Head On Collisions Most Common for Motorcyclists

The roads are dangerous for everyone. And while cars and trucks dominate the road, there are plenty of motorcycles, bicyclists, and pedestrians weaving in and out of traffic zones too—meaning that anyone who is driving must be alert; unfortunately, in today’s driving climate it often seems that is the last thing on anyone’s mind. Cars are decked out with all the latest electronics, meaning there are complex stereo systems and DVD players to be tended to, not to mention the ever-present cell phone presenting the ongoing temptation to talk and text (or even email and surf online). Distractions cause thousands of deaths each year on the roads of the US—many of which could be prevented.

Motorcyclists Are More Vulnerable in a Crash

Speeding, driving under the influence, and other reckless behaviors continue to threaten travelers, but some are more vulnerable than others. Motorcyclists fit notably into this category as they move along on the roads and highways at the same speed as cars and trucks and in the same traffic zones—but their vehicles are exponentially lighter and offer significantly less protection, putting them in greater danger for injury and even death.

Head-On Collisions Often Occur at Intersections

While everyone should be driving defensively, motorcyclists must take extra care to make sure they are visible. This means wearing brightly colored clothing whenever possible, using neon strips on helmets, boots, or the bike itself, and adding extra lights. Visibility can be even more challenging in traffic areas such as intersections where head-on collisions are most common due to motorists being surprised by a smaller vehicle such as a motorcycle in their path. This is often compounded by speeding or other careless driving. Any type of head-on collision has the potential to be catastrophic, but if a motorcyclist is involved, the results can be fatal or seriously debilitating, to include spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, road rash, and more.

If you ride a motorcycle, make sure to be both seen (bright colors) and heard (revving the engine when necessary), avoid getting into blind spots where a motorist cannot see you, and give cars plenty of distance. Because intersections and other traffic stops tend to be areas more prone to crashes, make eye contact with motorists before turning whenever you can.

Contact Us for Help!

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

 

Keeping Your Distance: Rear End Collisions Often Fatal to Motorcyclist

Motorcyclists are often a rare breed, turning travel into more of a lifestyle than a commute, and forming quick bonds with other like-minded souls on the road. Those who are experienced riders have often already had an accident or two in their lifetime and are wary during their daytime commute or joyriding as they take off in much coveted down time and enjoy the natural landscape of the US.

Even most novices understand what to do to avoid accidents with cars, although they may not be as skilled at handling themselves in the event of a collision. The standard advice such as remaining visible (brightly colored clothing, neon strips on helmets, bike, etc.) usually applies to most individuals riding, along with being heard—which might be why you often hear engines revved at traffic stops. Education about riding is key, along with understanding the specific bike, and knowing how to perform basic, required maneuvers.

What is often overlooked, however, is the knowledge all motorists should have so they can avoid colliding with a motorcycle (as well as bicyclists or pedestrians, all of which are a concern with traffic accidents on the rise). Unfortunately, the most basic issues such as visibility are often a challenge to begin with as motorists’ eyes are so much more attuned to seeing larger objects like vehicles and trucks—and this is one of the biggest causes of accidents. But along with making sure they see motorcycles, motorists should always be aware of their blind spots, doublechecking for drivers behind them.

Keeping the proper distance can be the most important safety measure in avoiding a collision with a motorcycle though. Employing the three- to four-second rule is a good way to prevent accidents, and especially a rear-end collision—keeping in mind that motorcyclists may not give you immediate warning with a brake light if they are gearing down or coasting in anticipation of a stop. While it is easy to get irritated in traffic with any driver, remember that a rear-end collision could end in substantial property damage, severe injury to a motorcyclist, and even fatality; in fact, rear-end collisions tend to be much more fatal for individuals riding on motorcycles than in cars.

Think of how many fender benders you may have been in personally—or how many you may have seen occur between cars. While a tap on a bumper may have meant little in an incident between a car or a truck, in the case of a motorcycle, the motorcyclist could be thrown from their bike. While fatalities are all too common (and sadly, Florida tops the list for motorcycle deaths), serious injuries such as paralysis, traumatic brain injury, fractures, and burns may occur—along with broken bones and a variety of cuts and contusions. Motorcyclists must also be defensive in their driving and wear protective gear such as helmets.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

Motorcyclists: Know How to Read the Road

With millions of automobiles on the road today, sometimes there is a thrill in being different. Some prefer to take public transportation, while other travelers and commuters walk or bicycle everywhere. Motorcycles are extremely popular though, with over 8 million registered in the US, and many owners enjoying not only a different form of transportation, but a whole different lifestyle.

Although the biker image still prevails in many cases—especially with black leather jackets, pants, and heavy boots as protective gear—for people of all ages, careers, and cultures, there is a deep sense of fellowship. Accompanying that are so many other pros to riding, from all that outdoorsy healthy stuff like fresh air and seeing the countryside, to the physical workout experienced on every trip, the economics (less gas, cheaper maintenance, and less investment to begin with), and even a sense of spirituality or Zen.

The most significant con to riding a motorcycle is the safety issue. Even if you are a pro and have been riding for decades, chances are you have a few stories to tell when it comes to accidents. Unfortunately, other motorists are one of the biggest dangers to motorcycle enthusiasts—and because of this you must drive as defensively as possible, always assuming other vehicles are not watching out for you.

Learning to read the road is vital and centered around safety. Although most new drivers and motorcyclists are required to take educational courses, there’s nothing like experience! Getting to know your bike thoroughly before you head out onto the road is critical, along with wearing the proper gear, and making sure your motorcycle is in good working order.

Be visible to other drivers, follow all traffic rules, and be apprised of current weather conditions. Once on the road, each journey is much more complex than just getting from point A to point B. You must constantly assess other drivers:

  • Be sure you have enough space in front of and behind you and cars on the road.
  • Make eye contact if possible with other drivers in their rearview or side mirrors to ensure you are not in their blind spots.
  • Take extra care at intersections, especially left turns.
  • Be awake, alert, and never drive under the influence.

In most cases, ‘reading the road’ means reading other drivers! While you must follow the traffic rules, the speed limits, avoid impairing substances, and be completely aware of your surroundings always, you must also overcompensate for drivers who may be extremely distracted with smartphones or other electronics—or they may be speeding and neglect to see you. They may be inexperienced, tired, or driving drunk. Being hypervigilant about safety while riding your motorcycle can make the difference between arriving home alive or becoming another fatality on Florida roads.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

 

Motorcyclist Fatalities and Accidents: Florida Leads

Motorcyclists enjoy so many benefits biking through the state of Florida, traveling from the beauty of the Florida Keys all the way through the panhandle; for many, it may seem inconceivable that there are so many motorcyclist fatalities. Unlike many other states, the ride occurs at sea level in many areas and is a straight shot on most roads, whether motorcyclists are enjoying a trip closer to the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean. Many of the highways are known for their interesting sights and unique beauty, such as the Overseas Highway, which is part of U.S. 1—or the A1A Scenic & Historic Coastal Byway ending in St. Augustine. Along with abundant sunshine, Florida is also rich with wildlife, varying landscapes, and history.

Whether you are a visitor or a resident though, understand the added dangers of motorcycling in the state of Florida as it continues to be one of the top areas not only for vacations—but motorcycle accidents too. Lumped in with Texas, California, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, data shows that Florida saw 10,331 motorcycle crashes in 2016. Out of those accidents, 459 resulted in fatalities.

Nearly tying with Texas for the highest number of motorcycle accidents, analysts have been busy trying to figure out why Florida is so dangerous—with traffic incidents on the rise, including hit and runs. Many see the good weather as a reason why there are more accidents and deaths for motorcyclists, simply because they are out more. Lack of helmet laws can certainly be to blame too. Although motorcyclists 20 and under must wear helmets, older riders may leave themselves vulnerable to greater injuries like traumatic brain injuries or death.

With a current population of over 21 million people, Florida roads are busy. If you are a motorist, practice extra caution to help motorcyclists such as keeping a safe distance, checking your blind spots, and doublechecking before making left turns. Motorcyclists should continue to make sure they have high visibility while on the roads, as well as maintaining safe speeds and paying extra attention when turning at intersections.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

 

Motorcycle Safety Topics: Beware of That Blind Spot!

If you are thinking about getting a motorcycle, there is a lot to consider—and especially if you are new to the lifestyle. Along with finding a bike of proper size (and one that fits your budget), protective gear such as leather, boots, helmet, and goggles are all usually necessary too. Licensing requirements must be explored, and you may need to take an educational course also. After you have jumped through all those hoops, you may be ready to ride—but don’t forget about the most important conversation of all when it comes to biking: safety.

Florida Is One of the Top States for Motorcycle Accidents

There are so many benefits to riding a motorcycle, whether you do so for pleasure or consider it to be your preferred mode of transportation. Florida is full of scenic byways, no matter which coast you are traveling on, and motorcycle enthusiasts come from all over the country to enjoy riding with an even greater sense of freedom in the year-round sunshine and fresh, tropical air. It cannot be denied though that safety must be of the utmost priority. There are dangers involved in riding a motorcycle—and sadly, most of them are due to negligent motorists. Florida is also known as one of the most dangerous states (coming in tied for the number one spot with Texas) for motorcycle accidents and fatalities. The roads are busy, and they can be hazardous not only for motorcyclists, but also bicyclists and pedestrians.

Always Maintain Good Visibility for Motorists & Yourself

Visibility is always a main issue for bikes, as motorists are generally in the habit of looking for larger vehicles on the road and at intersections, despite continual safety information given to the public about watching for motorcycles. Aside from having additional lighting and wearing bright clothes (or even reflective material), it is critical to make sure motorists can see you in their mirrors. Avoiding blind spots means maneuvering correctly in your lane, and even trying to make eye contact with motorists as they look back. Remember that if you cannot see them in their mirrors, most likely they are not seeing you behind them on the road or traveling right next to them.

Keep a Healthy Distance from Other Vehicles

Always keep a safe distance from cars and other vehicles and have a buffer zone for being able to stop quickly and avoid a potential accident. If you are traveling with other motorcyclists, travel in a safe formation, keeping proper distance between your group and motorists. Find out more here about common injuries caused by motorcycle accidents, as well as what to do if you have been in a collision with a car.

Contact Us for Help Now

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, bicycle accident, pedestrian accident or car wreck due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

Aggressive Drivers Are Added Threat to Motorcyclists

Traveling the roads to get from one destination to another is usually just a minor detail in our day. That can change all too quickly, however, in the case of an accident—and especially a serious one.

Traffic accidents continue to rise, and this means that smaller vehicles on the road like motorcycles are at even more risk each time they venture out.

One of the greatest safety threats to motorcyclists is other motorists on the road, and especially aggressive drivers.

Unfortunately, road rage and aggressive behaviors exhibited on the road are all too common. Drivers may be in a hurry to get to work, having an overall bad day, or suffering in the summer heat and lashing out. Road rage is often triggered in those who may have anger issues to begin with, and they feel comfortable acting belligerently from the protective confines of their own cars. This is problematic when one motorist begins raging on another—but when a motorcycle is involved, the consequences could be deadly.

Aggressive drivers may yell or gesture from within their cars and honk the horn initially; in fact, many motorists may consider this type of adversarial behavior to be completely normal, almost as if it is part of their driving persona. When the situation escalates to driving erratically to punish or chase another driver, the safety of a motorcyclist could be deeply threatened as they are pushed off the road, into guardrails, or into oncoming traffic.

The average car weighs over 4,000 pounds in comparison to a motorcycle weighing 400 to 500 pounds on average. A lot of damage can be done—and especially in an accident carried out deliberately by an enraged driver. In a motorcycle crash, the motorcyclists are prone to much more serious harm to include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (hopefully prevented by a helmet)
  • Spinal cord and neck injuries and even paralysis
  • Broken bones (especially broken legs due to bikes falling on the motorcyclists)
  • Road rash and other burns and contusions
  • Facial fractures
  • Fatality

These types of incidents can be particularly dangerous for more inexperienced motorcyclists too, as they may have trouble maneuvering in normal situations, much less handling an aggressive situation.

Everyone on the road must remember to drive as defensively as possible, keeping in mind that all vehicles have a right to be there.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, bicycle accident, pedestrian accident or car wreck due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker.

We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

Motorcycle Fatalities: Is Florida’s Year-Round Good Weather to Blame?

Overall, Florida has so much going for it as a state—evidenced by the millions of tourists who flock to the south for a wide range of different attractions, as well as so many who decide to retire there–but it is also becoming infamous for traffic problems and motorcycle fatalities. We’ve got some of the most famous amusement parks in the world, along with the best boating, fishing, and access to protected areas like the Everglades. Great restaurants, shopping, and world-class beaches abound.

Along with the continual influx of people visiting comes high volumes of traffic, which means increased accidents—and fatalities—whether they are car accidents, motorcycle crashes, or pedestrian or bicycle accidents. Unfortunately, such incidents just continue to rise in all areas, meaning that drivers must be more careful than ever on the roads. Motorcyclists must be incredibly defensive while traveling, no matter where they are, but with accidents (and deaths) continuing to trend upward, they must be even more diligent about watching out for what can be their greatest threat on the roads today: motorists.

The motorcyclist is much more vulnerable in traffic, traveling on what is usually a fairly lightweight vehicle in comparison to the average car. After a collision, broken legs and trauma to other limbs are common, along with traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and more. In an effort to curb accidents and deaths, experts continue to investigate why there would be an increase—especially with better safety devices in cars today and so much more public knowledge about the dangers of distracted and drunken driving, speeding, and other reckless behaviors.

And while all those behaviors still continue to top the list for the reasons why accidents continue to occur and increase, other more difficult-to-curb factors may be to blame. As the population of Florida continues to grow, there are more motorists on the road and that leads to more problems; however, the outdoorsy nature of Florida’s residents and visitors—combined with the famously good weather of the Sunshine State—means there is more time to be spent on the roads during the day and night. Even if it may not be sunny all the time, the subtropical climate is enticing to those who enjoy motorcycling and other outdoor activities.

If you are a motorcyclist, no matter the state, always be sure that you are visible to others on the road. Shift in lanes appropriately so you avoid getting into blind spots and make eye contact with motorists making left turns at intersections whenever possible. Always be alert, and wary of other drivers.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

Motorcyclist Licensing: Understand the Requirements in Florida

While Florida may top the list in the country for accidents, to include cars, motorcyclists, pedestrians, bicyclists, and boats too, the beauty of the state itself and the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors continues to draw a growing population; in fact, Florida is one of the fastest growing states in the country today, with cities such as Tampa and Orlando exhibiting massive gains in new residents. More people means more traffic (and also, unfortunately, more accidents)—along with an influx of drivers looking into new licensing and registration.

For motorcyclists entering Florida or for residents just purchasing a bike, know what you will need in terms of pre-licensing education, licenses, and more. If you have just moved into the state, most likely you can look forward to skipping another driver’s course or having to take a test; however, that only applies if you come into Florida with a license/endorsement that is still valid. All you will need is your old license, and documents proving you are now a resident.

If you are a Florida driver with a FL Class E license (this is the basic non-commercial drivers license) adding a motorcycle onto your license as an endorsement, you are required by the State of Florida to complete an MSF Basic Rider Course. If you are over 18 and want a Motorcycle Only driver’s license, you must either already have a valid driver’s license or proceed to take the written knowledge exams, an MSF Basic Rider Course, and vision test. If you are a motorcyclist under 18 (with 16 being the youngest age you can apply), the State of Florida requires you to have a driver’s license for a minimum of one year with no moving violations.

Once you are out on the roads enjoying the fresh air and sunshine, remember that it is more important than ever to drive defensively, always watching for other motorists. Be visible by wearing bright colors and shifting in lanes when necessary, along with taking extra precautions at intersections by revving the engine, making sure your lights are on, and making eye contact with other drivers before turning.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

Collision with a Car? Five Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident

While cars and trucks dominate streets, roads, and highways in the US, millions of others also enjoy other forms of legal travel today whether as pedestrians, cycle enthusiasts, or motorcyclists. For those riding in traffic with larger vehicles, their vulnerability is not only obvious—but substantial; in fact, the average car today weighs over 4,000 lbs. When a collision occurs with someone on foot or traveling on two wheels, injury (and sometimes death) usually occurs.

Motorcyclists—often the owners of one or more cars themselves—are a common sight on roads today, with over eight million of the popular smaller vehicles now registered in the US. Still though, visibility is often cited as an issue in accidents, although it is the motorist’s responsibility to be aware of their surroundings in traffic at all times. Motorcyclists usually employ a variety of tactics to make themselves known, from revving their engines to wearing bright coloring or reflective stripes on helmets and shoes, adding extra lighting, and moving within lanes to avoid being in blind spots. Far too many accidents still occur though, and especially in Florida.

If you are a motorcyclist, know what to do after a collision with a car by following these five steps:

  1. Take a few moments to collect yourself and evaluate the results of the accident, along with making sure the car that hit you has pulled over too. Assess whether you or your passenger have serious injuries. If there is any doubt, an ambulance should be called.
  2. Call the police so that an official report can be filed. This also means that you have law enforcement at the location in case the other party wants to leave the scene, or is argumentative, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  3. Call an experienced car accident attorney from a firm like Heintz & Becker as soon as possible. Keep in mind that insurance adjustors will be calling you quickly—and they should be referred to your attorney. Not speaking with adjustors on your own can be extremely beneficial to your case.
  4. Take pictures of all damage or anything that could be considered evidence before moving your motorcycle, so traffic can continue safely forward. Take pictures of any crossroads, stoplights, and major traffic details close by. It is important to get pictures of the other vehicle if possible too, along with their license plate. If there are witnesses nearby, ask for their contact information. They could be key to your case later!
  5. Trade insurance information with the other driver, as well as getting any other contact information possible.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

Motorcyclists: Leather Gear May Prevent Road Rash

The culture of riding is enticing, and it’s easy to understand why. You may have had a lifelong interest in building motorcycles—or perhaps you became interested in riding after seeing so many other happy souls out on the roads enjoying a different sense of freedom in travel. It could also be that you were looking for a more economical way to commute back and forth to work, or perhaps you tuned into a few too many episodes of Sons of Anarchy and decided to follow suit.

No matter the reason for riding, motorcyclists around the US enjoy so many benefits, and amidst all the safety concerns, health and exercise is one of them. Riding is a full body workout, especially for the core, along with requiring constant brain activity due to intense focus on the road. And while it may seem important to ‘dress the part,’ the leather and boots—usually imparting a serious look of cool—can be critical to real protection. And in considering the statistics for motorcycle crashes in Florida, as well as common injuries sustained by those involved, you should want to stock up on all safety gear possible.

While a fender bender when driving a car may be all too common on the roads today, resulting in no injuries and both parties often just walking away, the majority of motorcycle crashes end in injury or even death. And in Florida especially, caution must be taken as the roads are more dangerous than ever. Safety gear begins with the helmet—and even though it is not required in Florida if you are 21 or over, wearing a helmet improves your chances for preventing traumatic brain injury and other major problems. With leather protection, you may also be able to prevent losing a significant amount of skin when hitting the pavement.

Road rash is an all-too-common injury, and leather pants and a jacket (or a full riding suit) offer a valuable safeguard. The amount of skin you could lose due to lack of protection is alarming—even if you were going at a relatively slow speed in the event of a crash. Without protective clothing, you could risk road rash in a variety of degrees—similar to burns—with some of the most serious cases requiring skin grafting. If you have suffered or are suffering from road rash, then you know how painful it can be whether it is first, second, or third degree, with infection being an added risk.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!