motorcycle wreck claim lawyer in Ft. Lauderdale FL

Motorcycle Safety – The Mythbuster’s Edition

Motorcycle safety is critical to one’s ongoing ability to ride on the open road. Some of the most horrific motorcycle crashes are attributable to inattentive drivers of cars. However, some other crashes can be attributable to wild animals, unexpected weather, or operator error. The purpose of this article is to discuss several motorcycle myths, with an eye towards creating an even safer operating environment for motorcyclists.

Myth 1: Conventional Brakes Stop Better than Anti-Lock Brakes

Testing done on a clean, flat, dry pavement by experienced drivers showed that motorcycles equipped with anti-lock brakes (ABS) stopped in less distance than those bikes equipped with linked braking systems or conventional systems.

Myth 2: Bikers are Safer on Side Streets than on the Interstate

Interstates have controlled access. This means that, unlike on side streets, all traffic enters heading the same way. There is no risk of a careless driver speeding through an intersection hoping to beat the red light, which could result in an accident. There are also no pedestrians to worry about. Finally, if you are unfortunate enough to drive off the freeway, as opposed to a side street, either in an attempt to avoid a crash, or as the result of one, you are far less likely to crash into something on the side of the road.

Myth 3: One Beer Will Not Affect Me

One beer won’t get you to DUI level intoxication (unless you drink at an establishment that sells 64 ounce beers, that is), but it is false to believe it won’t impact your judgement. Studies show that one beer can increase your willingness to take risks. This can impact the risks you take to yourself (such as speeding up to make it through that now yellow, soon to be red light up ahead), as well as risks to others (such as presuming that pedestrian won’t attempt to cross the street with you approaching). You should also be aware that your metabolism changes as you get older. Your body may require more time to process alcohol than it did when you were younger.

Myth 4: With Sufficient Skill and Experience, a Rider Can Handle Any Challenge

While it would be great if this were true, no amount of skill or experience can trump the laws of physics. If you are traveling at 60 miles per hour, and the car that is 10 feet in front of you crashes into the truck in front of them and comes to a complete stop, you are not going to be able to stop. If you are between a mountain and an 18 wheeler, and the 18 wheeler decides to move into your lane and doesn’t see you, you may not have time or room to respond. Consequently, understanding that there are things that cannot be controlled for is paramount. With this understanding that even with skill and experience, situations can present problems, slow down, scan further ahead, consider potential possible challenges that may present themselves. As an added precaution, make sure to wear appropriate clothing and protective gear.

Myth 5: Helmets Just Lead to Closed Head Injuries

Several motorcyclists have argued that they choose not to wear helmets, because wearing a helmet will lead to closed head injuries whereas a choice not to wear helmets in the same accident will lead to a fast death. While it is certainly true that a failure to wear a helmet can lead to death, it can also lead to more closed head injuries. Studies done by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) found that the use of helmets reduced the risk of death due to a motorcycle crash by 37 percent. Additionally, using helmets reduces the risk of head injuries by 69 percent.

Myth 6: Older Motorcyclists are Less Likely to Suffer Fatal Injury in Motorcycle Crashes

This is simply not supported by the data. When reviewing fatal injuries of motorcycle drivers by age and motor cycle type the data is as follows:

For cruisers and standard motorcycles, 49 percent of the fatalities occurred in users ages 50 and older;
For touring bikes, 68 percent of fatalities occurred in users ages 50 and older; and
For sport touring bikes, 58 percent of fatalities occurred in users ages 50 and older.

Myth 7: Motorcycle Helmets Interfere with Vision and Hearing

Studies performed by the Centers for Disease Control actually have found that helmets do not interfere with either vision or hearing. In fact, in addition to reducing head injuries and fatalities, helmets offer much needed eye protection, which enables riders to operate more safely.

Myth 8: Motorcycles Are as Safe a Form of Transportation As Any

Motorcycles are actually the most hazardous form of motor vehicle transportation. This is not a commentary on motorcyclists. Rather, it is a reflection of a host of contributing factors. Motorcyclists, by the very nature of motorcycles, are less protected than passengers in cars. Additionally, motorcyclists aren’t as visible as other cars, which can lead to crashes.

What To Do If You Have Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident or Lost a Loved One in a Motorcycle Accident

Even if you or a loved one has taken every precaution, has had sufficient training on road rules and safety, and has experience, crashes are sometimes unavoidable. This may be attributable to a drunken driver, a careless driver, unsafe road conditions, or any number of other factors. Whether or not you are entitled to be compensated for your motorcycle related injuries will be dependent on the facts and circumstances of your individual case.

At Madalon Law, our lawyers are well versed in the area of motorcycle accidents and liability. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, or if you have lost a loved one due to a motorcycle crash, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries or loss of a loved one. Contact our skilled Florida motorcycle accident lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your specific situation. There is no fee unless we prevail on your claim.

Motorcycle Accidents in Florida

Fatal Motorcycle Accident on Florida Turnpike

On January 5, 2014, the Palm Beach Post reported that 64-year-old Joseph Comparetto died due to a motorcycle collision. Comparetto, a resident of Georgia, and Hagerty, a resident of Davie, Florida, were headed north on Florida’s Turnpike. Comparetto was driving in front of Hagerty when he attempted to slow down due to upcoming traffic. While slowing down, Hagerty collided with Comparetto causing Comparetto to be thrown from his Harley into another lane where he was hit by a car and subsequently killed.

Motorcycle Safety

It is not surprising that Florida’s great beaches and beautiful scenery attract many who are interested in riding motorcycles. Anyone planning to become a motorcycle rider in the state of Florida must complete a program meant to make that future rider aware of the importance of safety. This program, the Florida Rider Training Program (“FRTP”), includes a Basic Rider Course, which is 15 hours long and demonstrates and teaches important skills such as cornering, starting, turning, stopping, etc.

The statistics depicted by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) is the reason why Florida imposes the Basic Rider Course because it is an attempt to lower the amount of fatalities and injuries caused by accidents involving motorcycles. The NHTSA reports that 1 out of 10 motor vehicle accidents that involves the death of one or more persons involves a motorcycle. Additionally, in 2011, the NHTSA reported that over 80,000 motorcycle drivers suffered injuries due to accidents involving motorcycles.

Motorcycle Helmet Law in Florida

Currently, 30 states do not follow a stringent helmet law. Florida happens to be one of those states. Generally, Florida’s motorcycle helmet law requires all riders to wear one. However, riders over the age of 21 with medical insurance of $10,000.00 or more need not wear a helmet. It is however required that all drivers or riders of any age wear eye gear.

Although Florida’s helmet law doesn’t require the use of a helmet under certain circumstances, our firm recommends that all riders and drivers wear one whenever on a bike. After the imposition of this non-strict helmet law, fatalities that occurred due to motorcycle accidents increased by more than 80%. The NHTSA reported that almost 2000 lives were saved during motorcycle accidents because the drivers and/or riders were wearing helmets. About 800 lives could have survived had those drivers and/or riders worn helmets.
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Fatal Hit and Run Accident Involving a Motorcyclist

In Fort Lauderdale, a motorcyclist was killed by a car traveling on Broward Boulevard. The motorcyclist was traveling east and was struck by a small car turning into a shopping plaza. A police spokeswoman said the car cut him off. Police know the car was a 2008 Ford Focus, though that is the only information they have. The motorcyclist, Kevin E. Gilliam, Jr., was taken to Broward Health Medical Center, where he later died from his injuries.

Mr. Gilliam was wearing a helmet and safety gear. He was doing all he should have been doing. However, when the car made the left turn into the shopping center without paying mind to the motorcycle, he didn’t stand a chance. Now, the family of the motorcyclist is urging the driver to turn himself in since it was a hit-and-run. They are grief stricken and unable to move past this event because they do not know what happened and are trying to understand how a person can simply hit someone and keep driving as though there was no accident.

What to Do if You Are Involved or Witness a Hit and Run Accident

Some of the most common reasons for a driver to flee the scene of a car accident may include the motorist driving without insurance; they may have a warrant out for their arrest or operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. In some cases the driver might simply leave the scene because they are afraid of the consequences they may face due to causing an accident.

Depending on the severity of the accident, the victim may have a chance to identify the other vehicle. If this happens, they should attempt to get a good look at the following:

• The license plate • The driver • Make, model and color of the vehicle • Other identifying details: bumper stickers, unique rims, after market items.

The family of the victim has the ability to hire an attorney on behalf of their loved one in order to seek justice for the accident that occurred. Any kind of vehicle accident falls under the jurisdiction of personal injury law. In this case, because the accident was fatal, the family of the motorcyclist should speak to a wrongful death attorney who also has experience with hit and run accidents.
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