Motorcyclists Should Steer Clear of Erratic Drivers
A car accident can be dangerous for anyone involved, but it is particularly dangerous for motorcyclists. These smaller, lighter vehicles absorb more impact from collisions with vehicles that are larger than them. This is a basic physics lesson that many motorcycle riders learn the hard way.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you have legal rights which must be protected. The experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at the Dolman Law Group have decades of experience negotiating and litigating personal injury claims arising from motorcycle accidents. Motorcyclists in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, New Port Richey, and across southern Florida trust the Dolman Law Group to protect their rights to be compensated for their injuries.
Here are some recent cases which illustrate specific forms of erratic driving which can be deadly for nearby motorcycle riders:
Lane Diving: A Miami motorcyclist lost her leg after a particularly gruesome accident in the I-95 express lanes just south of 103rd Street. A Toyota Corolla plowed through a gap in the pylons separating the regular lanes from express lanes, attempting to quickly jump into the express lanes. Instead, it crashed into two motorcycles, which were both destroyed in the accident. Both motorcyclists sued the Florida Department of Transportation, alleging that it failed to properly maintain, repair and replace the divider pylons, which encouraged erratic “lane diving” behavior such as that of the Corolla’s driver.
Rear End Collisions: On November 1, 2016, Officer Jorge Sanchez – a veteran traffic cop of the Miami Police Department – was killed when an SUV rear-ended his motorcycle in a left turn lane. The collision forced his motorcycle into the intersection, where Sanchez was hit again by oncoming traffic. The entire accident damaged five other cars, left two others in critical condition, and sent a total of eleven people to the hospital. It took hours for officers to control the scene, determine exactly how many people were hurt, and figure out who exactly was involved in the crash.
Improper Turns: On January 10, 2017, Darius Leroy Roberts, twenty-three years old, was thrown from his white Kawasaki motorcycle after a Ford Focus attempting to turn left in front of him collided with his bike. Roberts was pronounced dead at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Inability to See the Motorcycle: On June 8, 2017, twenty-five-year old Kassidy Titara was thrown from her 2007 Suzuki after a Ford Focus turned in front of her. The accident occurred at 6:15 p.m. By 7 p.m., Titara was pronounced dead. The Focus driver claimed she did not see Titara prior to turning.
Crossing Lanes too Quickly: Two motorcyclists were killed in Seminole when a vehicle pulled out in front of the bike illegally. Sixty-six-year-old Daniel McLaughlin pulled across northbound lanes of Seminole Boulevard in an attempt to make it to the median. Instead, he collided with a motorcycle also traveling northbound on Seminole. Both the driver and passenger of the motorcycle were wearing helmets. Both died of their injuries, regardless.
There are some common themes in these tragic accidents, which can help motorcycle riders stay safe in the future:
- Never ride so fast that you are unable to respond to changes in the roadway or obstructions ahead. Reduce your speed when conditions such as traffic, visibility, or Florida’s infamous hurricane season weather demand it. The best way to avoid a motorcycle accident is to allow yourself enough time to respond to dangers on the road.
- Stay visible to other vehicles. Motorcycles are smaller than passenger vehicles, and therefore more difficult for other drivers to see. Use your headlight, signals, and reflective clothing to ensure you can be seen on the road.
- Make your movements obvious to other drivers. The faster and more erratic a motorcycle maneuvers, the more difficult it is for other drivers to avoid a collision with it. Signal turns and lane changes well in advance.
- Never assume that another vehicle will yield the right of way – even when it is yours. The right of way does not prevent accidents. It only determines who was legally at fault after an accident has already occurred. Watch carefully at intersections, while merging, and any other time a vehicle comes near your traveling path. Have an exit strategy in case another vehicle fails to yield the right of way, does not see you, or otherwise creates an obstacle in your path.
- Be vigilant in watching for obstructions. Debris in the road, vehicles ahead of you, and other obstacles should be identified as early as possible. Motorcycles – being lighter and smaller than passenger vehicles – are particularly susceptible to these obstacles.
- Always wear a helmet. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that, for every one hundred motorcyclists killed while not wearing a helmet, thirty-seven of them could have been saved by wearing a helmet.
- Take ongoing safety courses and certification. No matter how long you have been riding or how familiar you are with motorcycles, you must always be vigilant and prepared to respond to driving hazards.
The Right Representation for your Motorcycle Accident Claim
The personal injury attorneys of the Dolman Law Group have decades of experience in negotiating and litigating motorcycle accident claims. They fight hard to protect Clearwater area motorcyclists from injuries and ensure that they are fairly compensated when injuries do occur. Our experienced team has the legal expertise and motorcycle knowledge to ably handle your claim. Call (727) 451-6900 to schedule your free consultation with a personal injury attorney today. Our experienced, aggressive team will protect your right to be compensated for your injuries and losses.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765