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What types of dangers do motorcyclists face on the road?

With the number of motorcyclists on Florida's roads year-round, it is inevitable that accidents will occur between motorcyclists and other vehicles. Unfortunately, it is usually the motorcyclist who is the worst off in such situations, even if the motorcyclist is wearing a helmet, as motorcycles do not have the safety features that standard automobiles do. In fact, according to one source, when it comes to motorcycle accidents, motorcycle riders are approximately five times more likely to suffer an injury in a collision and 26 times more likely to lose their life in a collision when compared to operators of other types of vehicles.

When it comes to collisions between motorcyclists and another vehicle, in two-thirds of these collisions, it is motorcyclist who had the right of way, which the other motorist violated, resulting in the collision. For example, if a motorcyclist had the right of way at an intersection that another motorist failed to notice, or if a motorist failed to yield to a motorcyclist at a yield sign, this could cause an accident. Motorists must understand that they need to take extra care to watch out for motorcyclists on the road. Motorcycles are smaller than automobiles, which can make it more difficult for them to be seen on busy roads or in poor weather conditions.

In addition, motorcyclists face hazards on the road that aren't as dangerous for other types of motorists. For example, poor road conditions can be hazardous for motorcyclists. Potholes, ruts, debris, standing water or oil spills can be more dangerous for the two-wheeled motorcyclist than they are for a four-wheeled automobile.

As this shows, while most motorcyclists are passionate about their chosen mode of transportation, riding a motorcycle can be dangerous, particularly if other vehicles do not pay attention to the presence of motorcycles on the road. Inattentive drivers who do cause motorcycle accidents may find themselves facing liability for the damages the motorcyclist suffered in the crash.

Source: FindLaw, "Motorcycle Accidents: Overview," accessed May 23, 2016

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