June 26, 2017

Motorcycle Crashes: Who’s to Blame?

The blame game has gone on for years. Drivers blame bikers for weaving in and out of traffic. Bikers blame them for texting and driving or talking on their cell phones, or just failing to pay enough attention to them. A recent study cited in a Sun Sentinel newspaper report, shows bikers are mostly right.

Chanyoung Lee, a senior researcher at the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research, who analyzed Florida motorcycle crashes for 10 years, is quoted in the report. He found that 60 percent of the time motorists in other vehicles are at fault when they collide with motorcycles. “There’s a bias by people driving,” he told the Sun Sentinel. “They don’t expect to see motorcycles.”

The recent Florida Department of Transportation shows that drivers of trucks and cars are mostly at fault, failing to yield the right of way to smaller vehicles. This report is particularly alarming since statistics show that motorcyclists are more likely to suffer serious injury or death if an accident occurs.

However, the recent FDOT study also found that motorcyclists bear some responsibility. They have a significantly higher number of single-vehicle crashes than other drivers. About 34 percent of motorcycle crashes involve one vehicle compared to only 19 percent of car crashes involving one vehicle. Many single -vehicle crashes occur when bikers navigate curves but fail to slow down and in severe and fatal motorcycle crashes, 50 percent of those accidents involve just the motorcycle, not other vehicles.

Still in severe and fatal motorcycle crashes involving multiple vehicles, greater blame falls on the cars and most motorcycle crashes involve other vehicles.

With a steady increase in motorcycle injuries and fatalities between 1999 and 2008, the FDOT started a campaign to raise awareness by advocating for drivers to look twice for motorcycles. Michael Gluckman, of Delray Beach, who has been riding for 13 years, told the Sun Sentinel that this has made a difference.

Our experienced motorcycle injury attorneys know that a motorcyclist may be injured due to a careless driver when a rider least expects it. If you have been injured, let us help you pursue the maximum amount of damages to recover from your injuries. For more information, please contact a Florida personal injury attorney at (855) 600-4688.

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