Motorcycles are popular in Florida, both among residents and tourists, and Immokalee is no exception. They are smaller, cheaper and better for the environment than the more ubiquitous sport utility vehicles and light trucks, and here in Florida, one can ride them practically year-around.
Florida has the unfortunate distinction of being the most dangerous place for motorcyclists, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reporting more motorcycle accident deaths a year in the Sunshine State than any other in the country. Although most deadly motorcycle accidents occur on urban roads (55 percent), the number of deadly and serious motorcycle crashes per mile traveled is far higher in rural areas like Immokalee, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
As a small community in Collier County with a population of roughly 25,000, Immokalee is the site of dozens of motorcycle accidents a year. Our Immokalee motorcycle accident attorneys at Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, recognize the unique challenges facing motorcycle accident victims and have long committed ourselves to advocating for their rights and best interests.Why Motorcyclists in Immokalee are More Prone to Crash
Motorcycles are great for transportation and recreation in Florida, with its long, flat roads and weather that typically cooperates in all seasons. However, they are not without risk. Federal safety officials report motorcycle crash, fatality and injury statistics have been on the upswing for several years now, and that’s especially true in Florida, where 555 motorcyclists died just in one year – 11 percent of the national total.
Motorcycles have high-performance capabilities, but they are smaller, less stable and less visible than cars. Furthermore, motorcyclists are vulnerable to serious injuries because they lack the same kind of protection that someone in an enclosed vehicle enjoys.
That’s why U.S. government data on motorcycle deaths isn’t all that surprising: Per vehicle mile traveled, someone on a motorcycle is 29 times more likely to die in a crash than someone in a car. However, that doesn’t mean these crashes are inevitable. In fact, most motorcycle crashes are due to driver error, most often because of a mistake made by someone in another vehicle. Even in single-vehicle motorcycle crashes, passengers who are injured should know they too have rights to compensation for injuries caused by the operator’s carelessness.
The most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Immokalee, Florida are:
- Speeding. This is a major factor in all crashes, really, but it’s especially deadly in motorcycle collisions. The NHTSA reports speed was a catalyst in 33 percent of all motorcycle deaths, compared to 19 percent of passenger vehicle deaths, 15 percent involving light trucks and 7 percent involving large trucks.
- Left turn accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 66 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents occur at non-intersections and 34 percent occur at intersections. In both cases, right-of-way errors are misjudgments that can be fatal to those on a motorcycle.
- Inattentive/distracted drivers. Motorcycles are unquestionably harder to see, but that doesn’t excuse a driver who isn’t using the reasonable care required to look. It’s especially worse these days given the proliferation of smartphones (especially the fact many drivers are paying more attention to their screens than the road).
- Sudden stops. When a vehicle stops abruptly in front of a motorcyclist, it can result in serious injury and death. Most deadly motorcycle accidents involve impact to the front of the bike, while about 7 percent involve impact to the rear (meaning by-and-large, it isn’t the motorcyclist stopping abruptly that’s the problem).
- Driving under the influence. Approximately 25 percent of motorcyclists killed in crashes were impaired by alcohol – more than drivers of other types of vehicles. Of motorcyclists killed in single-vehicle crashes on weekend nights, 55 percent were alcohol-involved, according to federal data.
- Motorcycle defect. If a manufacturer of a motorcycle makes an error with regard to the way it is designed or made, it can be grounds for a motorcycle product liability lawsuit. Legal action may also be taken against a motorcycle repair shop that fails to perform safe repairs or maintenance.
- Road defects. Motorcycles are more sensitive to road conditions that might not affect larger vehicles at all. These can range from loose gravel on the road to potholes to debris.
Motorcycle accidents can cause catastrophic injuries and wrongful death. However, while Florida is a no-fault state, requiring motorists to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) and pursue recovery from their own insurer first – regardless of fault – PIP isn’t available for motorcyclists in Florida. That means in virtually all cases, a motorcyclist will have to take action first against the at-fault driver. Motorcycle passengers may have grounds to file claims against both the motorcycle operator and the other driver.
If you’re injured in an Immokalee motorcycle accident, our attorneys can help you identify all defendants and determine how best to obtain just compensation.
If you or someone you care about has been hurt, contact the Immokalee motorcycle injury lawyers at Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured. You pay us no fees unless we win.