A car hits a motorcycle in an intersection injuring both the rider and passenger around 1:50 p.m., Friday, February 9, 2019. According to the St. Petersburg Police Department, a 20-year-old driver of a Lexus pulled out from sitting at a stop sign at N. 19th St. and Haines Rd. and hit a Harley Davidson motorcycle broadside.
The impact ejected the bike’s rider and passenger sending them to the pavement. They listed both in serious condition at a local hospital. Police cited the driver of the Lexus for failure to yield to the right-of-way at an intersection.
When a car hits a motorcycle in a crash, it’s more likely the motorcycle riders will sustain injuries or death. According to many federal studies, a motorcycle rider involved in a crash is six times more likely to be killed or seriously injured. In 2017, 40,000 people died in auto accidents, and 12 percent (5,000) of those were from motorcycle rider or passengers. However, motorcycle riders make up only three percent of vehicle operators.
The fatality rate, which is the number of deaths per 100,000 miles traveled, of a passenger vehicle was 11.1 in 2017. Yet, motorcycle riders had a rate of 56.3. This shows the higher chance motorcyclists have for death or serious injury.
Causes of Motorcycle Crashes
A factor involved in a majority of motorcycle crashes is the low profile of the motorcycle. This creates the problem that motorcycles are often not seen by the car driver until too late. In most of these, the driver of the car is usually at fault as they pull out in front of a bike or hit it broadside.
In intersections, left-turn crashes happen often. This occurs when a motorcycle has the right of way and the car turns left into the path of the bike. This accounts for a substantial amount of motorcycle crashes. Safety experts say that in nearly two-thirds of crashes involving a motorcycle and another vehicle, the other vehicle is at fault. This again goes to the visibility of the motorcycle.
Not all motorcycle crashes are the fault of the car driver. Some of those where the rider is at fault are:
- Speeding: Motorcycles are fast and speed is attributed in the majority of motorcycle crashes where injuries occurred.
- Unsafe lane changes/Aggressive driving: Many motorcyclists weave in and out of traffic because they are smaller and can fit where a car can’t. This is the cause of some crashes
- Lane splitting: Driving between two lines of cars (lane splitting) often causes crashes as the space gets narrow or a car door is opened. This is illegal in Florida, but legal in other states like California.
- Dooring: This happens when a motorcycle rides past a parked car and someone opens their door, or when the cyclist is lane-splitting.
- Impaired Driving: Impaired driving by motorcycle riders is a factor in 47 percent of motorcycle rider/passenger fatalities.
- Sudden stops: This occurs both when motorcycle riders stop suddenly and when a car driver stops suddenly.
Injuries Common for Rider/Passenger
- Traumatic Brain: Injury: Both are at risk, and the uses of a helmet will reduce—but not eliminate—the risk.
- Broken bones: Hitting the handlebars and frontal ejections are common for both riders and passengers. Any ejectment can cause broken bones. (facial, wrists, legs and ribs)
- Road Rash: Though not as life-threatening as other injuries, road rashes are very common and can cause significant pain and disfigurement.
- Deep Bruises: Even a smaller accident can cause deep bruises when the driver falls to the pavement.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
If you are injured as a motorcycle rider or passenger, contact a competent Tampa motorcycle accident lawyer to find out if you are entitled to compensation. RHINO Lawyers is the powerful, results-driven law firm, that takes Insurance Companies and Bullies “head-on!”
Anyone injured due to the negligence of another driver in Florida may should us for a free consultation. Our personal injury team will offer you advice to help you get the compensation you deserve.