There was sad news from our local newspapers recently when it was reported that a 32-year-old motorcyclist was sent to the hospital in critical condition. The most recent reports indicate that he is expected to pull through; however, he will face an extended stay in a medical facility.
It was a traffic accident in St. Petersburg that led to his injuries. He was riding north on 34th Street during the morning commute when a Ford Taurus turned into his lane, hitting the front end of his motorcycle, and knocking him from it. He was thrown from his seat and was in very bad condition when the medical teams arrived. He was rushed to Bayfront Medical Center.
Do not worry. As long as you are like most drivers and pay attention, you will never hurt a motorcyclist. It is that one in a million driver who does not pay attention and hurts a member of our community and are held responsible. In those cases, their insurance needs to step in and help.
Unfortunately, this situation is not uncommon. Bikers understand that they accept some additional risks when riding a motorcycle instead of driving a passenger vehicle. More than half of all fatal motorcycle accidents are a result of collisions with other vehicles on the road. And the most common of those accidents occurs when a car turns left into the lane occupied by the biker, just as was seen in this case. More than 40 percent of all motorcycle accidents occur in this manner. In some instances, the motorcyclist might be trying to pass the other vehicle, but very often, it is at an intersection like this one in our city.
The motorcyclist in this case may need to seek compensation for medical bills and damages because, in the vast majority of cases, the driver of the vehicle taking the left-hand turn is found to be at fault.
Approximately 550 motorcyclists are killed in fatal car accidents in Florida each year. Some of those are very close to home, right in the heart of Tampa and St. Petersburg. More than 9,000 others are injured in such accidents.
Unfortunately, while the number of registered motorcycles saw a significant spike toward the end of the past decade, the result has been a drastic increase in the number of motorcycle related injuries and deaths. This trend is not limited to the state of Florida. There were nearly 5,000 motorcyclists killed in accidents in 2012 in the United States. That was a seven percent increase over the span of just one year. Motorcycles are small, easy to park, very fuel-efficient, and highly maneuverable. There are very good reasons for the increased interest in riding. But, with more motorcycles on the road, it is essential that all drivers be fully aware of the fact that bikers share the roads.
For every 10,000 cars, trucks, vans, and other passenger vehicles registered in the state of Florida, there will be just two fatal accidents. However, for every 10,000 motorcycles registered in the state, there will be approximately eight fatalities.
There are classes that have been established to provide education and insight to motorcyclists, thereby preparing them for riding on the road. Classes are offered in most cities throughout the country and they teach basic physical and mental skills that could help prevent an accident. More than 30,000 motorcyclists attend these classes each year.
The trouble is that these accidents resulting in serious injury or death are not always the fault of the rider. While these courses, some of which are offered in the Saint Petersburg area, do provide valuable information to riders, the most common cause of motorcycle accidents are other drivers. Seek the expertise of a personal injury attorney.