As the calendar moves toward fall, the number of motorcycle crashes begins to decline in many parts of the country. It is simply too cold to ride.
But in Florida, the year-round warm temperatures also mean year-round motorcycle crashes. Although they are much less common than vehicle-on-vehicle collisions, vehicle-on-motorcycle collisions often cause catastrophic injuries. Other than perhaps a thin crash helmet, victims have no protection in these incidents.
The statistics support this analysis. The fatality rate in motorcycle-on-vehicle collisions is about thirty times higher than it is in vehicle-on-vehicle wrecks.
Left Turns are Dangerous
In about a third of the motorcycle crashes in Florida, the tortfeasor (negligent driver) turns left against traffic and crosses directly into the path of an oncoming motorcycle. Generally, the riders have absolutely no chance to avoid these collisions. Typically, the tortfeasor suddenly accelerates to take advantage of a brief gap between cars.
That speed does not just increase the risk of a wreck. It also multiplies the force in a collision. So, a property damage-only knockdown crash might become a serious injury collision.
Riders Can Improve their Visibility
Left-turns are especially hazardous because so many people drive large vehicles, like pickup trucks and SUVs. Motorists have a hard time seeing around these vehicles, especially if they are not keeping a very sharp eye out in the first place.
To improve their visibility, many Florida motorcycle riders employ one of the following techniques:
- Weave: In Florida, it is not illegal to weave in traffic as long as the vehicle does not cross the dividing line. That added motion sometimes attracts the attention of inattentive drivers.
- Clothing: Brightly-colored clothing or helmets may have roughly the same effect.
- Noise: Some riders honk their horns every few blocks to attract attention. Other riders modify their mufflers to make them a little louder.
These tips may well be effective, but there is no scientific evidence that supports that conclusion. Moreover, some of these things might simply antagonize drivers who do not particularly like motorcycle riders in the first place.
Helmetless Riders Can Still File Damage Claims
In Florida, persons over 21 can ride without helmets if they have sufficient insurance coverage. If these people are injured or killed in collisions, they may still be entitled to compensation.
If the victim was not wearing a helmet, the insurance company can claim that the victim’s injuries were unnecessarily severe. But to make this showing in court, the insurance company must do more than cite safety statistics. Instead, their lawyers must produce medical evidence that the victim suffered head trauma and evidence that a helmet would have prevented or reduced such injuries.
Victims Can Get Their Medical Bills Paid
In Florida motorcycle crash cases, attorneys usually send letters of protection to medical providers. These letters guarantee payment once the case is resolved. So, victims need not pay anything upfront. As a bonus, attorneys can usually send victims to car crash specialists. So, clients get the medical care they need as opposed to the care which is available and affordable.
Connect with Assertive Attorneys
Motorcycle crashes usually involve complex legal issues. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Brandon, contact Reed & Reed. We have four area offices (St. Petersburg, Lakeland, Tampa, and Clearwater).