Monday, April 20, 2015

Florida Motorcycle Deaths and Injuries on the Rise

In the decade ending in 2013 motorcycle accidents resulting in injury increased dramatically by 50% according to a data obtained by the University of South Florida, Center for Center for Urban Transportation Research. The same source shows that deaths from crashes involving motorcycles increased by an alarming 90% over that same period. The repeal of the mandatory helmet laws may be held in part responsible for the increase in injuries and death but there are many other contributing factors.

  • Driver inattention - Inattentive operating of a motor vehicle has been responsible for an increase in motorcycle accidents involving another vehicle or vehicles. Increased use of hand held devices, along with other distracting practices, while driving, creates a greater hazard for motorcycles than other vehicles because of their low visibility and the vulnerability of the rider.
  • Poor road conditions – The degradation of road surfaces that are neglected creating loose pavement, gravel, stones potholes along with improperly marked road construction, or other known road hazards, all contribute to Florida motorcycle accidents.
  • Increased riding hours – Motorcycles that were once used for weekend recreational driving are being used more frequently due to high gas prices. More riding hours means more bikes on the road during times of increased traffic volume.
  • An increase in motorcycle popularity – Motorcycle sales have increased steadily over the years leading to more motorcycles on the road. Many of these are driven by inexperienced drivers. In Florida there are over 500 thousand registered motorcycles, placing the state 4th in the nation.

While statistics show that wearing a Department of Transportation approved helmet does reduce the incidence of fatality and traumatic brain injury, many bike riders will argue that helmets increase the chances of an injury. With all the distracted drivers they encounter on the road, it is necessary for bikers increase their diligence. Some studies have shown, and many riders will agree, that helmets reduce hearing and limit peripheral vision. This reduction in rider awareness leads to a greater chance of an accident. One fact that can’t be disputed is that anyone involved in a motorcycle accident has a much greater chance of being killed or injured than any other driver on the road. The injuries that are common include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries – While a helmet will offer protection against blunt force trauma to the head, brain injuries are still possible. The brain can be severely injured from shaking or rotating within the skull. Rotational injuries can cause diffuse axonal injury, an injury that is spread out in the brain. This is the most common cause of death to motorcycle riders.
  • Bone fractures – Compound fractures to bones are common in motorcycle crashes. They can be so severe that muscle is torn and the bones protrude through the skin. These injuries often require surgery followed by months and even years of rehabilitation.  They may also cause permanent disfigurement.
  • Spinal cord injuries – Spinal cord injuries may lead to partial or complete paralysis completely robbing a person from leading a normal independent life.
  • Abrasions, contusions and lacerations – These types of injuries are almost always present as the result of a motorcycle crash.
  • Neck and back injuries – These injuries vary in severity and may lead to a lifetime of restricted movement and pain.

Motorcycles have the same rights to the road as any other drivers. A road surface that is poorly maintained may not affect a four wheeled vehicle but can be a pending disaster for a motorcycle rider. Other drivers are required to check for motorcycles as well as cars when changing lanes or proceeding thought intersections. A distracted driver is as much responsible for striking a motorcycle as any other vehicle.

If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, it is important to seek medical attention immediately regardless of how you may feel at the time. It is equally important that you contact a law firm that has experienced Florida motorcycle accident attorneys to defend your rights. Do not expect insurance companies to provide the compensation for your pain and suffering to which are entitled. They will try to make you feel responsible for not seeing the person that hit you or for not noticing that rut left in the road by the construction company. You need a law firm like Dolman Law on your side.

The Florida motorcycle accident attorneys at Dolman Law have extensive experience in reaching large settlements for victims of motorcycle accidents. If you, or someone you know, have suffered injuries on a motorcycle due to the negligence of others, call Dolman Law today. You could be entitled to a substantial cash award.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756

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