We covered the first 5 of 10 common causes of motorcycle accidents, and we’ll continue in this post. One thing we have learned is that each motorcyclist has their own style of riding, as well as their own philosophy on how to avoid accidents. We encourage every rider to take regular safety classes to stay fresh on different techniques, rules, regulations, and safety equipment.
6 – Your Riding Partner Does Something Stupid
How to Avoid: Riding alone is fun, but riding in groups is more fun for a lot of motorcyclists. Riding is groups can be very dangerous however if everyone isn’t on the same page. Before you go out on a ride discuss group riding etiquette and ride in a staggered formation. It’s best to ride only with experienced riders when you’re traveling in a group. Inexperienced riders should probably stay in the rear while they watch and learn.
The comedian Norm MacDonald does a routine about people worrying about death. A lot of people get on an airplane and immediately start to worry the plane will crash. Ridiculous, says Norm, and he’s right. Airplanes are extremely safe. He explains that some people obsess that they will be attacked and killed by terrorists! Also, highly unlikely. But, he asks, “what are the chances you will be attacked and killed by your own heart? About 100%.” The point is, if you take time to take care of your heart and your body you’ll surely live longer.
Motorcycles are obviously a lot of fun to ride for many people. I know many motorcycle enthusiasts who would never give up the experience no matter how dangerous it may or may not be. Being aware of the most common causes for motorcycle accidents and ways to avoid them is the key to enjoying motorcycles for many safe years. So what are the 10 most common causes for accidents? We’re going to cover 5 in this article, and 5 more later.
How to avoid: You must see it coming and anticipate it. If there is a gap in traffic coming the other direction, watch carefully for someone who might try to turn left. Don’t count on a turn signal since most people just don’t use them. See if the person seems to have locked on to you with their eyes. Are they focusing on you or on the direction they want to go? Usually it’s the latter. Are their wheels turned left already? Is there someone behind you? What is the road surface? All this data streams into your brain as you have less than a millisecond to make a decision. It’s just a good idea to reduce speed and stay focused. Also, is your headlight on?
A tragic accident near Tampa on Saturday night killed two people from Ohio. Apparently the man and woman were riding a motorcycle on I-75 when they were hit from behind by a car. Early investigation information suggests that the rear tail light on the motorcycle was not operating and the two deceased persons were not wearing helmets.
Florida Ranks High for Motorcycle Fatalities
We stress so many safety-related guidelines for Florida drivers of cars, trucks, and motorcycles but we have not recently covered inspecting vehicles for working lights and other equipment. There was a time in Florida when safety inspections were mandatory prior to registering a vehicle but they were eliminated in 1981.
When you think of the brake and tail lights on the rear of a car, there are two built in to each rear light assembly and another higher up inside the rear window. Motorcycles have a much smaller warning for other drivers when they apply their brakes and if they are not functioning, the motorcycle may be practically invisible.
If the state is not inspecting your car, then it is up to you!
Have Your Vehicle Inspected
Each time you have your oil changed, make a point to ask the technician to check your all your lights. Brake lights, headlights, all of them. As you can see from the terrible incident above, it may save your life.
The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus works with people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents. We are committed to making sure that our clients receive compensation under the law for their injuries and all other damages incurred. Please call us at 954-356-0006 for a confidential consultation.
Working Together Towards a Solution Will Save Lives
We have posted a lot of data on motorcycle accidents, injuries, and fatalities. The news is never good and it’s getting worse because accidents are becoming more frequent.
We are asking automobile drivers and motorcyclists to take a few moments today and learn 3 things they can be done to make the roads safer for everyone.
Never, ever, text and drive. Distracted driving in one form or another is likely the primary cause for drivers not seeing motorcycles. Turn your phone off when you drive and take care of messages when you arrive at your destination. Nothing is more important than focusing on the road and your surroundings.
Look twice. When you go to pull out onto a high-traffic road, check for oncoming traffic. Then look again. In the instant you begin pulling out, a motorcyclist may have moved into the lane you are intending to occupy. Check twice, save a life.
Use your mirrors. Both side-view and your rear-view mirrors are there for a reason. Adjust them before you start driving and make sure they are properly lined up. Look carefully for motorcycles before you change lanes. Lane changes by cars into the pathway of motorcycles is a common catalyst for serious crashes.
Don’t buy more bike than you can handle. There are no clear statistics for this, but many accident investigators believe that some people ride motorcycles that are simply too large and too powerful, and they crash. If you are 5’7” and weigh 160 pounds, you probably should not consider buying a 197 horsepower Yamaha V-Max. It’s not an issue of how tough you are, it’s buying the right bike to maximize performance and safety.
Invest in Anti-Lock Brakes. This is a proven life-saving advancement and it’s worth the cost. The reason is simple: Locking up the brakes in a panic stop robs the rider of any steering control. That can easily lead to a skid and crash, which can result in serious injury. ABS helps you retain steering control during an emergency stop, and it can be especially valuable in slippery conditions.
Wear the right gear. Jeans, a T-shirt, and sandals are recipes for a painful disaster on a bike. Specially designed jackets with rugged padding and breathable mesh material provide protection as well as ventilation for riding in warm weather. You’ll also want effective eye protection; don’t rely on eyeglasses or a bike’s windscreen. Use a helmet visor or goggles. And keep in mind that car drivers who have hit a motorcycle rider often say they just didn’t see them, so choose gear in bright colors.
Working together, we can save lives.
The Law Office of Lazarus and Lazarus has been helping the victims of motorcycle accidents for over 20 years and we understand the special circumstances that go along with these serious incidents. If you or someone you know has been involved in a motorcycle crash, please reach out to Gary or Arleen Lazarus by calling 954-356-0606 and we will be happy to meet with you promptly and confidentially.
Most people have strong feelings about motorcycles and many rank riding one with skydiving, “There is no way I would ever do that. It’s too dangerous.”
But ask a motorcycle enthusiast, and they wouldn’t even think of traveling by any other means.
Everyone has opinions, but let’s look at the facts and the statistics.
The top two causes for motorcycle crashes are speeding and driver inattention. But in both cases it’s more often the other driver, not the motorcyclist.
Speeding is one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents, because speeding drivers do not have time to slow down or react to vehicles around them, including motorcycles that may be difficult to see because of their size. Many motorcycle accidents involving speeding drivers result in serious or even fatal injuries, since motorcycles offer little or no protection to riders in the event of a crash.
In several studies motorcyclists have been rated as the most careful and courteous drivers on the road. Most people riding motorcycles exercise exceptional caution and are more alert than automobile drivers due to the basic instinct of self-preservation.
Driver inattention includes drivers who are preoccupied on their cell phones and therefore put motorcyclists in jeopardy, sometimes causing deadly accidents. A survey commissioned by AT&T found that seven in 10 people engage in smartphone activities while driving, mostly texting and emailing, although surfing the web, tweeting, video chatting, and posting to social media are also prevalent. About one in seven drivers admitted to being on Twitter while behind the wheel.
Driver inattention also includes lane changes, which are a top cause of motorcycle crashes. Automobile drivers simply do not take the time to check both rear-view mirrors before they move into another lane.
In 2013 motorcyclists were about 26 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled and five times more likely to be injured, according to NHTSA.
Of the 4,668 motorcyclists killed in traffic crashes in 2012, 94 percent (4,399) were riders and 6 percent (269) were passengers.
The bottom line is that the best way to save lives is to slow down, pay attention, and never text and drive at the same time. Look twice, save a life.
Lazarus and Lazarus has devoted a substantial portion of our legal practice to help the victims of motorcycle crashes. We understand the special circumstances involved and our knowledge of the law and motorcycle insurance issues is extensive. We are here to help victims get through any injury-related problems and we always do our best to see that every client receives the maximum compensation available and appropriate for their injuries, losses, and pain. Please call us if we can help – 954-356-0006 and ask for Gary or Arleen Lazarus.
The man was turning when he lost control and hit a wall. He is currently in critical condition. The track was hosting a raceway on Sunday called the Champion Cup Series.
Recently, the Palm Beach Raceway, over 2 miles long with 11 turns, was the site of another serious accident. In May, a 9-yearl-old boy was racing a go-kart when he was critically injured, suffering burns to his torso and arms. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is currently investigating that incident.
Palm Beach County had 34 motorcycle fatalities last year, according to 2008 Florida Crash Statistics. Broward County had 37 fatalities, while Miami-Dade had 44, with a total of 9,618 motorcycle crashes in Florida. It has been our firm’s experience that some of the most serious injuries sustained by victims of accidents are resulting from either the drivers or passengers of motorcylcles. Therefore, whether in competition or just leisurely riding the streets of South Florida, motorcyclists should always take appropriate safety measures to minimize the risk of serious injury..
You are driving down the road in Broward County, wearing your seatbelt and obeying all traffic signals and laws. The last thing you thought would happen is a car running a red light and striking your vehicle at the intersection. You advise the Officer at the scene of your statement and the other driver is cited at fault for the accident. You are injured so you go to the ER. You are waiting to be seen and so many things are running through your mind…am I going to be OK…what about my car…how am I going to get to work…etc… These are questions our South Florida firm answers everyday when we speak with our prospective clients for the first time. In an effort to help our prospective clients we have compiled a checklist of sorts that can be used by anyone who is injured in an accident in the State of Florida.
1. Be truthful to everyone about any physical limitation you now have. In order for your doctors and attorney to help you with your case we need to know about all of your symptoms.
2. Don’t accept a check or sign a release from an insurance company for your property damage claim unless you are sure you know exactly what it covers. Sometimes insurance companies will attempt to get you to release “any and all claims” – including your personal injury claim when you are only settling your claim for property damage. Please check with your attorney if you’re not sure.
3. Do not hide past accidents or injuries from your lawyer. Insurance companies have access to accident information in a central database, so the other insurance company will more than likely find out about your prior medical history and accident.
4. We find that it is extremely helpful when clients keep a record of how they feel. A diary is an excellent way to organize this information. The diary should contain notes of their doctor and therapy appointments, medications, and inability to work and enjoy any of the activities that were enjoyed and participated in before the accident. In real life there are few “cant’s” after an accident. Most people recover the ability to perform most activities, unless they are bedridden. But generally, if they have limitations, it’s because they can’t do the activity as long, as hard, or as strongly as they used to. A diary which reflects these limitations is important to your injury case because they can really show the adjuster how you have been affected on a daily basis as a result of the accident.
5. Do not try and deal with pain. See a doctor or go to the ER immediately after your accident. Tell your doctor everything: about how the accident occurred, and advise him or her of any past accidents or medical conditions.
6. Video cameras can be hidden anywhere. You may not know you are being videotaped and it could be at anytime or in any place. We have seen this many times. You will lose all credibility if you claim you cannot perform a certain way and then are caught “on tape” doing those exact things or something similar. If you are honest and truthful about your injuries and limitations this invasion of your privacy will only bolster your case. Go on as usual if you see someone following you and let them record for all to see how your injuries have affected your ability to perform your normal everyday functions. This will be your best evidence.
These are just a few of the things we routinely go over with our clients so they can be educated on what they can do to help us to obtain the maximum recovery possible for their individual case. Insurance companies are for profit businesses and in order for us to obtain fair, speedy and just compensation to persons injured through the fault of another (the insurance company’s policyholder) we have to do everything we can do to present a case in the light most favorable to our clients and convince the Insurance Companies that our clients are entitled to be paid a fair, speedy and just settlement as a result of their insured’s negligence. If you want to read more about what not to do after you are in an accident you can read an article in our blog : “Florida Auto Accidents: The Mistakes People Make” dated June 26, 2008.
Quite often during meetings with our clients in our Fort Lauderale and Weston offices, we are frequently asked the question: What do I do when I am injured in a car accident in the State of Florida? The answer to that question in our opinion is better answered by providing our clients with a very short list of things they should never do. These are the mistakes that we are often faced with when clients first come to our office and we find that they have:
1. Failed to report the accident to the Police and to the insurance company;
2. Failed to document their Injuries to the Police, Rescue, and the insurance company;
2. Failed to take photographs of their injuries and property damage;
3. Failed to go to a doctor to document their injuries;
4. Made a signed or recorded statement to their own insurance company without first seeking legal advice; and 5. Made a signed or recorded statement to the party at fault’s insurance company without first seeking legal advice.
These may seem like fairly simple things that need to be done at the time, but at the time of an accident most people are upset, anxious and sometimes injured and as a result may not be thinking clearly. If you take our tips and follow them you will at least have ensured that the necessary information is being documented properly at the outset of your case. This documentation is essential in helping our offices to be better able to resolve your case either through settlement or litigation.
Gary T. Lazarus was born in Queens, New York, on August 26, 1965. He received his Bachelor of Science from St. John's University in 1987 and received his Juris Doctorate from Nova Law School in 1990. In 1992, Gary founded this Personal Injury Firm, dedicated to the representation of persons injured due to the negligence of another.