Three motorcycle riders were injured in an Orlando crash in April. According to Click Orlando, the accident occurred when an SUV changed into the right lane and veered into the path of one of the motorcycle riders. The motorcyclist steered onto the shoulder of the road to avoid the SUV and then hit a construction trailer on the road shoulder. Two other motorcycle riders had to drop their motorcycles in order to avoid striking the first victim.
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are common in Orlando and throughout the United States. While the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reported that the number of motorcyclist fatalities appears to have declined slightly in 2013, evidence indicates that this decline was caused by bad weather and not better safety. Overall, the number of motorcycle deaths has been rapidly increasing and the decline in 2013 was only the second time since 1997 that the number of fatalities has gone down.
Victims of motorcycle accidents should consult with an Orlando personal injury lawyer for help after their collision. Motorcyclists may be entitled to compensation if a driver's carelessness or negligence was the cause of the accident and injuries.
Preventing Motorcycle Accidents
In Florida, there was a seven percent decline in motorcyclist deaths in 2013, mirroring the national decline. In the first six months of 2012, 222 Floridians died in motorcycle collisions. In the same time period in 2013, just 207 motorcyclists died. In the first nine months of 2012, there were 326 deaths while the death toll was down to 303 in 2013.
According to Forbes, the reason for the nationwide decline in motorcycle deaths was because 2013 was a colder and wetter year throughout the United States than 2012 was. This resulted in fewer riders being on the roads.
Planning for bad weather is a terrible way to try to bring down the rate of fatal motorcycle collisions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has provided some tips that can actually improve safety conditions. The tips were published in the start of May, because May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. The NHTSA advises drivers to:
- Ensure a motorcycle rider has the full width of a lane at all times and not encroach on the rider's space.
- Signal every time the driver merges or changes lanes.
- Check mirrors and blind spots carefully because motorcycles are smaller and harder to see than cars are.
- Allow at least a three to four second following distance to avoid getting too close to a motorcyclist and potentially hitting him an emergency.
- Avoid distracted and impaired driving.
Motorcycle riders are advised to:
- Wear helmets that are compliant with minimum Department of Transportation specifications.
- Have a motorcycle license and undergo safety training.
- Obey all traffic safety laws.
- Avoid driving while impaired or distracted.
- Use both turn signals and hand signals before changing lanes or turning.
- Wear clothing that is brightly colored to increase the chance of a driver seeing you.
- Stay right in the middle of the lane where you are most visible.
If both motorcycle riders and drivers take the NHTSA tips to heart and follow the advice, hopefully there will be fewer motorcycle fatalities in the future.
Central Florida accident victims can contact Winter Park, FL personal injury attorney Richard B. Troutman by calling 866-434-5770.