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Watch Out for Motorcycles! - Jones Law Group

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Watch Out for Motorcycles!

By: Heath C. Murphy +Personal Injury

Motorcyclists have a reputation as dangerous risk takers. However, according to a study that examined the causes of Florida motorcycle accidents over a period of 10 years, the motorists driving cars are usually to blame when a collision takes place. More than 60% of the time when the accident involved a car and a motorcycle, the driver of the car was at fault.[2] The study concluded that most of the at fault motorists simply did not see riders or were distracted.

The Results of an Accident Between a Car and Motorcycle are Typically Catastrophic

It seems that on an almost weekly basis I read news stories about the driver of a truck or car simply pulling out into the path of an oncoming motorcycle.[2] Unfortunately, the results of such accidents are usually severe and life altering. The injuries that are typically seen include:

1. Death;
2. Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries;
3. Fractured or broken bones;
4. Spinal cord damage;
5. Neck and back injuries;
6. Road rash; and
7. Lacerations and contusions which may have been caused by either the air bags or contact with the actual components of the vehicle.

Drivers of Cars and Trucks Must Be More Alert

Based on my personal experience, St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Tampa seem to have more motorcycle riders per capita than any place I have ever been. Motorcycle riding is extremely popular and this means that drivers should always be looking out for motorcycles. Many of the accidents that involve a car or truck and a motorcycle occur simply because the driver of the car did not carefully check to make sure that no motorcycles were approaching or in their blind spot.

Motorcycles obviously have a much smaller profile than their 4+ wheeled counterparts on the road. For this reason, drivers must be alert and vigilant when taking care to ensure that a motorcycle is not in their blind spot when changing lanes. Simply using the car’s mirrors is not sufficient; every lane change must be accompanied by a “blind spot check.” This requires the driver to look over their shoulder to ensure that no vehicles are in the blind spots.

Another common cause of motorcycle accidents involving cars occurs when the car simply pulls into the path of the oncoming motorcycle. When checking for traffic prior to crossing or entering a roadway, it is important to scan the entire road. Cars and trucks are easy to spot because they are large and generally drive down the center of the lane. Motorcyclists, however, prefer to ride to the right or left of center. They ride left or right of center because oil and other slick fluids tend to accumulate in the center of each lane. This condition can make it more likely for a motorcyclist to lose control of their bike. Therefore, it is up to drivers to be aware of this habit and to account for these areas prior to entering the roadway.

Distracted Driving

Many accidents involving a car and a motorcycle are caused by distracted driving. The most common driver distraction is their cell phone. Studies indicate that receiving or sending a text takes, on average, 4.6 seconds. During this time your car can travel the length of a football field or more. Prudent drivers will usually allow 2-3 car lengths between their vehicle and a motorcycle which they are following. At most that spacing represents a distance of 30 feet or so which means that a driver distracted by a text can easily run over a motorcyclist who had the unfortunate luck of stopping or slowing down while the driver was distracted by a text message.

Contact The Law Offices of Bobby Jones

Have you or a loved one been injured in a motorcycle accident? Contact an experienced St. Petersburg motorcycle accident attorney at Jones Law Group today. When you contact our office we will immediately set an appointment where you will meet your attorney and be provided with his/her personal contact information. If you do not have transportation or you cannot drive, your attorney will travel to meet you and discuss your case with you.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by the negligence of another, you should immediately call an experienced personal injury attorney in St. Petersburg at Jones Law Group at (727) 571-1333 during regular business hours or (727) 753-8657 on weekends or after regular business hours. We will evaluate your case for free and you will never pay us a dime unless we recover compensation for your injuries.

Jones Law Group
5622 Central Avenue
St. Pete, FL 33707



[1] http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2013-03-09/news/fl-finding-fault-in-motorcycle-crashes-20130309_1_motorcycle-crashes-chanyoung-lee-motorcycle-riders

[2] http://www.baynews9.com/content/news/baynews9/news/article.html/content/news/articles/bn9/2015/3/22/motorcyclist_killed_.html

Heath Murphy

About the Author

Heath Murphy is a partner at Jones Law Group and focuses on personal injury law. He has been working as a lawyer for 18 years and routinely writes about auto accidents, wrongful death, and personal injury laws.

Read more: Heath’s Bio