The State of Florida is number one in the United States for fatal motorcycle accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that about 467 fatal motorcycle accidents happen each year in Florida.
That number makes Florida the leading state in the country for fatal motorcycle crashes. Florida even outranks large states like California and Texas. Victims in a motorcycle accident will want to work with a Tampa motorcycle accident lawyer to build a claim for compensation.
Florida Motorcycle Accident Statistics
There are 14 accidents for every 100,000 registered passenger vehicles, according to the Insurance Information Institute. By comparison, there are 59 accidents for every 100,000 registered motorcycles. Because motorcycles have a relatively high injury rate, it’s essential to understand the common types of Florida motorcycle accidents.
Common Types of Florida Motorcycle Accidents
Here are seven of the most common types of Florida motorcycle accidents:
1. Left-Turning Cars
Cars that turn left in front of a motorcycle are a primary cause of motorcycle accidents. A vehicle may cut off a motorcyclist and try to turn without the right of way. The driver may not take the time to look for motorcycles before initiating a turn, or they may simply fail to obey traffic lights and right of way laws. When a car turns left in front of a motorcyclist, it can cause catastrophic injuries. A sudden or unexpected left turn is a leading cause of motorcycle accidents in Florida.
2. Switching Lanes
When a vehicle switches lanes on the road, the driver is supposed to make sure that the lane is clear. Unfortunately, motorcyclists are often the victims of drivers who don’t look before they change lanes. Although a motorcycle is smaller than a passenger vehicle, all motorcyclists on the road have the full protection of Florida law. If a motorcyclist gets hit while a driver is switching lanes, the motorcyclist may receive financial compensation under Florida’s personal injury accident laws.
3. Running a Red Light
When a motorcyclist or a car driver runs a red light, an accident can be the result. Too many drivers try to continue through a red light or hit the gas when the light turns yellow. Running a red light is an example of negligence because it poses an unreasonable risk of danger to others. The crash may occur at a high speed, and the motorcyclist may be thrown from the vehicle. The party who is responsible for running a red light may owe injured victims fair compensation for their injuries and other losses.
4. Head-On Collisions
Many motorcycle accidents are head-on collisions with other vehicles. When a head-on collision occurs, the motorcyclist can be thrown from the vehicle. They may hit a tree, the hard pavement, or the other vehicle. A head-on motorcycle accident can cause devastating injuries for the victim. It may occur because of driver inattention, reckless driving, or debris on the road.
5. Lane Splitting and Weaving Through Traffic
A motorcycle rider in Florida has the right to full use of a lane. Lane splitting can cause motorcycle accidents because of the proximity of other vehicles, including other motorcycles. Florida law does not allow motorcyclists to weave between lanes of stopped traffic. Instead, Florida motorcyclists must obey all traffic laws.
When traffic is stop-and-go, drivers are not expecting a motorcycle to overtake them suddenly. When an accident occurs because a motorcyclist is weaving through stopped or slower traffic, it’s the motorcyclist whose actions may be negligent under Florida law. The best practice is for each motorcyclist to use their own lane and follow the rules of the road at all times.
Whether the speeding driver is the driver of the passenger vehicle or the motorcycle, speeding can be a cause of motorcycle accidents. Speeding not only makes an accident more likely to occur, but it makes an accident more serious than it would be at lower speeds. Speeding can make it harder to control the motorcycle and harder to corner. All drivers on the road should obey speed limits and drive carefully at all times.
7. Drunk Driving, Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
Drunk driving is a problem for motorcyclists, just like it’s a problem for all drivers in Florida. In fact, NHTSA reports that one-third of all motorcycle accident fatalities in Florida involve a driver who is over the legal limit for alcohol.
Florida drunk driving laws apply to motorcyclists. If you’re convicted of drunk driving, you may receive criminal penalties and fines. You may also have to pay restitution to anyone injured because of your drunk driving. If you’re convicted of drunk driving in Florida, the state may suspend your driver’s license. The suspension applies to your motorcycle license and your license to drive a passenger vehicle.
In addition to criminal penalties, a drunk driver may face a civil personal injury case. Drunk driving is negligent behavior. Whether the drunk driver is the motorcyclist or the driver of a passenger vehicle who hits a motorcyclist, any driver may be liable for any personal injuries that result from the accident.
Florida Motorcycle Accident Compensation
If you’re hurt in a motorcycle accident in Florida, you may deserve financial compensation. In nearly all accident cases, the crash occurs because one or both drivers make driving errors. When drivers don’t use the care and caution that a reasonable driver would use on the road, they are liable for the injuries and property damages that result. Your attorney for Florida motorcycle accidents can help you determine whether you qualify and how to bring your claim for compensation.
Contact Our Florida Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Our team of Tampa motorcycle accident lawyers can help you bring a claim for compensation after a motorcycle accident. We can help you investigate the cause of the crash and what violations of law made the accident happen. We help every client pursue their claim until they have the justice that they deserve.
If you’re hurt in a Florida motorcycle accident, you have rights. You may deserve financial compensation, but you must take action and file a claim. Our team can represent you. Contact the Florida motorcycle accident lawyers at Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys today. Your call is free, and there is no fee unless you win your case.