Car drivers cause most crashes with motorcycles, study finds

Cars and motorcycles are often involved in collisions. Drivers blame the bikers and bikers blame the drivers. According to a recent Florida Department of Transportation study, the drivers of cars are more often in the wrong. Drivers of cars and trucks often do not see motorcycles are and fail to yield the right of way.

Chanyoung Lee, a researcher at the University of South Florida, studied accident reports in Florida for ten years found that 60 percent of the time motorists in other vehicles are at fault when they collide with motorcycles. “There’s a bias by people driving,” Lee said. “They don’t expect to see motorcycles.”

But according to Lee, the drivers of automobiles are not solely to blame. Bikers are responsible as well. Motorcycles, according to Lee, are involved in a higher number of single-vehicle crashes than cars. That is, bikers crash on their own without other vehicles involved. Many of those single-vehicle motorcycle crashes occur when bikers are navigating curves too fast.

Serious crashes occur when other vehicles making a left turn, pull in front of motorcycles that are going straight. The problem is people in cars and trucks fail to see motorcycles. That’s partly because they have smaller profiles. Likewise, the bikers need to be as focused as possible when traveling through intersections. “If you’re aware of it, you see it,” Lee said.

The FDOT has been advocating for several years: Look Twice for Motorcycles. Likewise bikers should also be looking twice and be more visible to cars.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Hollywood, Florida, personal injury lawyers at The Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Motorcyclist killed in Pompano Beach accident

A motorcylist on a Suzuki was killed after his motorcycle collided with a van in Pompano Beach. According to BSO the motorcyclist was driving west on Sample Road when he collided with a van heading the opposite way which turned left into a parking lot. Deputies said the motorcyclist was thrown at least 100 feet.

Witnesses who saw the accident believed the motorcycle was travelling faster than the 45 mph speed limit. .

A nearby store’s security cameras captured the accident, and show the motorcycle going at high speed, then slamming into the van. The impact was so great that the van was lifted on one side and the motorcyclist flew into the air and the bike was destroyed. So far, no charges have been filed against the driver of the van.

Deadly motorcycle accidents frequently occur when traffic headed in the opposite direction of the motorcycle makes a left turn into the motorcycle’s lane of travel. Of course, factors like the speed of the motorcycle are an issue in determining the driver’s negligence. Nonetheless, if you are riding a motorcycle, it is a good idea to pay extra attention to oncoming traffic and to try to anticipate whether someone will be attempting to make a left turn.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, personal injury lawyers at The Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims.

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Mixing bicycling and beer?

This past March an event was organized by The Beer Snob Bicycle Pub Crawl where participants bike from one bar to another and try different beer at each stop. A review of thewebsite for the event reveals a map with a bike ride of approximately 10 miles with 5 stops at local bars extending from Miami Beach to Downtown. Each bar was renowned for its wide selection of beers. The event was scheduled for evening hours. Participants were reminded to drink “responsibly.”

According to one participant, this event has been hosted several times and does not encourage too much drinking — “The point of the ride isn’t to get drunk but to be social and be athletic. . . You don’t drink three beers at the first stop. You have a beer, ride, have a beer, ride. So it’s more about having a good beer, having good conversation and riding your bike.”

Certainly riding your bike and having a few beers with some friends can make for an enjoyable evening. The obvious question arises — do these two activities mix? Four stops along the cycle route with just one beer at each location can be enough to get some people intoxicated beyond the legal limit for driving a car. While Cycling Under the Influence (“CUI”) is not a crime in the State of Florida, the questionable safety rationale for this event appears to be that a cyclist under the influence is less dangerous to others than a driver of a car under the influence. Well maybe . . . . but the level of coordination to ride a bike is greater than operating a car and riders could well be a danger to themselves, bicycle helmet notwithstanding.

Who knows what accidents, if any, have occurred at prior events. An accident involving a single bicyclist generally is not reported to authorities. Nevertheless, the organizers of this event need to think about the effects of CUI and consider drinking the beer after the bike ride with designated drivers available.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Hollywood, Florida, personal injury lawyers at The Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims.

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Seniors are Better Drivers

Safety researchers expressed concern a decade ago that traffic accidents would increase as the nation’s aging population swelled the number of older drivers on the road. Now, they say they’ve been proved wrong.

Today’s drivers aged 70 and older are less likely to be involved in crashes than previous generations and are less likely to be killed or seriously injured if they do crash, according to a study released last week by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

That’s because vehicles are getting safer and seniors are generally getting healthier, the institute said.

The marked shift began taking hold in the mid-1990s and indicates that growing ranks of aging drivers as baby boomers head into their retirement years aren’t making U.S. roads deadlier.

Traffic fatalities overall in the U.S. have declined to levels not seen since the late 1940s, and accident rates have come down for other drivers as well. But since 1997, older drivers have enjoyed bigger declines as measured by both fatal crash rates per driver and per vehicle miles driven than middle-age drivers, defined in the study as ages 35 to 54.

From 1997 to 2012, fatal crash rates per licensed driver fell 42 percent for older drivers and 30 percent for middle-age ones, the study found. Looking at vehicle miles traveled, fatal crash rates fell 39 percent for older drivers and 26 percent for middle-age ones from 1995 to 2008.

The greatest rate of decline was among drivers age 80 and over, nearly twice that of middle-age drivers and drivers ages 70 to 74.

“This should help ease fears that aging baby boomers are a safety threat,” said Anne McCartt, the institute’s senior vice president for research and co-author of the study.

“No matter how we looked at the fatal crash data for this age group – by licensed drivers or miles driven – the fatal crash involvement rates for drivers 70 and older declined, and did so at a faster pace than the rates for drivers ages 35 to 54,” she said in a report on the study’s results.

At the same time, older drivers are putting more miles on the odometer than they used to, although they’re still driving fewer miles a year than middle-aged drivers. This is especially true for drivers 75 and older, who lifted their average annual mileage by more than 50 percent from 1995 to 2008.

“The fact that older drivers increased their average mileage … may indicate that they are remaining physically and mentally comfortable with driving tasks,” the institute said. When older drivers reduce the number of trips they take, it’s often because they sense their driving skills are eroding. They compensate by driving less at night, during rush hour, in bad weather or over long distances.

By 2050, the number of people in the U.S. age 70 and older is expected to reach 64 million, or about 16 percent of the population. In 2012, there were 29 million people in the U.S. age 70 and over, or 9 percent of the population.

“The main point is that these 70-80 year olds are really different than their predecessors,” said Alan Pisarski, author of the authoritative “Commuting in America” series of reports on driving trends. “They learned to drive in a very different era. They are far more comfortable driving in freeway situations. This matters immensely for the future because we are seeing dramatic increases in older workers staying in the labor force and continuing to work and commute well past 65.”

AARP, the association that represents older Americans, said the report “dispels common misconceptions and reveals positive trends related to older drivers.”

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Hollywood, Florida, personal injury lawyers at The Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

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