Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

By Osborne & Francis
July 18, 2024

There is a common misconception that most motorcycle accidents are caused by speeding and reckless bikers. In fact, the opposite is true. Most motorcycle accidents are caused by the actions of negligent drivers, and it is often the motorcyclists who sustain the most severe injuries in the crash. In many cases, injured motorcyclists are left with significant medical bills, lost wages, and compromised mental health. You may be able to recover these costs in a motorcycle accident lawsuit, provided that the other driver was behaving negligently. 

The motorcycle accident attorneys of Osborne & Francis are available for free case evaluations to help you determine the viability of your claim and the value of your damages. You can reach us at (561) 678-0156 or contact our offices in Boca Raton or Orlando. We look forward to discussing your motorcycle accident claim with you and offering you support throughout the personal injury claims process.

Distracted Drivers Endanger Florida Motorcyclists

When a driver’s eyes, mind, or hands are diverted from the task of driving, the risk of a motorcycle accident increases. Distracted driving is a dangerous habit that makes it easier for a driver to miss a motorcycle turning out in front of them, slowing down for a stoplight, or switching lanes. It compromises both reaction time and judgment. In Florida, 333 lives were claimed in distracted driving car accidents in 2021, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Examples of distracted driving behaviors include:

  • Texting while driving
  • Adjusting the radio or navigation
  • Eating
  • Speeding
  • Rubbernecking 
  • Conversing with a passenger
  • Daydreaming 
  • Applying makeup

Reckless Driving is a Leading Cause of Motorcycle Accidents

When a driver fails to obey traffic laws and cautiously navigate the roads, they can be held liable for damages if they cause a motorcycle accident. Following Florida traffic laws is the bare minimum. Drivers must also exercise reasonable judgment on Florida roads. This includes checking mirrors for motorcyclists, using turn signals, and not following other motorists too closely.

In a personal injury lawsuit, reckless is often synonymous with negligent. Drivers owe their fellow motorists, and road users like pedestrians and bicyclists, a duty of care. If their actions violate this standard and inflict injury, they may be considered at fault in a Florida motorcycle accident.

Sudden Stops Jeopardize Motorcyclist Safety

Florida drivers who attempt to brake check motorcyclists they believe are following them too closely can potentially be held liable in a personal injury lawsuit. This dangerous behavior may prevent a motorcyclist from coming to a safe stop, knocking them over, or launching them off of their bike. Either way, motorcyclists do not have the protection of a seat belt to keep them in place, or airbags to soften the impact of a crash. As a result, their injuries are more likely to be severe.

Drinking or Drug Use Contributes to Florida Motorcycle Accidents

Drivers who have a Blood Alcohol Level of 0.08 or higher are considered impaired drivers and are subject to fines, jail time, and limitations on their licenses if they are caught. And yet, drunk driving and driving under the influence of drugs claim the lives of Florida motorcyclists each year.

Sober drivers already have difficulty safely sharing the road with motorcyclists. Therefore, drunk drivers who have compromised vision and decision-making abilities are even less likely to double-check for a motorcyclist in their blind spot, make safe stops, and generally exercise caution for more vulnerable road users.

Inexperienced Drivers Are at an Increased Risk of Causing Auto Accidents

As we might expect, younger drivers with less experience are more likely to get into car accidents, with the risk being the highest during a teen’s first year on the road. They have yet to hone their driving skills, such as reaction times and judgment, meaning that they tend to make more mistakes. There is also evidence to suggest that they are more susceptible to distraction. This combination of factors means that inexperienced drivers may pose a greater threat to motorcyclist safety.

Lane Splitting is Not Legal on Florida Roads

A practice known as lane splitting, where a motorcyclist straddles a lane line, can be incredibly dangerous and even deadly for motorcyclists. This is a blind spot for many drivers. They are not expecting to see a motorcyclist racing up in between cars, which means they will likely maneuver their vehicles as if the motorcyclist isn’t there at all. That may result in a motorcyclist being crushed between vehicles, pushed over, forced into another lane, or otherwise hit.

Lane Switching is an Opportunity for a Florida Motorcycle Accident to Occur

In many cases, motorcyclists are knocked off-balance, run off the road, or hit when a driver fails to properly check their mirrors to ensure that they are clear to change lanes. The smaller stature of a motorcycle means that they are more easily overlooked, but it is still the responsibility of other drivers to do their due diligence before switching lanes. Drivers may also neglect to use their turn signals to alert other motorists of their intention to change lanes, resulting in a motorcyclist being forced to make unsafe maneuvers to attempt to avoid a collision. 

Car Doors Are Hazards for Motorcyclists

One of the common motorcycle accidents we see as personal injury attorneys is what’s called a dooring accident. What happens is a motorcyclist is traveling along a road where a car is parked along the side. The driver of the car forgets to check before opening their door and opens it right into the path of the oncoming motorcyclist. A motorcyclist may hit the door head-on at full speed, clip the side of the door, or be forced to swerve out of the way. In any scenario, the motorcyclist’s life has been jeopardized.

Defective Parts Can Lead to Serious Motorcycle Accidents

Drivers have a responsibility to maintain their vehicles. This includes replacing burnt-out lights, ensuring the brakes respond promptly, and replacing the tires when they get worn down. However, in some cases, the manufacturers of car parts are considered to be at fault in a motorcycle accident. This situation typically arises when a defective car part, such as a brake system, prevents the driver from operating the vehicle safely, leading to a motorcycle accident.

Why Should I Choose Osborne & Francis to Represent Me?

At Osborne & Francis, we are not afraid to take on tough fights. We have spent the past 7 years serving injured Floridians and holding negligent parties accountable. Our record of settlements and verdicts is a testament to this sentiment, as well as our ability to recover maximum compensation for our injured clients. 

Our clients will attest that they were treated with respect and that their claims were given the attention they deserved. The size of our firm allows us to specialize in areas like motorcycle accidents while still devoting our attention to the details of individual claims. The motorcycle accident lawyers of Osborne & Francis are skilled negotiators who will put forth our best effort to ensure that you walk away with a settlement that compensates you for your economic and non-economic damages. 

Contact Osborne and Francis if You’ve Been Involved in a Motorcycle Accident

As personal injury lawyers, we strive to maximize compensation for our injured clients while minimizing the stress they experience during the personal injury claims process. The motorcycle accident lawyers of Osborne & Francis understand that catastrophic motorcycle accident injuries often mean hefty medical expenses, lost wages, and invisible costs like pain and suffering.

We want to help you in any way we can. That means that our award-winning team of motorcycle accident attorneys will thoroughly examine the evidence, recruit expert witnesses, protect your rights, and adamantly negotiate for a fair settlement. We are prepared to take your motorcycle accident claim to trial in order to obtain the compensation you need.

Don’t jeopardize recovering the compensation you are entitled to by delaying or attempting to navigate the personal injury claims process yourself. The trusted personal injury attorneys of Osborne & Francis will apply our expertise and resources to maximize your compensation. You can reach us at (561) 678-0156 or contact our offices in Boca Raton or Orlando for more information on how to handle a Florida motorcycle accident claim.

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