Frequently Asked Questions - What Percentage of Motorcycle Accidents are Fatal?
Roughly 80% of all motorcycle accidents cause some degree of injury. This can range from minor scrapes and bruises to complete brain damage. Approximately 15%-20% of motorcycle accidents in Florida are fatal. The state of Florida has the highest motorcycle accident death rates in the entire country, partly due to the fact that Florida has warm sunny weather year-round which makes for great motorcycle riding weather. Therefore, more riders are able to ride their motorcycles opposed to other states where it snows or is too cold to ride. It is a given that more motorcycles on the road throughout the year leads to more annual motorcycle accidents.
Motorcycle accidents can be caused by an array of different scenarios but typically the motorcycle accidents that cause the most fatalities are head on collisions. Drunk drivers are notorious from not staying in their lane. There is no excuse for driving while under the influence. If you are intoxicated, you should never get behind the wheel of a vehicle or attempt to ride your motorcycle, always find an alternative way home. If a motorcycle is involved in a head on collision with a drunk driver who veered into their oncoming lane, the result could be devastating. Causing an accident while driving under the influence will guarantee you are arrested, fined, jailed or your license revoked, sometimes indefinitely. If you cause a fatality while you are driving under the influence, you will receive a jail sentence. Driving under the influence is never worth the risk and can easily result in the loss of life either to you or the person you hit, especially if that person is riding a motorcycle. It will probably be very difficult to ride a motorcycle while under the influence; however, if you do manage to hold up your motorcycle and ride it, chances of you veering into another lane, falling off your motorcycle or rear ending another vehicle is pretty high.
Another cause of motorcycle fatalities is speeding. Motorcycles are small and fast and some motorcycle riders push their bikes to the limit, even while riding in traffic. We have all seen the motorcycle rider weaving in and out of traffic to beat the red light or just to get to the front of the traffic lights. This is never a good idea, especially in heavy, congested traffic. Automobiles are much larger than motorcycles and if one merges into your lane while you are speeding, you probably will have little to no time to slow down to avoid a collision. A collision of this type can easily result in a fatality due to several factors, speed being the deadliest. Speed limits are enforced for a reason. Just by driving the posted speed limit can be all it takes to avoid a catastrophic accident. By driving slower, you are able to brake in time and have a longer reaction time. Staying at least 3 car lengths behind the person in front of you is also a good way to avoid a rear end accident. If the person in front of you brakes suddenly, especially if that vehicle is a motorcycle, you will likely be able to stop in time if you are driving the speed limit and are far enough away from that vehicle. If you rear end a motorcycle, the driver could be thrown from their bike or be thrown into the vehicle in front of them which can lead to numerous different injuries and possibly even death.
A high percentage of fatal motorcycle accidents are caused by running traffic control devices. If your light turns yellow as you are approaching, the best thing to do is stop at the light, never speed up to try to beat the red light. Doing so can cause another vehicle coming from the opposite direction to slam into your vehicle. If this happens while a motorcycle rider is going through the intersection, the motorcycle rider will probably not have time to react which can cause them to either slam into your vehicle or try to swerve to avoid you causing their bike to come out from under them. This could also lead to the driver being thrown from their bike and end up being ran over by another passing vehicle.
If a motorcycle rider is thrown from their vehicle in traffic and ends up underneath another vehicle, this can almost certainly result in death, even if the rider was wearing a helmet. Out of all motorcycle accidents which involve a rider wearing a crash helmet, roughly 50% of those accidents are fatal. While wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle is always advisable, it does not always save your life but it can sometimes help to diminish any severe head injuries. Motorcycle riders can also opt to wear protective clothing which can help eliminate some road rash wounds should they be thrown from their motorcycle. Again, protective clothing and helmets can not always save your life, but they should be worn while riding a motorcycle as a precaution.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident or has unfortunately passed away due to a motorcycle accident, the best thing to do is seek professional advice from an experienced personal injury attorney. A lot of people do not understand their benefits and what they are or are not entitled to after a motorcycle accident. Florida has different laws for motorcycle riders involved in an auto accident than they do for those driving an automobile. Motorcycle riders are not entitled to some benefits so it is always important to understand your rights. An experienced personal injury attorney can evaluate your claim and walk you through the process so that you can rest assured the insurance company will fairly evaluate your claim and compensate you for any pain and suffering that you have endured from your accident. If a loved one has passed away from their injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident, never settle with the insurance company before discussing the claim with a personal injury attorney as there may be additional coverages that apply in which the insurance company would never explain to you.