Motorcycle Accidents in Florida: An Overview
It seems that everyday in Florida we read about the horrific accidents involving motorcyclists. Reports stream from internet news sites that show how dangerous riding a motorcycle can be in the Sunshine state. For example, just this month it was reported that:
A man was killed in Daytona Beach after motorcycle accident;
A talented school quarterback died after being in an accident while riding a motorcycle;
A man from Cocoa Beach was killed on I-95 following a motorcyle accident.
These tragic stories are just a small representation of what happens everyday on Florida roads, highways, and freeways to motorcycle riders.
It is in this environment that cyclists must learn to live and interact. There are many ways to prevent these types of accidents, but even the most careful rider will find him or herself at the mercy of a careless driver on the road. What can be done? What are the laws involved?
Common Causes and Results of Motorcycle Accidents
There are many causes of motorcycle accidents in the state of Florida, but there are some that are more common than others. If motorcyclists can educate themselves on these dangers, they may be able to avoid getting in accident in the first place. Some of the more common causes of motorcycle accidents are:
Vehicles turn in front of the motorcycle rider without noticing that the motorcyclist is there;
A motorcyclist takes a corner too fast and turns over the bike;
A vehicle changes lanes into a rider not knowing the bike is there;
Speeding by either a cyclist or a vehicle driver.
These are just some of the common causes of motorcycle accidents, and as you can see, a motorcycle rider is often times at the mercy of other drivers on the road.
One of the major problems with motorcycle accidents are the fact that the biker is not protected like other drivers on the road. Car drivers have the benefit of seatbelts, airbags, and metal frames to keep them safe. Motorcyclists, on the other hand, may have a helmet and leather clothing, but that can be insufficient when it comes to getting into an accident after going 50 mph or when running into a sport utility vehicle.
Florida Laws on Motorcycle Accidents
What are motorcyclists to do? They are not likely going to give up their bikes. The freedom and joy that comes from riding is only known to those who take it up. Cyclists should be aware that there are laws in Florida that are meant to protect them. Florida Statutes 316.211 lays out the minimum safety requirements for motorcyclists, and in addition to those laws, there are other laws meant to protect motorcycle riders.
Under Florida’s civil laws, every driver and rider on the road has a duty to conduct him or herself reasonably. That means that drivers have a duty to obey traffic laws, signals, and take a common sense approach to driving. If a driver fails to act that way and causes harm to a motorcyclist, then he or she will be held liable for the damages. That includes hospital bills, pain and suffering, and other types of damages that a person’s negligence causes.
At The Pittman Firm we take on accident and injury cases, including those involving motorcycle accidents. If you have been injured in an accident while riding your motorcycle, contact us. We look forward to reviewing your case and providing you with your legal options.
See related blog posts: The Impact of Universal Helmet Laws; Florida Motorcycle Laws and Statistics: An Overview.