Traffic fatalities in Florida dropped 14 percent in 2009 (2010 reports are not yet out) and motorcycle fatalities fell an even greater 24 percent! Those figures are the lowest on record and culminate 4 years in a row of decreases. Of course, statistics aren’t people and any fatalities at all are tragic occurrences. Let’s look at some trends in motorcycle use and practices in Florida to shed some light on how these results are being achieved and how they might continue to improve.
There were 14,983,437 registered vehicles in Florida in 2009. Of those vehicles, just over 6 percent, or approximately 929,000, were motorcycles. Motorcycle use in Florida has increased steadily since 1997 along with the growth of the baby boomer population. As the economy took a dive and population decreased in 2009 for the first time since World War II, one might expect motorcycle use to do the same. This was not the case. Motorcyclists grow by 2 percent over the previous year. In a place where warm weather, beautiful scenery and glorious sunshine are prime draws for visitors and residents alike, it’s not surprising for people to enjoy these attributes on a motorcycle.
Florida repealed it’s helmet law requiring all riders to wear helmets in 2000. Currently, anyone 21 or older may ride without a helmet as long as they have at least $10,000 of medical insurance benefits to cover injuries incurred while operating a motorcycle. After the repeal, Florida motorcycle accident fatalities steadily increased through 2003. Though that trend is changing, the percentage of motorcycle accidents compared to all accidents has gone up in recent years; peaking at 17.8 percent in 2008. The year 2009 showed a drop to 15.7, most likely due to a Motorcycle Safety Coalition being implemented in July, 2008 along with new rider training requirements. These new factors should help continue the decrease.
Interestingly, riders injured and killed in motorcycle crashes are not in the same younger age group which accounts for the most car crashes. More motorcyclists aged 45 – 54 were injured and killed in 2009 than any other age group. Though Florida is a popular tourist destination and hosts a number of motorcycle events such as Bike Week in Daytona Beach and Thunder Beach Motorcycle Rally in Panama City, just under 90 percent of motorbike injuries and 94 percent of fatalities are residents, not visitors.
One of the best way to make roadways safer for motorcyclists in Florida is for the riders themselves to drive defensively. Motorcycles are easily lost in cars’ blind spots. Most of all, since 40 percent of riders killed in motorcycle accidents are not wearing helmets, wearing a helmet can significantly reduce the chances of being killed in a motorcycle crash.
Contact the Injury Law Clinic today to speak to a Miramar Florida injury attorney.
Automobile accidents are an unfortunate fact of life. There is some risk involved every time an individual gets behind the wheel of their car or truck. No matter how good a driver someone is, and inattentive moment or miscalculation by another driver can lead to disaster. While crashes have become much more survivable with the addition of safety measures like air bags, antilock brakes, three-point rear seat belts and reinforced crumple zones, manufacturers have not yet devised a way to prevent accidents from happening altogether. Until they do the safest course of action is to drive defensively and with a clear head.
According to the statistics in the state of Florida in 2007, there were 256,206 crashes. That translates to about 702 traffic accidents every single day. Law enforcement officers are required by the state to submit a report any time they are called upon to investigate an accident that involves personal injury or death as well as what types of contributing factors were involved. This makes it possible for regulators to come up with a reliable report as to how many accidents involve someone leaving the scene and whether or not alcohol or narcotics were involved.
During 2007 there were 366,917 drivers involved in traffic accidents. These accidents resulted in 3’221 deaths. Those deaths occurred in 2’947 different fatal accidents. While deaths are fairly rare, injuries are not. 212,149 injuries resulted from 135,601 accidents. Of the over a quarter of a million accidents that happened in 2007, 117,658 resulted in property damage only. Alcohol was at least partially to blame for 22,823 of those accidents and drugs were involved in 1,252. It is not just cars that get in accidents, as motorcycle crashes accounted for 9,205 of all accidents that occurred in 2007. Pedestrians and bicycles were also involved in these traffic collisions accounting for 8,129 and 4,847 respectively.
The same state agency that came up with those sobering figures also reported that drivers between the ages of 15 and 19 were involved in more accidents than any other age group and also suffered more fatal crashes. Not surprisingly, drivers between the ages of 20 and 24 were involved in the highest amount of alcohol related accidents of any age group. Most accidents within the state of Florida during that year occurred on Friday and Saturday evenings. Being aware of surroundings and never driving impaired are two of the most important things that any driver can do to prevent themselves from being involved in an auto mobile accident.
Unfortunately, truck accidents are common, and they can often result in serious accidents, or at the very least serious damage. If you are involved in an accident, you should seek the advice of a personal injury lawyer, and be aware that the amount of time you have to file a claim may be limited.
The state in which a trucking accident occurs is one of the most defining factors of how long you have to file a lawsuit for your accident. The state that offers the longest time limit is Oregon, with ten years left open to file your lawsuit. Maine, Minnesota and North Dakota are all tied for second place, giving victims of truck accidents six years to file their claims. Most other states allow people harmed in an incident two to three years to file a truck accident lawsuit.
While each state has its own time limit for filing a truck accident claim, you may actually have less time than allowed by the state. This is because many drivers have Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM or UIM). With these options, there may be notice provisions that place a much shorter requirement on the multiple-year-long statute of limitations in filing a lawsuit against a negligent truck driver. In these cases, the insurance policy contract has precedence over the established time limits for filing your lawsuit.
Consult your state’s time limit chart to find the standard amount of time you have to file based on where you live or where the accident took place. Then check your auto insurance policy immediately so you can provide notice to your insurance company as well as view any notice provisions regarding filing a truck accident lawsuit.