Imagine yourself riding down the road on a Harley Davidson. You feel like your flying down the highway as the cool wind blows in your hair. Now imagine that a car crashes into you at 70 miles an hour. In spite of the fact that motorcycles are notoriously dangerous forms of transportation, people continue to ride them. The freedom and thrills that they offer are hard to resist. If you are going to ride a motorcycle, it is helpful to be aware of the dangers and the most common types of accidents.
Head-on Collisions and Turning Cars
Head-on collisions are the most common cause of motorcycle deaths and they are likely to result in fatality. Cars making left-hand turns cause a great number of motorcycle involved accidents. 36% of motorcycle accidents involve cars making left-hand turns. Many of these collisions happen when a car is trying to overtake a motorcycle or when a motorcycle is passing a car. However, it also happens when bikers are simply driving through an intersection. It is advisable to never pass a car or be too aggressive when you are on a motorcycle. Better to acquiesce to a slow-moving sedan than to risk life and limb.
Never “Split lanes” in Traffic
The term “splitting” refers to the dangerous practice of driving a motorcycle in between lanes when traffic is slow or backed up. The accidents happen because cars in slow traffic are at a very close proximity to one another and that the drivers of those cars have no idea that the motorcycles are moving. Lane splitting is illegal in the state of Florida, and if you do it and a car hits you, you may well be found liable for the accident.
Alcohol and Motorcycle Accidents
About half of the bike accidents in the United States involve alcohol. Although it is always dangerous to drink and drive, Bikers are more susceptible to injury and the risk of death is much greater.
If you want to drive a motorcycle in the state of Florida, you must have a motorcycle endorsement on a regular driver’s license or get a motorcycle-only license. The state requires you to take a basic rider’s course as well. Remember to wear a helmet and protective clothing at all times. Make sure your tires have enough air and that you have enough gas. Make sure that your passenger is properly dressed as well.
What to Do if You are Injured
If you are injured in an accident, call the police and wait for them to arrive at the scene. Get the names of witnesses if you are able to and request a copy of the accident report. Florida is a no-fault state for auto insurance and that means that your own insurance company must pay your bills no matter who is at fault. However, no-fault law does not apply to motorcycles. You must either carry liability insurance or get a Self-Insurance Certificate from the Bureau of Financial Responsibility.
Before you accept a settlement offer from an insurance company, you should contact The Law Offices of Jugo and Murphy. Insurance companies want to keep their money in house. An experienced personal injury attorney can advocate on your behalf to get you the money you deserve.