Accidents with Cars Making Left Hand Turns
Left hand turns account for 42 percent of motorcycle accidents involving a car. In such instances, drivers of larger vehicles do not see the motorcyclist approaching and strike the rider on the side. This frequently happens at intersections when the motorcyclists is going straight and the car driver is turning. It can also happen while a motorcyclist is passing a car that suddenly turns. While the driver is more often found at fault, the court may find that a motorcyclist is partially or fully to blame if they were speeding or in the wrong lane.
Motorcycle Lane Splitting
When a motorcyclist rides between lanes of stopped or slowed vehicles, it is known as lane splitting. While legal in some states, it is illegal in Florida. Lane splitting is illegal largely because it is so dangerous. Motorcyclists are easily struck by cars changing lanes, or even when cars move within the same lane. In most cases, motorcyclists splitting lanes in Florida will be found at-fault for related accidents, unless they can show that the driver contributed to the accident in some way, such as using a cell phone while driving.
Motorcycle Crashes with Fixed Objects
Crashes with trees, medians, parked cars, and other fixed objects account for about a quarter of all motorcycle accident deaths. In comparison, other vehicular deaths due to striking a fixed object is about 18 percent. The obvious reason for the higher mortality rate among motorcycle riders is that their vehicle is less protective and makes them more vulnerable to bodily harm.
Crashes with trees, medians, parked cars, and other fixed objects account for about a quarter of all motorcycle accident deaths.
Dangerous Road Conditions
Motorcyclists are more often affected by hazardous road conditions, such as debris in the road or inclement weather, compared to other vehicle types. The smaller wheels and greater instability of a motorcycle mean that hazards like roadkill or wet asphalt are more dangerous than they are for cars or trucks. Some conditions and obstacles that are hazardous to motorcycles, but not other vehicles, include:
- Bumpy or uneven roads
- Railway tracks
- Painted surfaces (especially when wet)
- Oil on the road
- Expansion joints
While a motorcyclist can do their best to avoid these obstacles, there may not always be enough time or space to do so.
High Performance Motorcycles
Sport motorcycles represent a relatively small proportion of motorcycles on the road, but these bikes make up a disproportionately high number of accidents. This is because these fast vehicles are much lighter and much less stable than conventional motorcycles. While this makes them faster, it also makes them much more dangerous. Additionally, the drivers of sport bikes tend to be younger than riders of cruisers and other larger and heavier motorcycles. The combination of a fast, light bike driven at high speeds by a younger driver is the reason for the high incidence of serious and deadly sport motorcycle accidents.
Bad weather is much more dangerous for a motorcyclist than a driver. Not only do sleet, ice, snow, and rain make it difficult to steer a bike on the road, the motorcyclist is unprotected and is literally hit by falling precipitation. Wind can also have a huge negative effect on a bike, causing it to go faster, slower, or push it to the side.
Motorcycle drivers should avoid riding in inclement weather if at all possible. If you must ride in harsh elements, take extra care and wear the proper equipment.