of not being seen by big rig drivers, wind turmoil can catch you unaware.
- Wear the right gloves. Your gloves need to fit properly so you don’t have problems with your clutch when an emergency arises.
After an Accident
If you or a loved one is involved in a serious motorcycle accident, and if that accident was the result of another driver’s negligence or recklessness, you may be entitled to financial damages to assist with expenditures associated with the accident, as well as with the emotional trauma and other costs. At Barbas, Nunez, Sanders, Butler & Hovsepian, our experienced team will help you through the legal process in order to secure the best settlement possible. Contact us in Tampa for a free consultation today.