Recently, the number of motorcycles on the roads in Florida has been on the rise as many people see motorcycles as an economical mode of transportation. However, bikes are prone to crashes, and legal cases involving motorcycle accidents are often complex and can benefit from the expertise of a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer.
According to data by Statista, there were 620,007 new motorcycles registered in Florida as of 2020. A large portion of these motorcycles uses Fort Lauderdale roads. Accidents involving motorcycles are almost always severe, causing injuries or death.
Therefore, it is crucial to be mindful of motorcycles on the road to avoid collisions. This article covers the causes of motorcycle accidents and how to share the road with motorcycles safely.
A Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyer Explains What you Should Know About Motorcycle Accidents
After most motorcycle accidents, vehicle drivers claim they didn’t see the two-wheeled driver approaching. While it is very easy for motorcycles to be in drivers’ blind spots, drivers must be mindful of them and take measures to avoid hitting motorcycles.
Additionally, there is a common stereotype about bike riders. For example, it is assumed that they are always rough and do not care about traffic rules. However, this isn’t true as bikers must obey traffic rules as passenger vehicle drivers and truckers do.
While sharing the road safely with motorcycles, drivers must do away with stereotypes and develop empathy for motorcycle riders. The following are essential things you should know as a driver to ensure the safety of motorcyclists:
Due to Their Small Size, Motorcycles Can Be Easily Hidden
As previously mentioned, due to their relatively small sizes, motorcycles can easily fall into the blind spot of a driver. The motorist may not see them in the rearview or side mirrors. In addition, they can easily be blocked by objects on and around the road. Therefore, drivers must look for motorcycles when changing lanes or turning at intersections.
Turn Signals on Motorcycles Are Usually Not Self-Canceling
Bikers, especially beginners, often forget to turn signals off after turning or a lane change. This may be confusing to drivers. Therefore, drivers should watch for a few seconds to ensure the biker is done changing lanes before overtaking them.
Motorcycles May Look Farther Away Than They are
Due to the sizes of motorcycles, they may appear farther away than they are. For this reason, it is difficult to predict the speed of motorcycles. As a result, when turning at an intersection or driving into a driveway, always assume that motorcycles are closer than they appear.
Motorcyclists Do Not Always Turn on the Brake Lights
When slowing down, motorcyclists do not always apply the brakes or use brake lights. Instead, they often slow down by downshifting or rolling off the throttle. Drivers should remember motorcycle riders may slow down without visual signs.
Reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that over half of fatal motorcycle accidents involve another vehicle. Also, In 2020 5,579 motorcyclists died in crashes.
These statistics show drivers need to be mindful of motorcycles on the road and take measures to avoid a collision. However, if an accident occurs, a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer can help you take the proper steps to seek financial compensation from the at-fault party.
What Are the Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcycle accident statistics from the Insurance Information Institute show that 83,000 motorcyclists suffered injuries in crashes in 2020. Also, motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to suffer fatal injuries than car passengers.
The following are some common causes of motorcycle accidents involving vehicles:
Accidents occur when a driver opens the door of their parked vehicle in the path of an upcoming motorcycle.
Unsafe Lane Changes
Because motorcycles can easily be hidden in the blind spot of drivers, they may collide with cars when changing lanes.
This is a leading cause of motorcycle accidents. Speeding reduces the driver and the motorcyclist’s response time and makes it challenging to prevent a collision. The higher the vehicle or motorcycle speed, the more significant the crash’s impact.
Lane splitting is when a driver drives between two lanes of traffic, which is illegal in Florida. This practice is hazardous for inexperienced bike riders, who might find maneuvering their way around vehicles difficult.
Sudden stops by drivers cause rear-end accidents which can lead to injury or death of the motorcyclist involved.
Accidents occur when drivers make a right-of-way error or misjudge motorcycles’ distance while making a left turn. This accident leads to severe injuries and can be fatal.
Injuries Caused by Motorcycle Accidents
The level of exposure motorcyclists has while riding often causes severe, catastrophic, or fatal injuries. In addition, drivers and passengers can also be injured in motorcycle accidents.
The following are common injuries from motorcycle collisions.
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Damaged joints from hard impacts
- Spinal cord injuries
- Skin injuries
Useful Tips for Sharing the Road With Motorcycles
The following are helpful tips drivers can follow to ensure safety while driving on the road with motorcycles.
Check Your Blindspots Before Turning or Changing Lanes
Again, motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles on the road. Therefore, they often fall into the blind spot of drivers. Always check mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes or turning at an intersection. Additionally, turn signals will help motorcyclists know a driver’s intentions and respond accordingly.
Do Not Try to Share Lanes With a Motorcycle
Just as vehicle drivers, motorcyclists have the right of way in Florida. Unfortunately, lane splitting is one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents. When necessary, give the motorcyclist the right of way and avoid sharing a lane with a motorcycle to prevent sideswipe collisions or running the bike off the road.
Use Caution When Driving Past a Motorcycle
Motorcyclists can be easily affected by a sudden wind. For example, when you swiftly move past a motorcycle, the wind from your car or truck can cause the motorcyclist to lose control. Additionally, this situation can become worse on a two-lane or three-lane highway, leading to multiple car accidents.
Avoid Being Too Close to a Motorcycle
Riders frequently have to swerve or stop abruptly to avoid gravel, potholes, or slippery patches on the road. You will enable the motorcycle rider to safely move around the hazard if you maintain a sufficient following gap between your vehicle and the motorcycle. You risk creating a severe or fatal rear-end collision if you don’t.
Were You Involved in a Motorcycle Accident? Our Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
Drivers should remember to always look twice for motorcycles to avoid accidents. In any case, accidents do happen even when drivers are careful. Thankfully, victims of such collisions can demand compensation from the at-fault party.
Our team of Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers can use their expertise to make the best of the situation and assist you with the legal process. At Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, we have years of experience helping victims with their personal injury claims. Call us at (561) 800-8000 to schedule a free consultation.