Motorcycle Accidents

Lane Splitting – What Is It And What’s The Law In Florida

Category: Motorcycle Accidents |

Lane splitting isn’t legal in Florida, but we see it every day. Lane splitting is the act of driving a motorcycle in the same lane with another motor vehicle when traffic is crawling or stopped on a freeway. Because of all the dangerous deadly accidents caused by lane splitting, all licensed Florida drivers must be aware of motorcycles sharing their lanes. The accident attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk will provide a free case evaluation if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, call us today, we are available 24/7 at 1-800-538-4878 Contact Us National Debate Wrongful death suits for families of deceased motorcyclists are frequently filed in the State of Florida despite the contributory negligence of lane splitting if the cyclist was killed due to the negligence of another motorist. Florida Statute 316.209 explicitly states motorcycles shall not: enter, overtake, or pass within the same lane as another vehicle drive between adjacent lanes or rows of traffic be more than two across on a roadway Should Florida Make Lane Splitting Legal? Florida is second to California in the number of registered motorcycles on its highways–over 550,000. Although it is illegal in Florida to engage in lane splitting, many Florida motorcyclists use this driving maneuver to bypass areas of traffic congestion and sometimes lane split even when it isn’t necessary. Florida motorists should also be aware of the difference between lane splitting and lane sharing. While lane splitting involves a motorcyclist driving within the space between two cars moving in the same direction on a highway or interstate, lane sharing is the practice of motorcyclists occupying the same lane. Lane sharing is legal in Florida. When a motorcyclist is lane splitting in Florida or near Tampa, and causes an accident while lane splitting, they will be doubly ticketed for the accident and for lane splitting. However, if the Florida lane-splitting motorcyclist can prove the other vehicle driver contributed to an accident in which they were involved (for example, the driver was weaving in and out of traffic or using a cell phone), the motorcyclist may have good reason to sue the vehicle driver for compensation. Contact Us Advantages and Disadvantages of Lane Splitting in Florida Proponents of lane splitting claim that it relieves traffic congestion and can improve the comfort of motorcyclists during extreme weather by allowing them to move ahead of vehicles stalled in traffic. Alternately, opponents of lane splitting say that lane splitting could potentially incite instances of road rage as frustrated drivers watch motorcyclists move freely past them while they are stuck in traffic. In fact, road rage is now among the top causes of vehicle accidents in the U.S. Interestingly, many cities in California are listed among the top 25 worst U.S. cities for road rage incidences (on a local note, Miami, FL is also included in that list). Left Turn Accidents Vehicles turning left cause 42% of all the motorcycle accidents on Florida highways. The motorist almost always blames the cyclist for the accident. Motorcycles are smaller than cars and trucks, and they are frequently lost in their blind spots. Motorcycles don’t reduce impact upon collision like cars and trucks do. Leg amputations and death frequently result from motorcycle accidents involving a motorist turning left. Fault & Florida Lane Splitting Accidents The same legal websites and blogs involved in the national debate over the legalization of lane splitting say the vehicle making the left-hand turn is almost always at fault if a collision occurs. Whether lane-splitting was legal when you made your left turn is in the hands of the police officers and at the discretion of the judges. The police officer may look at the damage to the vehicles to determine who was at fault for the accident. Negligence & Lane Splitting Accidents Near Tampa The driver of a car or truck making a left turn is negligent if he or she does not yield to traffic traveling straight through the intersection. The driver who turns left must wait until the intersection is clear to turn. Striking a lane-splitting motorcycle while making a left turn is a harrowing experience, but you may be held liable for the motorcyclist’s injuries or wrongful death. Contact Us Negligence & Motorcycle Lane Splitting The driver of a car or truck making a left turn is negligent if he or she does not yield to traffic traveling straight through the intersection. The driver who turns left must wait until the intersection is clear to turn. Striking a lane-splitting motorcycle while making a left turn is a harrowing experience, but you may be held liable for the motorcyclist’s injuries or wrongful death. Catastrophic Injuries Caused by Lane Splitting Accidents The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that head injury and brain damage occurs in most fatal motorcycle accidents. Helmets prevent brain injuries in 67 percent of all motorcycle accidents. Collisions with tractor-trailer trucks are especially heinous. A commercial big-rig weighs at least 20 times more than a motorcyclist on a Harley Davidson. Tractor-trailers cannot see what’s in their huge blind spots, and they need at least twice the stopping distance of a car or pickup truck. Yet, motorcyclists split lanes with commercial trucks every day. Contributory Negligence Lane splitting places the motorcyclist in the same lane as another motorist who is not expecting to see or may be startled by the motorcycle. A motorcycle in the same lane as a car or a tractor-trailer cannot see the driver’s turn signal. If lane splitting contributed to your motor vehicle accident, the motorcyclist may be liable for the accident. Analysis of contributory negligence can result in reduced recovery of damages or the motorcyclist may be ordered to pay for damage to the vehicle which struck him. Contact Us Road Hazards in Florida Lane Splitting Accidents Road hazards, which simply rattle cars and trucks, can cause lane-splitting motorcycles to slide, fall, or careen out of control. Lane splitting causes accidents especially: in wet weather around objects dropped on the road over uneven road surfaces into road construction sites with unexpected lane changes Whether road hazards constitute negligence is up to the...

Continue Reading

Avoid Motorcycle Accidents in Florida with These 7 Safety Tips

Category: Motorcycle Accidents |

With more motorcycle riders on Florida roads, conscientious drivers can take steps to avoid motorcycle accidents. Besides the important safety measures a rider can take, like always wearing a helmet and never operating their motorcycle while under the influence, there are seven other basic steps that they can take to avoid these often tragic accidents. 1. Take an Introductory Riding Course Riding a motorcycle is different than driving a passenger vehicle. An introductory training course can teach the basics of how to ride a motorcycle in Tampa, FL, moving you to a novice and providing additional skills for an experienced rider. 2. Use Independent Study Most motorcycle riders learn how to ride by practicing on their own or with help from a friend. However, a wealth of information is available through books and movies. New riders can learn about the basics of motorcycle riding through these resources. This can help them avoid getting into a motorcycle accident. Another option is to subscribe to a periodic magazine that shows how to ride motorcycles safely. 3. Practice Makes Perfect for Avoiding Florida Motorcycle Accidents To become a good motorcycle rider, it is necessary to practice. When first beginning to ride, a person should practice in a safe area that is not subject to high traffic. Riders can focus on aspects such as clutch control, making maneuvers in limited spaces, braking correctly, and turning the bike as needed. Using some safety cones or bright boundaries can help a new rider learn basic skills. Riders who are just learning how to ride a motorcycle should start off slow with small goals and then slowly move toward more complicated tasks. 4. Take Another Course Skill improvement courses can help drivers continue to acquire more experience and avoid the chances of getting into a motorcycle accident. These courses help teach riders how to ride in a safe manner and avoid aggressive driving. 5. Ride Various Bikes A rider may get used to a particular bike, but this will not help the rider learn how to adjust to many different types of motorcycles on the market. Different bike designs require an altered form of riding. Taking this step can also help broaden riders’ skills. 6. Use Off-Road Using an off-road track can help riders adjust to their environment and be more in tune with their surroundings, and is a great option when you are learning how to operate a motorcycle in Tampa, FL. Using an off-road bike is best for this step. 7. Go to Track School Track schools provide riders with advanced training. Riders don’t need a sportbike to participate in most of these schools. These schools help improve riders’ skills for street riding and take place in traffic-free areas. Have You Been Seriously Injured in an Accident in Our Area? Call Our Experienced Florida Motorcycle Injury Attorneys Today! If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878 for a free initial consultation and case evaluation. What Our Happy Clients Say About Us On Google: They did an excellent job with my motorcycle accident. Jennifer kept me updated with the progress of the case. Thanks again for handling my case. Mark K.⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐And see more of our 314+ reviews on Google.

Continue Reading

What Is a Major Cause of Death in Motorcycle Accidents?

Category: Articles & FAQ |

Driving and riding on a motorcycle is a fun and exhilarating experience. Many individuals who ride motorcycles also have cars or trucks but also ride motorcycles as a hobby. Riding a motorcycle can give you an adrenaline rush similar to the one you may experience through other recreational activities like surfing, climbing, or skiing. Like these other activities, riding a motorcycle requires concentration. With that concentration and adrenaline, many motorcyclists, like skiers and surfers, report a feeling of calm, oneness, and freedom as they ride. This feeling of oneness is similar to the feelings one may achieve through meditation. In a lot of ways, riding a motorcycle is a form of meditation. Despite the fun and exhilaration of riding a motorcycle, doing so is more dangerous than riding in or driving a car. Motorcycle fatality rates greatly exceed those of driving cars, as do injury rates. Even when a motorcyclist is careful, accidents can happen, and injuries are often more severe than those resulting from similar car accidents. To ride a motorcycle more safely, it is important to ask the question, what is the most common cause of death in motorcycle accidents? By knowing the most common cause of motorcycle fatality, you can take steps to protect yourself as a motorcyclist. And if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence it is worth speaking with an experienced Florida motorcycle accident attorney near you about the possibility of pursuing a personal injury claim. Motorcycle Fatalities at a Glance In 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recorded 4,985 motorcyclist deaths on U.S. roads. The 4,985 fatalities were 5% lower than 2017’s number. Put another way, this number put the fatality rate of motorcyclists at 24.83 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2018. To put this in perspective, compared to car occupants, the 24.83 fatality rate in 2018 was 27 times higher than the same fatality rate for cars. The major cause of death in motorcycle accidents and these higher numbers show the big difference in risk between driving a motorcycle, which does not have the safety features of a car, versus riding in a closed-cabin vehicle. Why Are Motorcycles More Dangerous Than Cars or Trucks? The main reason why motorcycles are more dangerous to drive than conventional automobiles is that motorcycles offer little or no physical protection to their riders. Cars and trucks are literal metal cages. In an accident, the metal cage surrounding occupants absorbs much of the force of impact. The more of the impact the car absorbs, the less its occupants are subject to. Furthermore, each year, manufacturers redesign their cars and trucks to better absorb such shock and better protect their occupants. Conversely, when you’re riding a motorcycle, you are exposed directly to the force of impact. Absorbing the force of such an impact means injuries are more severe. The continuous redesign of cars to reduce occupant impact in a car accident just isn’t possible for motorcycle manufacturers.  Get A Free Case Evaluation 866-201-8701 What Is the Main Cause of Motorcycle Accidents? One major reason for motorcycle accidents is that they are harder to see on the road. This is why lack of visibility is the main cause of motorcycle accidents. Motorcycles are obviously much smaller than conventional cars or trucks. Motorcycles also have smaller and fewer lights than cars or trucks. As a result, your visibility while riding a motorcycle is much less than that of a car or truck. If other drivers can’t see you, it is harder for them to avoid a potential collision. If someone is in a semi-truck or other vehicle high off the ground, your visibility as a motorcyclist decreases even more. The size of trucks and their impact on motorcycle visibility combine to create even more danger for motorcyclists than small or midsize cars. The Most Common Cause of Fatalities in Motorcycle Accidents By far, the major cause of death in motorcycle accidents is head injuries. Your head is the most important part of your body. Also, it is one of the easiest parts of your body to injure. Because your head does not have the same protection on a motorcycle as it does in a car, riding a motorcycle puts your head at a higher risk of trauma and injury. The impact of your head colliding with a metal vehicle or the impact of hitting the road when you fly off your motorcycle exposes your head and brain to great danger.  How to Ride a Motorcycle More Safely The most important step you can take to protect your life as a motorcyclist is to protect your head. The best way to protect your head is by wearing your helmet. The NHTSA estimates that helmets prevented 1,872 motorcyclist deaths in 2017 alone. Furthermore, the NHTSA estimates that for every 100 motorcyclist deaths, more than one-third (37%) would be preventable if all motorcyclists wore their helmets. To help choose a safe and effective helmet that fits your needs, check out some reviews on pages like Revzilla. Having the right helmet could save your life. Because lack of visibility is the most common cause of motorcycle accidents, a second step you can take to protect yourself as a motorcycle rider is to make sure you are as visible as possible on the road. Most motorcycle crashes are caused by a lack of visibility. To avoid this, make sure your lights are in good working condition every time you ride your motorcycle. Consider keeping a couple of replacement lights with you when you ride in case one of your lights goes out.  Another step you can take to improve your visibility is to wear clothing that makes you more visible to other drivers. Consider purchasing a reflective vest for when you ride, especially if you plan to ride your motorcycle at night. A reflective vest like one of these is an inexpensive and easy way to improve your visibility on the road. Also see our...

Continue Reading

When is a Motorcyclist at Fault for an Accident?

Category: Motorcycle Accidents |

Motorcycle accidents can result in serious injuries. Motorcycles offer little protection to the rider. While wearing protective gear and helmets can help prevent some injuries, motorcyclists are still vulnerable. The majority of accidents between a motor vehicle and a motorcycle are the fault of the motor vehicle driver. However, there are some instances where the negligent behavior of a motorcyclist can contribute to an accident. Lane Splitting Lane splitting is illegal in Florida, and yet some motorcyclists continue to do it. A motorcyclist lane splits when they ride in between lanes and vehicles in order to travel faster in traffic. This behavior is extremely dangerous and can result in a serious accident due to the close proximity between the motorcycle and the other vehicles. Drunk Driving Just like the drivers of cars, motorcycle riders who are operating a bike while intoxicated are breaking the law. Drunk driving is especially hazardous for motorcycle riders as it can lead to a loss of balance and result in a motorcycle flipping over. Even for an experienced rider, maintaining balance after a few drinks can be difficult. Speeding The power of a motorcycle can make it tempting for a rider to speed. Speeding on a motorcycle is very dangerous and can lead to more serious injuries. In addition, speeding greatly increases a motorcycle rider’s potential liability for an accident. Distracted Riding Texting while driving is not limited to motor vehicle drivers. Texting while riding a motorcycle unfortunately also occurs. Riders who text are taking their visual and cognitive focus off the road. The lack of attention means motorcyclists are essentially riding blind while they’re looking at their phones. Inexperience  A motorcycle rider who does not know how to control their vehicle properly or how to avoid an accident can be a serious liability on the road. This is especially true if the rider is unlicensed. Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, your own negligence may not bar you from recovering for your injuries entirely. You may want to have an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Florida evaluate your case. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we have over 30 years of experience handling motorcycle accident cases. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today.

Continue Reading

3 Easy Ways to Ride Safe Around Tampa

Category: Motorcycle Accidents |

When it comes to getting around in Florida, there’s nothing quite like enjoying the open road on your motorcycle. Maybe that’s why so many events for motorcycle enthusiasts take place in our state. Unfortunately, it only takes a moment of negligence to be involved in a serious Tampa-area motorcycle accident that results in severe injuries. Wear a Helmet According to the Florida Department of Transportation, the number of fatal accidents for every ten thousand registered motorcycles in our state has shot up by 21 percent since helmet laws were changed back in 2000. Deciding not to wear a motorcycle helmet places yourself at unnecessary risk of sustaining a serious head or brain injury in the event of an accident. Don’t place yourself in harm’s way just to feel a little wind through your hair. Ride smart and wear a helmet every time you get on your bike. Be Visible While it’s up to all of us to share the road when we are driving in Florida, motorcyclists need to do their part by ensuring that other drivers can easily see them. Some easy ways to announce your presence when you’re on your bike include: Wear highly visual apparel and/or neon gear Use reflective tape Use your headlights appropriately Avoid riding in another driver’s blind spot Practice Situational Awareness One of the best things about riding a motorcycle is that it requires you to be in the moment and aware of your surrounding while you are traveling from Point A to Point B. You can use this to your advantage by practicing situational awareness while you are riding and remaining acutely aware of everything around you, especially other drivers. Stay focused and expect the unexpected so that you are not caught off guard when another vehicle veers into your lane. Have you been injured in an accident on your bike because of someone else’s poor decisions? Call our Florida motorcycle accident lawyers now! At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, our Florida motorcycle injury lawyers have served injury victims in Tampa, Clearwater, St Petersburg, Sarasota, and the Tampa Bay area for over 30 years! If you’ve been injured in an accident in our area, call our injury law team now to find out how we may be able to help you at 1-800-538-4878.

Continue Reading

Second Tampa Auto Accident Fatal For Area Teen

Category: Motorcycle Accidents |

A Tampa motorcycle accident claimed the life of a young Clearwater woman early Thursday morning. Angelica Hall, 18-years old and a student at Palm Harbor University High School, was riding as a passenger behind 19-year-old Shay Lydon when he ran a red light at the intersection of Belcher and Belleair. Both Hall and Lydon were thrown from the Yamaha motorcycle by the collision, neither of whom was wearing a helmet. Lydon and the passengers of the Toyota Camry which stuck them were taken to the hospitas. Lydon’s injuries were classified as critical. The Camry’s occupants, Charles Manning and Patricia Muth, also sustained serious injuries. Hall was declared dead at the scene. This was the second time Hall was Lydon’s passenger when a serious accident occurred. On Friday, March 30 of this year, Hall was riding with Lydon in a 1992 Geo Prism when it collided with a Dodge Ram van at the intersection of Fisher and Curlew after Lydon ran a stop sign. In the March accident, Hall was pulled from the wreckage by emergency crews and airlifted to Bayfront Medical Center. Lydon was transported by ambulance. The driver of the van was uninjured. It appears from police reports that Lydon’s actions were the cause of both Tampa automobile accidents. Hall’s family has so far declined interviews with the media.

Continue Reading

Motorcyclist Kills Pedestrian in Spring Hill

Category: Accidents |

Thursday morning a Spring Hill motorcyclist hit and killed a female pedestrian when he sped through a red light on Spring Hill Drive.  Witness, Terry Jacobson said, “That was one of the worst things I’ve ever seen in my life.” As of Thursday evening, the elderly victim had yet to be identified. Investigators are requesting public assistance, as she was not carrying identification and no friends or family have come forward. The motorcyclist was identified as 30 year old, James Paul Conaty of Spring Hill. Although he was wearing a helmet, Contay was flown to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg where he sustained serious injuries. Conaty has rather lengthy traffic and criminal records consisting of three DUI charges, several traffic tickets, and 20 Florida arrests on charges of battery, assault and threatening a witness. In his most serious DUI charge, Conaty served two and half years in prison when his blood alcohol level was reported as more than double the level at which a driver is considered to be under the influence. This accident will most likely add to his record of speeding and careless driving. However, authorities are waiting for results from Conaty’s toxicology report before pressing charges.

Continue Reading