As a personal injury attorney, I spend most of my time allocating fault. Today’s blog is actually about a crash in Clearwater on July 10, 2011 which may have been the motorcyclists, fault but it brings up a lot of things to learn about motorcycling safety in general.
Saturday nights are nights that many people look forward to all week. It is a night to get together with friends or family and enjoy their company and unwind after a busy week at the office. For others, Saturday night’s are great nights to cruise on their motorcycles and enjoy the summer night air whipping throught their hair and feeling the freedom cruising the strip or back country roads with their favorite toy, their motorcycle.
With that freedom though, always comes a price. For some it’s the price of an expensive piece of machinery finely tuned and rumbling, yet for another an unfortunate timely death involving a motorcyclist.
Clearwater Police are investigating a fatal motorcycle accident that happened on Memorial Causeway Saturday night. The location? The roundabout area that we all despise on Clearwater Beach.
Officials say the motorcyclist, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash between Island Way and the roundabout in the eastbound lanes. Traffic was blocked for several hours following the accident while investigator’s, fire crew and other manpower were busy at the scene.
According to witnesses, the motorcyclist was driving well over the posted 30 miles per hour speed limit in a reckless and careless manner. When he was changing lanes, he went airborne over a small bridge at an excessive speed. The motorcyclist then lost control of the motorcycle, struck the median curb, and was ejected from the motorcycle, and impacted a small tree in the median.
Although motorcycles can be fun to ride, there are many unfortunate injuries that can also occur in a accident without a fatality. Listed below are common injuries:
1) The first one of course being collisions with less forgiving protective barriers, or badly placed roadside signs, is often simply a result of poor road design, that can cause one to fall off a motorcycle in the middle of a curve, and create a “wall” of sorts with little chance to avoid slamming against a pole.
2) Concussions and brain damage, happen when the head violently contacts other vehicles or objects. Riders who wear an approved helmet reduce the risk of death by 37 percent studies show.
3) Breakage of joints (elbows, shoulders, hips, knees and wrists), fingers, spine and neck, for the same reason. The most common breakages are the shoulder and the pelvis because of the way the body hits the road.
4) Soft tissue (skin and muscle) damage (road rash) as the body slides across the surface. This can be prevented if you are wearing the proper motorcycle-specific protective apparel such as a leather jacket or reinforced denim and textile pants.
5) And let’s not forget disfigurement. This happens in the absence of a full-face helmet or other protective gear, the unprotected skin or even face slides across the ground or smashes into an object. Thirty-five percent of all crashes show major impact on the chin-bar area.
Motorcycle awareness classes are available everywhere to the public. The more a cyclist knows about rules and safety, the better a driver they will be and hopefully avoid some of the mishaps that occur.