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With approximately 600,000 registered motorcycles in Florida, second only to California, it is both unsurprising and unfortunate that we also have a large number of motorcycle accidents and fatalities. Every year, there are about 9,000 motorcycle crashes and approximately 500 fatalities in our state.
With such a high volume of accidents, it’s important to understand what causes them so riders and other drivers can be aware and try to avoid bad situations. Here are five common reasons for accidents:
- Cars making left-hand turns — These maneuvers account for about four out of 10 collisions between cars and motorcycles. Usually, when a car strikes a motorcycle in an intersection, whichever driver is making the left-hand turn will be the one considered most at fault.
- Hazardous road conditions — Motorcycles, with only two narrow wheels on the ground, are vulnerable to slippery surfaces, loose gravel, debris and other irregularities in the road, which can cause them to skid, fall over or crash.
- Lane splitting — This occurs when a biker rides between two lanes of traffic headed in the same direction. Many riders do this because they can save time instead of sitting in traffic. But this is incredibly risky behavior, because other drivers will not be expecting it and they may try to change lanes or make other maneuvers when the motorcycle is nearby, leading to a collision.
- Staying in other drivers’ blind spots — Bikes are much smaller than the average vehicle, so it’s easy for them to get lost in the blind spots of cars and trucks. The drivers of these bigger vehicles, unaware of the motorcycle’s presence, may change lanes or make turns and then suddenly strike the unseen motorcycle. If you’re a rider, do everything you can to stay out of blind spots as much as possible.
- Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs — Unlike some of the crashes outlined above, riding while under the influence is entirely preventable. Put simply, you should not ride after you’ve consumed alcohol or drugs. These substances slow down your reaction time, impair your motor skills and vision and can lead to a serious accident.
If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident in Central Florida and you believe someone else caused the crash, you may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. The attorneys of Largey Law Firm can provide a free case evaluation if you call us at 352-253-0456 or contact us online. Our offices are in Clermont, Tavares and Inverness.