After several years of declining numbers, the death toll among Florida motorcycle riders went up 30 percent in 2015.
Moreover, although they account for only 3 percent of the traffic, motorcycle riders make up 20 percent of roadway fatalities in Florida. Victims who survive face an average of $84,000 in medical expenses. Miami-Dade County had the most motorcycle rider fatalities, followed by Hillsborough, Broward, Palm Beach, and Pinellas Counties.
The American Automobile Association said that speed, distraction, and impairment were the top causes of motorcycle wrecks.
Motorcycle Crash Causes
The volume of these injuries is higher in Florida largely because the weather is reasonably warm most of the year, so riders are on the roads almost every day. Speed, distraction, and impairment are among the leading causes of motor vehicle crashes overall, and each one is normally a breach of the duty of reasonable care.
Visibility is also a serious problem with regard to motorcycle riders. One study estimated that about a third of motorcycle-vehicle crashes are visibility related, because the tortfeasor (negligent driver) turned directly into the motorcycle’s path, often as the tortfeasor was making a left turn against traffic.
To raise their visibility, many riders wear reflective clothing or modify their mufflers to make more noise. However, there is very little evidence that these tricks are effective.
Motorcycle Crash Injuries
Riders and their passengers are thirty times more likely to die in car crashes than occupants inside four-wheel vehicles. That’s largely because vehicle occupants are inside cars and trucks that are much more crash-resistant now than they were even a few years ago, but motorcycle riders are totally exposed to danger. As a result, riders and passengers often suffer serious or even fatal injuries in these cases, including:
- Neck and Spine Injuries: Both the jarring impact of the collision and the blunt force trauma of striking the pavement are more than enough to cause paralysis and other permanent injury.
- Brain Injury: Helmets may protect riders from trauma wounds, but they offer no protection against motion wounds. Think about what happens if you shake an egg and the yoke repeatedly hits the inside of the shell.
- Blood Loss: Between the external and internal trauma injuries, most motorcycle crash victims lose significant amounts of blood, especially if they are more than a minute or two away from an emergency responder.
Not wearing a helmet may be considered contributory negligence in Florida.
Because they are automatically considered serious injuries under the no-fault law, motorcycle crash victims are always entitled to compensation for their medical bills and other tangible losses, in addition to emotional distress and other intangible losses.
Contact Experienced Attorneys
Motorcycle riders risk serious injury every time they go out on the road. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Brandon, contact Reed & Reed.
From our office in Brandon, Reed & Reed helps clients in Tampa, New Tampa, Plant City, East Hillsborough County and throughout the state of Florida.