Archive for the ‘Motorcycle Accidents’ Category

West Palm Beach Motorcyclists Continue to Face Accident Risks

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) had some good news for motorcycle riders this May. The agency released a Spotlight on Highway Safety report that revealed a seven percent decline in motorcycle accident deaths in 2012.  This is only the second time since 1997 that U.S. motorcycle fatalities decreased. The decrease occurred nationwide, but also within the state of Florida. 

While a reduction in motorcycle accident deaths is good news, unfortunately it does mean that motorcyclists are that much safer on the roads. Forbes reports that while deaths are down, this can be explained by changes in weather and the economy rather than by the fact that riding a motorcycle has  become safer. Motorcyclists continue to be at greater risk of injury or death than most other motorists on the roads, and it is important for drivers and riders to follow safety advice from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

If a driver is responsible for causing a motorcycle collision, the rider can take legal action to obtain compensation for serious injuries. Lawyers in West Palm Beach  can help motorcycle accident victims and their family members to pursue a damage claim after a collision occurs.

Motorcycle Accident Risks for West Palm Beach Riders

According to the GHSA report, there were 222 motorcycle fatalities in Florida in the first six months of 2012 and 326 deaths in the first nine months of that same year. In 2013, the number of deaths in the first six months dropped to 207 and in the first nine months, there were 303 deaths. This is a seven percent decline in the number of motorcyclists killed, which is the same as the decline in deaths that occurred nationwide.

The biggest factor that explains the reduction in fatalities is the fact that the weather was better in 2012 than in 2013.  The first six months of 2012 were unusually warm and dry nationwide, while the first half of 2013 brought colder and wetter weather that resulted in fewer motorcyclists on the road. Improving economic conditions may have also meant that more people could afford the costs of a car and gas, thus reducing the need for commuting using a motorcycle.

Hoping for worse weather is not the best way to reduce motorcycle deaths long-term, but instead more consistent use of proven accident prevention measures is necessary to keep motorcyclists safe.   Motorcyclists account for six times more deaths per registered vehicle than motor-vehicle passengers, and motorcyclists are much more likely to be hurt or killed in a crash compared to those in passenger vehicles.

The NHTSA cites helmet use and prevention of drunk driving as two of the most important factors that can credited with reducing the motorcyclist death rate over the long-term. The agency also recommends that:

  • Motorcycle riders wear a helmet compliant with Department of Transportation (DOT guidelines) as well as other protective gear.
  • Motorcycle riders ensure they have proper licensing and training.
  • Both motorcyclists and drivers avoid distracted driving.
  • Motorcyclists use turn signals and hand signals to indicate lane changes.
  • Motorcycle riders wear bright colored clothes and ride in the middle lane to be more visible to drivers.
  • Drivers allow motorcycle riders the full width of a lane at all times.
  • Drivers signal when merging or changing lanes and check blind spots carefully before doing either.

By following these tips, motorcycle riders and drivers can both do their part to continue the downward trend of motorcycle accidents that seemed to start in 2013.

Accident lawyers in West Palm Beach can help injury victims. Call Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. today at 800-608-2965 to schedule a free consultation.