Motorcyclists face truly outsized risks from car driver negligence

Jan 6, 2021 | Motorcycle Accidents

It’s arguably a tired argument to persistently assert that motorcyclists need to routinely don protective gear to maximally shield themselves against the downsides of any accident involving a larger motorized vehicle.

Candidly, most riders do, as do their passengers. The motorcycling community across southwestern Florida and other parts of the state comprises a collectively prudent and safety-conscious group. Riders know fully well that they are comparatively vulnerable when out on the road. They well appreciate the risks, and they rationally engage in behaviors that seek to promote optimal outcomes.

Discussion of motorcycling risks and safety might more logically commence in most instances with a spotlighting of problematic driving behaviors engaged in by motorists in larger passenger vehicles. A motorcyclist can don the most protective gear possible and still be exposed to peril anytime a negligent driver is in near proximity. It is third-party negligence, not bikers’ lack of behind-the-wheel acumen, that literally drives most motorcycling accidents.

Research data that underscores motorcyclists’ safety concerns

There is no dearth of empirical evidence underscoring why motorcyclists in Florida and nationally are concerned to a heightened degree with the drivers surrounding them on streets, freeways and other thoroughfares. Following are some key statistical takeaways provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Insurance Information Institute, respectively, relevant to motorcycle crashes and injury outcomes:

  • Motorcycle fatalities and nonfatal injuries nationally spiking appreciably over a recent measuring period
  • Fatal injury rate for bikers a shocking 27 times higher than for injury victims in passenger vehicles
  • Nearly 5,300 motorcyclist deaths in a recent year
  • 88,000 bike injuries over the same period (extrapolated, that equates on average to more than 10 adverse outcomes an hour – every hour of the year)

The many and varied catalysts that cause motorcycle crashes

Bike crash causes can seem almost limitless. One Florida legal overview of motorcycle accident specifics highlights that, additionally making the point that crash accountability can be diffuse and targeting multiple negligent actors. Injury-inducing agents include these:

  • Distracted drivers (e.g., cellphone use, eating, playing with pets and more)
  • Aggressive/reckless motoring behaviors (such as speeding, tailgating and excessive lane weaving)
  • Behind-the-wheel alcohol and/or drug impairment
  • Faulty road design, lighting, sign placement and maintenance
  • Defective vehicle parts/equipment

Crash aftermath: time can be of the essence for an accident victim

The above-cited Florida primer on bike crashes importantly notes that “motorcycle accident claims are subject to a statute of limitations.”

That means that an accident victim or loved ones have a limited time in which to pursue a damage claim against accountable parties.

A proven personal injury legal team can provide further information.