Even the Safest Motorcyclists Can Get Hurt
The harsh fact is that motorcycle accidents are some of the deadliest accidents on our roads – after all, there’s nothing but your safety gear to protect you from the impact of an accident. And while safety should be your top priority every single time you ride, a motorcycle accident can happen to anyone – even the safest riders aren’t immune. Florida is replete with busy highways and byways, and motorcycle accidents happen.
Motorcycle Accidents: A Closer Look
The statistics don’t lie; motorcycle accidents happen—even to safe bikers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shares several sobering statistics:
- Motorcycle-accident fatalities rose eight percent in 2015 (as compared to the rate in 2014).
- Motorcyclists account for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities, for four percent of all traffic injuries, for 17 percent of all vehicle-occupant fatalities, and for four percent of all vehicle-occupant injuries.
- When vehicle-miles traveled are compared, accident-related motorcyclist fatalities are almost 29 times more likely than accident-related fatalities for other drivers.
The danger is real.
If a motorist has left you injured in a motorcycle accident, you need skilled legal counsel. Motorcycle accident claims are complicated, but your rights and your rightful compensation matter. At the Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, Florida, our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys have the skill, dedication, and determination to aggressively advocate for your claim’s best possible resolution. We care about your claim, and we’re here to help.
Even if you religiously follow every safety rule of the road—which you should—if you bike, you’re vulnerable to being injured in a traffic accident. The NHTSA further relays that people take to the open road for the pleasure of it, for the relatively low initial investment, and for the fuel economy of some bike makes. While motorcycles make up only two percent of all registered vehicles in the U.S., they account for approximately five percent of all highway fatalities. To make it even more clear, 80 percent of motorcycle accidents result in injury or death but only 20 percent of car accidents do.
Motorcycles are much smaller than cars; provide no protective shell; and because of their size, are more difficult for other motorists to see. Although you make safety your top priority every time you ride, you can’t make up for what you lack in size and external protections when you’re on your bike.
Staying Safe Out There
The NHTSA outlines the safety tips that are most important to implement every time you ride:
- Wear appropriate safety gear, including a well-fitting helmet with eye and face protection, durable leather or synthetic clothing that’s highly visible and that provides some degree of protection from abrasion, driving gloves, and protective footwear.
- Drive at a speed that’s safe for the road’s current condition, factoring in inclement weather, road construction, traffic, and the physical condition of the road itself. Never tailgate and avoid riding in and out of stopped traffic—remember that you’re difficult to see when you’re on your bike.
- Know and obey all the traffic laws.
- When changing lanes or turning, always check your rearview mirror AND turn your head to make sure it’s safe to proceed—implement your turn signals as appropriate. Move into the left-third of your lane before passing, don’t crowd the vehicle you’re passing, and never pass or ride on the shoulder of the road.
- Always be courteous to other drivers; it can help to mitigate aggression on the road, which is exceedingly dangerous.
- Avoid motorist’s blind spots, which are extremely dangerous places for motorcycles to be.
- Drive Defensively
You learned it in high school Driver’s Ed, but it’s just as true today—driving defensively is the best way to drive safe. The NHTSA backs this up by advising you to be especially aware of and alert to the dangers that lurk at intersections. A full 70 percent of motorcycle-vehicle crashes happen in intersections. Always keep a keen eye out for cars that may unexpectedly pull out in front of you or take an unexpected turn in front of you. At intersections with low visibility, slow down and prepare yourself for the unexpected. Remain on the lookout for what the traffic ahead of you is doing in anticipation of danger to come.
Experienced motorcyclists have some hard-earned advice for less experienced riders, and that is to always ride assuming you’re invisible to other motorists. In other words, you’re well-advised to do everything you can to make yourself more visible. This mindset will help ensure that you don’t disappear from other drivers’ awareness and that you are focused on staying out of harm’s way. Position your bike in that area of your lane where you’re most likely to be seen, ride with your headlight on (during the day and at night), and stay far away from other vehicles’ blind spots. Finally, know your limits when it comes to your bike—and don’t ride beyond those limits. Inexperienced motorcyclists are much more likely to be injured in accidents.
If a Negligent Driver Has Injured You in a Motorcycle Accident, Contact an Experienced Clearwater Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
Even the safest motorcyclists are vulnerable to dangerous accidents on Florida’s busy roadways. Motorcycle accidents happen, and they’re often deadly. If a negligent driver has left you injured in a motorcycle accident, you need experienced legal counsel. When you take to the open road on two wheels, there’s no protective barrier between you and the blunt force of an accident, and motorists have a way of not seeing bikers. If you’ve been injured, your rights and your rightful compensation are paramount. While money can never restore you to your pre-accident self, just compensation can provide you with the tools you need to better follow the path toward physical and emotional recovery.
The dedicated motorcycle accident attorneys at Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, Florida, have the experience, commitment, and tenacity to aggressively fight for the compensation to which you’re entitled. We’re here to help, so please contact or call us at 727-451-6900 for a free consultation today.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765