When you live in a city like Miami where the sun is always shining and people spend a lot of time outdoors, riding a motorcycle is a fun and practical way to travel around. Motorcycles might seem like fun vehicles to own, but there is no denying that they are also very dangerous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a report that highlighted motorcycle crash statistics in the United States. It found that in 2019, approximately 84,000 motorcycle riders were injured and 5,014 were killed. The State of Florida accounted for 591 fatalities, the highest number of motorcycle deaths in the United States in a single state. A Miami motorcycle accident attorney explains the dangers of riding a motorcycle and how accidents can be prevented.
Dangers of Riding a Motorcycle
Motorcycles are inherently dangerous for a number of reasons with the most obvious one being that they lack protection. In the event of a collision, cars have front and side airbags and seatbelts. Even a steering wheel can sometimes prevent a driver from flying through the windshield during a crash. Motorcycles lack these safeguards. There are no barriers between motorcycles and other cars or motorcycles and the road other than clothes and helmets. This can lead to very serious injuries and sometimes fatalities. Some of the most common injuries associated with motorcycle accidents include:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Road rash
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Broken bones
- Head and neck injuries
- Facial trauma
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
- Nerve damage
- Muscle damage
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
Florida Motorcycle Helmet Law
Traumatic brain injuries are the leading cause of death in motorcycle accidents. Ironically, of all the injuries that a person can sustain in a motorcycle crash, brain injuries are arguably the most preventable. Approximately 57% of motorcycle riders who were killed in 2019 were not wearing helmets. Florida’s Motorcycle Helmet Law mandates that all motorcycle riders wear protective headgear while riding unless the following threshold is met:
- The motorcycle rider is over the age of 21; and
- The motorcycle rider is covered by an insurance policy that provides a minimum of $10,000 in medical benefits
This is a relatively low threshold taking into account that all drivers and motorcycle riders are required to have a minimum of $10,000 coverage in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance.
A motorcycle rider who has met the threshold and chooses to ride without a helmet probably fails to consider that medical expenses associated with brain injuries will most likely surpass the minimum coverage offered by PIP. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a study that contained statistics relating to motorcycle crash medical expenses. The report found that the median hospital charges for motorcycle riders who were treated for traumatic brain injuries was 13 times higher than charges for riders who were hurt but did not suffer from brain injuries.
If you have already been injured in a motorcycle accident and your PIP insurance does not cover all of your medical expenses, you may have the option of filing a personal injury suit against a driver or rider who was at fault. Physical and financial recovery is possible, and an experienced Miami personal injury lawyer can create a game plan for you to receive just compensation for your losses.
Motorcycle Safety Tips
The best safety advice for all motorcycle riders is to always wear a helmet. The Florida statute fails to consider that PIP insurance could potentially only cover a fraction of the costs that an injured rider could incur for a brain injury. Not only would that individual have to be treated for acute issues such as brain bleeding and skull fractures, there is also a possibility that the rider could suffer from irreversible brain damage. This could lead to medical expenses for around the clock medical care or residency in a long-term care facility. Remember to protect your brain and wear a helmet. Some other tips for safe motorcycle riding are:
- Wear eye protection
- Invest in antilock breaks
- Wear weather appropriate gloves with a grip
- Do not ride when you are tired
- Do not ride when you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Take extra precaution around trucks
- Follow traffic rules
- Inspect your motorcycle before you ride
- Do not ride in inclement weather conditions
- Ride with people you trust
- Wear proper boots
- Be aware of sand or debris on the road
- Follow at a safe distance
- Always use turn signals
Another tip that even experienced motorcycle riders can benefit from is to participate in a defensive driving course for motorcycle riders. These courses offer tips for safe riding and many of them can be completed online.
Contact Our Miami Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, do not wait any longer to contact a Miami personal injury lawyer. Call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today at (305) 694-2676 to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a Miami motorcycle accident attorney you can trust.