St. Petersburg and the larger Tampa Bay area are home to some of Florida’s most exquisite and secluded motorcycle rides. From the Tail of the Gecko to the North Tampa Circuit, scenic views attract motorcyclists from all over Florida. Riding a motorcycle is a popular sport in the Sunshine State since the weather is typically favorable to a relaxing ride year-round. Although it’s not uncommon for people to enjoy their motorcycles in Tampa Bay, cars vastly outnumber motorcycles and sharing the road often leads to tragic accidents.
Although there are fewer motorcycles on the road, collisions between motorcycles and vehicles occur frequently. The results are drastically different from car-on-car crashes and can be devastating for motorcycle riders. Motorcyclists are much more likely to suffer life-threatening injuries more frequently than vehicle drivers and passengers due to the lack of safety equipment and inherent vulnerability one has while riding a motorcycle. In 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 5,286 motorcycle crash fatalities. This number continues to climb.
Some of the most common motorcycle crashes that lead to loss of life or severe injuries in St. Petersburg occur between motorcycles and vehicles; but single vehicle accidents between motorcycles and fixed objects can also lead to devastating consequences. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle crash, Marsalisi Law is a personal injury firm that proudly represents motorcyclists in and around St. Petersburg and the Tampa Bay area. We can help you recover the necessary compensation to cover your accident-related expenses.
5 Accident Types that Frequently Result in Motorcycle Injuries
The increased risks associated with riding a motorcycle compared to driving a car are visibly apparent. A motorcyclist has nothing to protect himself or herself from the elements. If a motorcyclist crashes, there’s barely any material between their body and the ground or the object they strike. Aside from basic safety gear like a helmet, thick leather jacket, and riding boots and gloves, a person on a motorcycle can be thrown against a hard object with great force upon impact.
Other risks that endanger motorcyclists’ lives include:
- Being less noticeable to drivers;
- Motorcycles are less stable than 4-wheeled vehicles;
- Maneuvering a motorcycle requires more skill than driving a car; and
- Motorcycles are more sensitive to road hazards like uneven surfaces and wet pavement.
Crashes between motorcycles and cars make up 56% of motorcycle accident fatalities. With this in mind, here are 5 accidents that are common in St. Petersburg, Florida. These accidents often leave riders with serious injuries, forcing them to face an uncertain future. Be sure to ride defensively and sober to reduce the likelihood of becoming a motorcycle accident victim.
Head-on Motorcycle Crashes Hurt Tampa Bay Motorcycle Riders
Although head-on collisions aren’t that common among vehicles, they account for many incidents in which the car strikes the motorcycle. 78% of the time a car and motorcycle hit each other head-on, the car strikes the motorcycle from the front, while a rear collision only occurs about 5% of the time. These collisions are often fatal to the motorcycle rider.
Cars Making Left-hand Turns on St. Petersburg Roads
One of the most dangerous incidents for motorcyclists happens when cars make left-hand turns. Collisions involving vehicles turning left make up about 42% of vehicle-on-motorcycle crashes. Typically, the turning vehicle hits the motorcycle when the bike is passing straight through an intersection or passing the vehicle.
Because of the smaller size of the motorcycle compared to a car, the motorist operating the car doesn’t expect a collision to happen. When vehicles are involved in left-hand turn accidents, the driver of the car making the turn is usually found at fault; however, a motorcyclist who was driving dangerously may be determined to be partially at fault for the accident.
Lane Splitting Often Causes Car-on-Bike Accidents
Motorcycle lane splitting is illegal in the state of Florida. Still, many motorcyclists choose to maneuver in such a way during traffic jams or at red lights. Lane splitting takes place when a rider travels between two lanes of stopped or slowly-moving vehicles in the same direction to get ahead. This move can cause accidents due to several factors:
- Cars are in very close proximity to the motorcycle rider;
- The reduced speed makes it more difficult to maneuver the bike; and
- Drivers typically do not expect that a motorcycle will pass them in stopped traffic.
A crash that happens because of lane splitting will likely be blamed on the motorcycle rider because lane splitting isn’t legal at this time. If you’re unsure whether you’re liable in a motorcycle accident crash, talk to an experienced motorcycle accident attorney near you.
Speeding and Alcohol Use in Motorcycle Crashes
Careless behaviors like speeding and hopping on a bike after having an alcoholic drink(s) can easily contribute to an accident. In fact, about half of all accidents involving a single motorcycle are found to be caused by speeding or alcohol use. These accidents are easy to avoid: simply follow the speed limit and refuse alcohol if you plan on riding your bike after a night out.
Collisions with Fixed Objects Hurt Motorcyclists More than Drivers
Approximately one-quarter of all motorcycle crash deaths happen because the rider crashed with a fixed object. By comparison, those kinds of accidents account for 18% of car accident deaths. This figure seems steep, but it’s important to remember that motorcyclists have very little physical protection, making fixed object crashes much more dangerous.
Working with a St. Petersburg Motorcycle Accident Lawyer is the Top Way To Receive a Fair Settlement
Attorney Frank P. Marsalisi is an avid motorcycle enthusiast who dedicates his legal practice to helping injured parties receive fair compensation for their accident-related expenses. Marsalisi Law has helped hundreds of injured motorcyclists take on insurance companies for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and disfigurement.
Frank P. Marsalisi is a member of the Tampa Bay Trial Lawyers Association and has successfully litigated many cases throughout his career. Unlike other law firms, he places a significant emphasis and directs many resources on motorcycle crash victims.
Our firm’s top priority is for you to heal and recover as quickly as possible. We do not take any payments unless we win your case. Allow us to take the burden of filing a claim and fighting insurance companies off your shoulders. We will visit you in your hospital room or home if you can’t come to our office to resolve important matters since your health is our #1 priority. If you’re curious about how you’re going to pay your medical bills after a devastating accident, call (727) 800-5052 for a free consultation. Marsalisi Law is Where Law Gets Personal.