A motorcyclist named Robert Ross’s life was cut short late last week when a pickup pulled out in front of him in Saint Petersburg, Florida. Unfortunately, this type of crash is all too common not only in St. Petersburg, but across Florida.
Although we see motorcyclists every day, people simply do not pay them enough attention, pulling out in front of them and causing the inevitable crash. There are about 8,313 crashes like this per year in Florida and about 7,435 result in injuries to the motorcyclist. 317 of those are fatal.
Usually, the fault lies with the driver of the car or truck, and the most common type if crash with motorcyclists are just like this one, where the automobile pulls in front of the motorcyclist, not giving it enough time to stop or take evasive maneuvers. This type of situation gives rise to a wrongful death claim for the motorcyclist’s family.
News outlets are reporting that in the Ross crash, Mr. Ross laid his bike down either attempting to swerve or intentionally to lessen the impact, but it was a truck that had pulled in front of him so it appears that he and his motorcycle wound up underneath the truck.
As a motorcycle rider since I was 12 years old (a little old 1979 Honda 125 enduro), I have had my fair share of drivers pull in front of me, however I have always been fortunate enough because I did have just enough time to swerve around them. As I grew up I eventually graduated to heavy cruisers, but the close calls continued.
The fact is that a car is capable of pulling out in front of a motorcycle leaving nothing that even the best rider in the world can do.
As motorcycle riders, we can try our best to avoid collisions: We follow cars through intersections, hoping they will clear a path for us if someone else pulls out. We can avoid the oil spot in the middle of the lane to keep our “rubber dry.” We can stop with plenty of space to move forward and watch our rear view mirrors in case someone doesn’t look like they will be able to stop.
Now matter how careful we are, however, there are things that a car or truck driver can do that we just cannot account for. When that happens, all we can do is prepare by making sure our underinsured motorist insurance is paid up and pray.
All of our prayers go out to the family of Mr. Ross and all those like him who are injured or killed while enjoying their passion.
Herman & Wells, P.A. handles personal injury lawsuits for the injured and their families in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, and surrounding areas of Florida.