Riding a motorcycle is an exhilarating, liberating experience but can also be extremely dangerous. You are not as well-protected as occupants in passenger vehicles, which are much larger and heavier than your cycle. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there are more than 9,000 motorcycle accidents statewide every year, causing around 620 fatalities and injuries to 7,800 victims. Around 1 in 4 of these crashes occur in South Florida, where almost 130 motorcycle operators and passengers are killed in collisions annually.
The vast majority of motorcycle crashes are caused by negligent motorists who fail to exercise proper precautions behind the wheel. However, there are other reasons behind these collisions, often related to road conditions instead of traffic. You may still have legal remedies, though your options vary based on the circumstances. A Miami motorcycle accident attorney can assist with the legal process, and some information on the dangers is useful.
Road and Non-Traffic Hazards
Besides careless and negligent drivers, motorcyclists face many hazards on the actual roadways themselves. Motorcycle crashes are a common threat when:
- Obstacles or debris on the roadway disrupts the safe operation of the vehicle. These issues can affect any driver, but items strewn across the road are an extreme risk for motorcycles. Both wheels must be in contact with the road surface to ensure proper traction. A sudden swerve could lead to loss of control and skidding out. Common obstacles include construction materials, remnants of blown-out tires, animals, tree limbs, and disabled vehicles.
- There are potholes and divots in the road. The driver of a four-wheeled vehicle can navigate many of them, and the tires, suspension, and other components absorb much of the blow. However, a pothole could lead a motorcycle rider to upend and be tossed.
- Loose gravel accumulates at the shoulder, edge of the roadway, around curves, and within intersections. This debris essentially holds on to the tires, unexpectedly slowing the motorcycle. Loose gravel can also impact traction.
- The motorcycle rider encounters bad weather, which can develop quickly in South Florida. Downpours, heavy storms, fog, wind, and other weather conditions make it difficult to maneuver the vehicle safely.
Pursuing At-Fault Parties
You may not be able to sue Mother Nature for poor weather, but you might have legal options related to other road and non-traffic hazards. Government agencies are responsible for ensuring the safety of all road users, so they can be held accountable for negligence in maintaining interstates, highways, city streets, and other public thoroughfares. You may have a claim against a federal, state, or local government body.
Discuss Legal Remedies with a Miami Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you were hurt in a crash because of road conditions or other non-traffic hazards, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA, to discuss potential remedies. You can call (305) 371-6000 or visit us online to set up a no-cost case evaluation with a member of our team. We can meet with you at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL, to learn more about your situation.