In recent years, more people have begun to see motorcycles as an economical mode of transportation and have taken to the roads on two wheels. Unfortunately, bikes are more prone to crashes than cars, and legal cases involving motorcycle accidents can be complex. If you or someone you love has been in a motorcycle accident, a Port Charlotte motorcycle accident lawyer may be able to help you seek compensation for your injuries.
According to Statista, as of 2020 there were 620,007 new motorcycles registered in Florida. A large number of these motorcycles ride on Port Charlotte roads every day. Unfortunately, accidents involving motorcycles tend to be much more severe than other types of vehicular collisions, often causing injuries or death.
Because motorcycles are small and easy to miss, it is essential that drivers be cognizant of them on the road to prevent accidents. This article will explore the reasons why motorcycle accidents happen and how everyone can do their part in keeping our roads safe.
Inattentive driving is a leading cause of motorcycle accidents. Be mindful of motorcycles on the road and take measures to avoid being in their blind spots.
There is a prevailing stereotype that bike riders are always reckless and do not adhere to traffic laws. Drivers need to abandon any preconceived notions and generate empathy for motorcycle riders in order to share the road safely. The bottom line is motorcyclists must follow the same rules of the road as cars and trucks.
The following are essential things you should know as a driver to ensure the safety of motorcyclists:
Due to Their Small Size, Motorcycles Can Be Easily Hidden
Motorcycles are easy to miss because they’re small. They can fall into a driver’s blind spot, or be hidden in the rearview or side mirrors. And since they’re so much smaller than cars, they can easily be blocked by objects on and around the road. So drivers need to watch out for motorcycles when changing lanes or turning at intersections.
Turn Signals on Motorcycles Are Usually Not Self-Canceling
It can be common for bikers, especially beginners, to forget to turn off their signals after making a turn or lane change. This can be confusing for drivers, so it’s important to watch for a few seconds before passing them to make sure they’re done changing lanes.
Motorcycles May Look Farther Away Than They are
Because motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles, they may seem to be farther away than they actually are. As a consequence, it is tough to tell how fast motorcycles are going. Therefore, when you turn at an intersection or drive into a driveway, play it safe and assume motorcycles are closer than they appear.
Motorcyclists Do Not Always Turn on the Brake Lights
Slowing down is often executed differently by motorcycles than automobiles. Automobiles will always utilize the brakes or brake lights; in contrast, motorcycle riders may slow down by simply shifting gears or rolling off the throttle–without any visual indication. As a driver, it’s important to remember this so you are not caught off guard when encountering a slowing motorcycle on the road.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than half of all fatal motorcycle accidents involve another vehicle. In 2020, 5,579 motorcyclists sadly suffered fatal injuries in crashes.
Motorcyclists are some of the most vulnerable road users, and drivers need to be extra vigilant to avoid collisions. If you’re involved in a motorcycle accident, a Port Charlotte motorcycle accident lawyer can help you seek compensation from the at-fault party.
What Are the Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
The Insurance Information Institute discovered that 83,000 people on motorcycles were injured in 2020. They are also 29 times more likely to suffer fatal injuries than car passengers.
The following are some common causes of motorcycle accidents involving vehicles:
When a driver opens the door of their parked vehicle into the path of an oncoming motorcycle, it often results in an accident.
Unsafe Lane Changes
Due to their small size, motorcycles can be hidden in a driver’s blind spot, leading to potential collision when changing lanes.
Motorcycle accidents caused by speeding are not uncommon. When a driver or motorcyclist speeds, it becomes harder to react quickly and avoid crashing. Furthermore, the faster someone is going, the more severe the crash will be if they do get into an accident.
When a driver drives between two lanes of traffic, this is called lane splitting and it is illegal in Florida.
Sudden stops by drivers are the leading cause of rear-end accidents for motorcyclists, which can often result in injury or death.
Drivers making a right-of-way error or misjudging the distance of an oncoming motorcycle is often the cause for severe accidents, sometimes even resulting in death.
Injuries Caused by Motorcycle Accidents
Because motorcyclists are often exposed while riding, they frequently suffer from severe or fatal injuries. Additionally, drivers and passengers can also be harmed in motorcycle accidents.
The following are common injuries people incur from motorcycle collisions:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Damaged joints from hard impacts
- Spinal cord injuries
- Skin injuries
Useful Tips for Sharing the Road With Motorcycles
The following are helpful tips drivers can follow to ensure safety while driving on the road with motorcycles.
Check Your Blindspots Before Turning or Changing Lanes
As previously stated, motorcycles are more compact than other cars on the road. For that reason, they’re frequently in the driver’s blind spot. As a result, it’s important to always look in mirrors and check blind spots before changing lanes or making a turn.
Do Not Try to Share Lanes With a Motorcycle
In Florida, motorcyclists have the right of way–just as drivers do. However, lane splitting is a leading cause of motorcycle accidents. So if you must, give the motorcyclist the right of way; this will help avoid sideswipe collisions and running motorcycles off roads.
Use Caution When Driving Past a Motorcycle
The wind caused by passing cars can easily make a motorcyclist lose control, especially if there are multiple lanes on the highway.
Avoid Being Too Close to a Motorcycle
By keeping a large enough gap between your car and the motorcycle in front of you, you give the rider time and space to react to road conditions safely. If you don’t follow at a safe distance, you increase the chances of causing an accident.
Were You Involved in a Motorcycle Accident? Our Port Charlotte Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Can Help.
Our team of Port Charlotte personal injury lawyers can use their expertise to make the best of the situation and assist you with the legal process. Call us at (941) 979-9010 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation.