Motorcycles are a method of transportation that continue to play an active role in United States culture. During the warm seasons motorcyclists congregate at various events to ride together and enjoy their mutual love of driving in the open. The often compact motorcycles share the same congested roadways as trucks, cars, and SUVs leading to an increased risk of injury. Motorcycle accidents are happening more frequently as larger numbers of motorcyclists take to the road. Reporting agencies have linked the increased percentage of accidents involving motorcycles to the growing number of registered motorcycle owners in the United States.
Motorcycle Accident Causes
Studies conducted by the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that the majority of motorcycle accidents involving four-wheel vehicles are caused by the four-wheel operator. While some of these accidents are attributed to driver distraction, the studies indicated that people operating four-wheel vehicles simply do not expect to encounter motorcycles when driving. The smaller size of a motorcycle also causes four-wheel vehicle operators to misjudge distance, speed, or not notice the motorcycle at all until too late. A common motorcycle accident scenario involves a motorcycle hitting the side of a four-wheel vehicle similar to the events of a fatal November 26, 2016 auto accident in Ocala, Florida.
Those findings do not completely absolve motorcycle operators of responsibility. Approximately 34 percent of motorcycle accidents are single vehicle crashes. The chances of being involved in a one vehicle accident are significantly higher for motorcycle operators than for a four-wheel vehicle operators. These types of crashes are usually caused by excessive speeds, difficulty maneuvering the less stable vehicle on curved roadways, and obstructions or objects on the road.
Motorcycle Accident Fatalities
One of the most important differences between motorcycle accidents and accidents involving other types of vehicles is the fatality numbers. Individuals who are involved in an accident while they are driving a motorcycle had a fatality rate that was 27 times greater than the fatality rate of those who were driving a four-wheel vehicle at the time of the accident. The deaths attributed to motorcycles in 2015 represented 13 percent of all motor vehicle related deaths for that year. Of these reported fatalities approximately 16 percent occurred in single vehicle accidents.
Groups that promote motorcycle advocacy are promoting additional safety awareness in an effort to reduce accidents and fatalities. These groups work to educate other drivers how to safely share the road with motorcycle riders. While motorcycles themselves are not more dangerous than they were prior to the rise in motorcycle accidents, the congested roadways themselves and poor driving habits have increased the risks associated with operating a motorcycle.
Have you Been Involved in a Motorcycle Accident?
If you are someone you know has been in a Central Florida motorcycle accident let the experienced lawyers, John Piccin or Katie Glynn at Piccin & Glynn provide the help you need. John or Katie can answer any questions that you have, assist with insurance company negotiations, and even visit your home or hospital to make getting through this difficult time easier. Contact the office today for a free consultation.