Florida is a popular state for motorcycle enthusiasts to live and enjoy riding as a sport and a hobby. There are major attractions like Daytona’s Bike Week in Florida, and it cannot be argued that motorcycles are a major part of Florida life. Florida law also attracts bikers because of its lax helmet rules. Riders over the age of 21 with appropriate insurance coverage are not required to wear helmets.
As can probably be expected, the law relaxing helmet requirements in Florida, passed in 2002, has coincided with a spike in the number of head injuries and motorcycle fatalities in Florida. From 2001 to 2011, Florida motorcycle injuries increased by 50 percent, and motorcycle fatalities increased by almost 90 percent, while general traffic fatalities have reduced by 20 percent and traffic injuries have reduced by 10 percent. In 2001, motorcycle fatalities accounted for approximately eight percent of all traffic fatalities in the State, but by 2008 that percentage had increased to 17.8 percent. In 2013, motorcycle crashes accounted for only 3.1 percent of all traffic crashes, yet were responsible for 19.2 percent of traffic fatalities. As of 2013, only slightly more than 50 percent of Florida motorcyclists wear a helmet.
Factors Which Contribute to Motorcycle Accidents
There are many contributing factors to motorcycle accidents, including the failure of drivers to look out for motorcycle drivers as they enter the highway, change lanes, or otherwise drive in traffic. Drivers fail to yield the right of way to motorcyclists for a number of reasons. Some drivers fail to recognize the presence of the motorcycle as a result of driver inattention. Some drives fail to properly calculate the closing distance of the motorcycle. Some drivers are confused as a result of sun glare or a dirty windshield.
What You Should Do After an Orlando Florida Motorcycle Accident
You may suffer serious injuries or be in shock after a motorcycle accident. No matter how you feel, it is so important that you seek medical attention as quickly as possible. This will increase the likelihood of a positive prognosis. You may not have readily obvious injuries, but many head trauma-related injuries take hours or days to fully manifest. That is why you should go to your doctor or to the hospital right after leaving the scene of the accident, even if you feel like you are alright.
Before leaving the scene, if you are able to do so, you should call the police and make sure an accident report is completed. You want to take photographs of all of the vehicles involved in the accident, and document the scene as intently as possible. Make sure to have your motorcycle stored in its current condition so it can be examined by an expert for the insurance company, and make sure to preserve all of the clothing and gear you were wearing at the time, without washing or cleaning anything. Ensure all physical injuries and road rash are thoroughly photographed, and that you obtain contact information for all witnesses at the scene.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, you should hire an Orlando Attorney. Motorcycle-related injuries are often severe or permanent in nature, meaning in many cases you will bring a claim against the at-fault driver. The more severe your injuries are, the more important it is for you to have qualified legal counsel, who can make sure you receive all of the compensation you are entitled to under the law.