4 Most Common Causes Of Florida Motorcycle Accidents
With Southwest Florida's mild, sunny, all-year weather, it's no wonder this state is a haven for motorcycle enthusiasts. It's one of the few areas of the continent where motorcycles can feasibly be on the streets and highways even in the winter, instead of getting mothballed for several months until weather conditions are good again.
As a result, however, more motorcycles on Florida roads mean more accidents. Here are the five most common causes of motorcycle accidents that motorcyclists can do to reduce their risk.
Getting Hit By Drivers Making A Left Turn
Left-turn accidents are one of the most common, and the most lethal kinds of motorcycle crashes in southwest Florida. Areas with center turn lanes along US 41 and US 301 in Manatee County are among the most dangerous, especially at night. Unfortunately, it's not just motorcyclists that are victims of this. Pedestrians, bicyclists, and even other car drivers are all extremely vulnerable to people making a left turn in a hurry. The nature of traffic laws and traffic signals means that the opportunities to make a legal left turn are rarer than other maneuvers.
This makes people impatient when a chance arrives, and some will take it without checking for safety first. Unfortunately, aside from being extremely careful, there are few ways to predict or avoid this type of accident.
You may be stopping to let children cross at a four-way intersection or because of the traffic lights indicating now is the time to stop. However, drivers may be too busy—or too selfish—to compensate for you being stopped and may collide into your rear. Unfortunately, this happens far too often with distracted drivers.
One of the best ways to avoid this is to use another car as a shield. If there's already another car stopped ahead of you, for example, then move forward and get in front. This way, the drivers behind will hit the other car first.
Drivers are legally required to check their blind spot before changing lanes. However, many drivers are in a hurry to do this and will only do a quick check for the big and bright colorful objects that are other cars. They may miss a smaller vehicle, like a person on a motorcycle, and steer into you.
The easiest way to avoid this is to get out of the lane that people are lane changing into. If you see traffic slowing, get into the lane that drivers don't want to be.
Open Car Doors
This happens all too often. People on the driver's side of a car will park then open their door to get out, just as a motorcycle is passing. If the rider hits the door, it can feel like hitting a brick wall and cause serious injury. In theory, the driver should be checking first before making this move since the reaction time required to get out of the way may be too little for a motorcyclist to reasonably take action.
Motorcyclists can only avoid this by not taking chances and not trusting parked cars with people in them. Steer clear whenever possible.
If you or someone you know was injured on a motorcycle by the negligence of other drivers on the road, we can help. Contact our motorcycle accident lawyers to find out how you should proceed if negligence in a traffic accident was the cause of the injury.