Motorcycles are extremely popular in Miami and throughout Florida. With the gorgeous sunshine, ocean breeze, fresh air and beautiful skies, driving a motorcycle is a fun, exciting and exhilarating experience. Most motorcyclists are safe drivers, are aware of the rules of the road, respect other vehicles and drive defensively. However, even under the best of circumstances there are a large number of motorcycle injuries and fatalities every year.
Motorcycle Fatality, Injury and Alcohol-Related Statistics
The most current US statistics, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in their 2015 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview, include the following:
- 4,976 – motorcycle fatalities, 2015 (highest number since 2012)
- 4,594 – motorcycle fatalities, 2014
- 88,000 – motorcycle injuries, 2015
- 92,000 - motorcycle injuries, 2014
- 1,365 – alcohol involved motorcycle crashes, 2015
- 1,370 – alcohol involved motorcycle crashes, 2014
Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes
There are many different causes of motorcycle crashes. Of course, a motorcycle weighs far less than a car. A motorcycle may weigh approximately 200 – 900 lbs. or more, whereas a car may weigh about 1500 – 4000 lbs. Trucks, buses and other large vehicles may weigh up to 80,000 lbs. The obvious conclusion is that when a motorcycle strikes or is struck by a car or truck, the motorcycle is far more likely to be damaged than the car. Unfortunately, so is the motorcyclist, who is completely exposed and unprotected. Contrary to common belief, helmets do not necessarily help in many accidents, simply because the impact is often too severe. Some of the common causes of motorcycle crashes include:
- Vehicle in front makes a left turn, cutting off the motorcycle and causing an accident
- Car driver error – many accidents are caused by inattentive drivers, texting while driving, cell phone distraction, etc
- Car drivers do not see motorcycles in rear view mirrors
- Hazardous road conditions, including wet, slippery, gravelly road, potholes, debris on road
- Alcohol-related causes – by other drivers or by the motorcyclist
- Drug-related causes – by other drivers or by the motorcyclist
- Speeding, not adhering to rules of the road, sudden acceleration, swerving, illegal passing. These commonly are caused by automobile drivers and also by motorcyclists.
- Entering corners much too fast and losing control of motorcycle
- Struck from behind – motorcyclist is rear-ended by non-attentive automobile or truck driver
- Lane splitting – motorcyclist drives between two lanes of cars and is struck from the side
- Many other causes exist
Common Injuries Resulting from Motorcycle Accidents
Because the motorcyclist is completely exposed, an accident of any kind is likely to result in extreme injuries or death. Common injuries include: neck injuries, back and spinal injuries, paralysis, traumatic head injuries, fractures of extremities, amputation injuries, facial injuries, internal organ damage, skin tearing and burning, wrist, elbow, ankle and foot injuries and more.
In less severe accidents, recovery may take anywhere from days to a month or more. More severe accidents may take anywhere from a month to a year or more. The most severe injuries result in permanent disability and often require years of rehabilitation and full time, round-the-clock care.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident that was caused in part or whole by another driver’s negligence, or by defective roads, or by other intervening causes such as defective equipment, you may pursue compensation for past and future medical expenses, past and future lost income, pain and suffering, property damage and more. Families of deceased accident victims may pursue compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit.
You can reach Miami Personal Injury Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email J.P. directly at [email protected].
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2015 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812318