Hillsborough County has been a hotspot for motorcycle crashes
Motorcyclists continue to be over-represented in fatal motor vehicle accidents - and the rate of deadly incidents is increasing.
Tampa and the Tampa Bay region have significant experience with motorcycle accidents, too. Last month, there were two serious collisions between motorcycles and other vehicles just on the Courtney Campbell Causeway alone. One of the accidents was fatal and the other left a biker in critical condition. The other driver in the fatal crash was recently arrested in Pinellas County for DUI manslaughter.
With hopes of reversing the trend, traffic safety officials in Florida and states across the nation have designated May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. The goal of the campaign is to share important information about how drivers can help prevent motorcycle accidents.
- More than 5,500 motorcyclists died in fatal bike accidents in 2020 - an 11% increase from 2019. It's worth noting that over this same time period, the number of injured bikers decreased by 2% to about 82,500.
- Biker deaths made up about 14% of highway fatalities that year.
- Motorcycle riders are about 28 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle crash than those in passenger vehicles.
Safe driving tips for motorists
- Observe all traffic laws, including yielding to motorcyclists.
- Avoid distracted driving.
- Look twice for motorcyclists when changing lanes, merging, and at intersections.
- When making a turn, wait until your view of oncoming traffic is unobscured before proceeding.
- Give bikers plenty of room to maneuver. In general, unlike cars, motorcycle blinkers and turn signals do not automatically shut off after making a turn. A long turn signal could mean the biker is waiting for a safe opportunity to turn or they forgot to shut it off. Err on the side of caution and give bikers plenty of time and space to complete traffic maneuvers.
Safety Tips for motorcyclists
- Take a free training course. The Tampa Police Department Motor Unit offers a free weekend training course called Tampa Safe Motorcycle and Rider Techniques (SMART). It teaches civilians the same safe-riding strategies the TPD uses. These include basic riding, slow maneuver techniques, crash avoidance, street survival skills, and practical applications. The course is scheduled in coordination with demand. You can sign up online at Tampa.gov.
- Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and other personal protective gear. Helmets saved an estimated 1,872 bikers' lives in 2017, according to the most recent research.
- Do not speed. Going faster than conditions safely allow was a factor in more than 1 out of every 3 fatal bike wrecks in 2020.
Motorcycle accident injuries
By their nature, motorcycles offer far less protection in a crash than a typical passenger vehicle. When bikers wear protective gear like helmets, goggles, ankle-protecting footwear, pants, and long-sleeved jackets, the chance of a crash turning fatal decreases. Still, serious injuries are possible, including:
- Skull fractures and head contusions
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs)
- Biker's Arm (nerve damage)
- Road rash
- Internal organ damage due to blunt force impact or punctures
- Lost or amputated limbs
Victims of motorcycle accidents may be entitled to compensation for their injuries, lost wages, and other damages. In fatal crashes, the victim's family may be able to recover compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Getting the money a victim deserves after a crash, however, often requires the services of an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer.
That's why if you were injured or lost a loved one in a Tampa motorcycle accident, do not wait to consult a lawyer about your legal options. It is important that you act before the statute of limitations expires or important evidence to support your case disappears.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a motorcycle accident attorney
Armando Personal Injury Law is proud to fight on the side of injured motorcyclists and push back on the unfair bias insurance companies have against bikers.
Based in Tampa, we are motivated to help because we've seen first-hand the devastating effect a motorcycle accident can have on someone's health, relationships, finances, and career. We've also seen insurance adjusters try to devalue or flat-out deny legitimate motorcycle accident claims, simply so they can save the insurance company money.
Don't let them waste your time or play games with your health and finances. Let us deal with them instead so we can fight for every dollar you deserve.
To find out how we can help you, schedule a free consultation with an experienced Tampa motorcycle accident lawyer. There are no obligations, and we take cases on a contingency fee basis. That means no upfront money is required, and you pay no fees unless we win your case. It's that simple. Contact us today.