According to accident data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), negligent drivers of trucks, cars and other four-wheeled vehicles cause most motorcycle accidents in Florida and across the country. There are things that a rider can do to reduce the chances of becoming an accident statistic, such as taking accredited motorcycle safety courses and riding defensively, but these are only marginally effective at preventing a collision with a negligent driver who violates a motorcyclists’ right of way. Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents include these:
Motorists making improper lane changes
This happens when a driver cuts off a rider by making a turn from one lane of a two-lane road and turns directly in front of the rider traveling in the adjacent lane.
Turning directly in front of an oncoming rider
The NHTSA reports that 40 percent of all motorcycle accidents are caused by a car or truck turning directly into a rider’s path at an intersection.
Drug and alcohol use by a driver or rider
The effects of drugs and alcohol on a driver’s or rider’s reflexes and ability to react to situations is well known. The NHTSA reports that nearly 33 percent of riders involved in fatal motorcycle accidents were legally drunk when the accident occurred. In some parts of the country, including Florida and Volusia County in particular, the number of drunken drivers and riders rises sharply after sunset.
Cell phone use
It is astonishing that some drivers and even riders use their cell phones while driving and riding. When someone operating a vehicle interacts with a cell phone in any way, the chances of being involved in an accident increase by four immediately and rise exponentially each moment the person is interacting with the device.
Cell phone use may be the most common cause of distracted driving accidents, but there are other types as well, including applying makeup, adjusting the radio/CD player/iPod/GPS device, etc., reprimanding children, reaching for an object on the floor, reading maps, eating while driving, shaving and many others.
Poor road conditions
Slick roads from rain, snow and ice often cause motorcycle accidents as drivers and riders fail to negotiate turns or underestimate braking distances. Potholes and poor road maintenance can also create dangerous conditions that cause motorcycle accidents.
Many negligent drivers claim that they didn’t see the rider due to “blind spots” and other factors. Our state has an official Share the Road policy enacted to make roads safer for everyone, especially motorcyclists and bicyclists. It is a driver’s responsibility to be aware of his or her surroundings and check blind spots before changing lanes and making turns.
Driving and riding at excessive speeds
Speeding greatly increases the stopping distance of any vehicle and decreases the length of time a rider or driver has to take evasive action. On average, it takes 216 feet for a vehicle traveling at 55 mph to come to a stop.
Defective tires and other components of a car, truck or motorcycle are common causes of motorcycle accidents. A skilled and experienced Daytona Beach motorcycle accident attorney such as James O. Cunningham can help an injured rider receive damages through a product liability lawsuit or settlement.
These are some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Volusia County and Florida, but the most common cause by far is a negligent driver. If you or a close family member has been injured in a motorcycle accident and you have questions about your legal options, schedule a free consultation with Mr. Cunningham at 386-243-4994. Call today to get an experienced Daytona Beach motorcycle accident lawyer on your side!