Many Floridians love riding a motorcycle on a warm sunny day. However, the presence of many motorcyclists on the highways and two-lane roads of Florida produces a high number of crashes causing serious injuries and deaths.
In Florida, 491 people died in motorcycle accidents in 2012, more than any other state.
Motorcycle fatalities accounted for one out of every five traffic deaths in Florida in 2012. Many motorcycle riders are very safety conscious, but still suffer serious or fatal injuries in crashes caused by other motorists. Often other drivers simply fail to see a motorcyclist.
Even when motorcyclists wear helmets and protective clothing, they can be badly hurt. Motorcycle crashes are violent, and motorcyclists typically absorb the brunt of the injuries, even in accidents caused by other vehicles.
Motorcyclists are more than 30 times more likely than people in cars to die in a traffic accident and more than five times more likely to be injured, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
A few weeks ago, a Cartersville, Georgia, man riding a motorcycle on the Florida Turnpike died when another motorist failed to see the motorcyclist brake for traffic and struck the motorcycle from behind. The impact of the read-end collision threw the 64-year-old Harley rider off the motorcycle, and the biker was then hit by another driver.
Ejection from a motorcycle is a common way for riders to suffer serious or fatal injuries such as head injuries, traumatic brain injuries and internal injuries.
While overall traffic deaths have been declining, deaths in motorcycle accidents in Florida and across the nation have been increasing. Motorcycle deaths in Florida have increased for the last three years, with 2012 marking the highest number of deaths in five years, according to recent data from the NHTSA. Motorcycle fatalities increased 5.8 percent from 2011 to 2012 in Florida after a 17 percent surge from 2010 to 2011.
By age, about 31 percent of the bikers who died in crashes in Florida in 2012 were 20 to 29 years old. Another third of the riders killed were ages 50 or older, reflecting the popularity of motorcycle riding among aging baby boomers.
In addition to those killed, thousands of riders suffer serious injuries in motorcycle accidents each year. Motorcyclists who are injured through the fault of other drivers have legal rights to seek compensation to help cover medical bills and other expenses. An experienced personal injury attorney can review the details of your motorcycle accident and advise you on your legal rights.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash, or know someone who was injured, we would be happy to speak with you to discuss your claim. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can help you maximize your recovery, as well as deal with issues that may arise with your medical treatment and repair of your motorcycle.
Steven Meyer is a board certified civil trial lawyer. He specializes in handling civil trial matters. Only board certified lawyers are permitted to call themselves "experts" in this field.