Motorcyclists: Don’t Be Distracted Drivers!

With over eight million motorcycles registered in the US and an enthusiastic population of riders that just keeps growing, safety is more important than ever—and especially as traffic incidents continue to rise in the US. There is a long list of benefits associated with riding motorcycles; for instance, nearly every ride you take gives you a core workout, plus requires you to use arm and leg muscles, strengthening them all further nearly every time you go out. Fellowship between other riders is enjoyed on highways around the country, and many motorcyclists are the envy of others as they dream of riding in the fresh air and beautiful landscapes.

Avoiding accidents is central to riding a motorcycle, with other motorists being the greatest threat; however, it is also up to you to drive defensively and watch out for the safety of others too by making sure that you are following traffic rules—and first on that list is avoiding distractions. While motorists are under heavy fire for distracted driving (and with good reason, as it is the number one reason that accidents and fatalities happen), that doesn’t mean that others aren’t suffering from the same temptation, even to include pedestrians and bicyclists.

It is not uncommon for a motorcyclist to feel like they have everything under control and can handle answering a call at a red light or glancing down at their phone to check a text message while traveling with the flow of traffic. Because a traffic accident can happen within the blink of an eye—and because motorcyclists are so much more vulnerable due to their comparative lack of protection—distracted driving while on a motorcycle can lead to catastrophe. The trend continues with others, with government officials and infrastructure specialists who are concerned about rising fatalities in pedestrians and bicyclists too noting that a percentage of these instances occur as people are not focusing on the road but rather on smartphones, or are walking or bicycling with their heads down as they read—increasing their chances of being struck and hurt or even killed. Motorcycle accidents often result in injuries such as road rash, broken arms and legs, spinal problems, traumatic brain injuries, burns, cuts and contusions, and more.

See more on motorcycle topics in recent blogs regarding what to do after a collision with a car, defensive driving, and more. 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.

Take Note of Your Surroundings After a Motorcycle Crash

No one likes to look at the dark side of an activity that can be so much fun—as well as rewarding. Riding a motorcycle allows you to enjoy the freedom of the outdoors while in forward motion to a destination—as well as a sense of connection with other likeminded spirits on the road. Riding a motorcycle can also lead to a great workout every time you get on your bike, requiring a surprising amount of core and leg strength that increases with every trip down the highway. This mode of transportation is also often much more economical, with less start-up cost in buying a motorcycle, cheaper gas, cheaper maintenance, and greater ease in maneuvering through traffic during that daily commute.

Safety is a major consideration though, and no matter how defensively you drive, you may still find yourself in an accident due to the negligence of a motorist. While car crashes can lead to a wide range of serious injuries for drivers and passengers, motorcyclists are much more vulnerable as they lack the protection of the weight and steel frame of a car or truck. In Florida, you are in even more danger as it is ranked one of the highest states for motorcyclist fatalities, opening up the potential for serious wounds such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, broken arms and legs, and road rash—with head on collisions being most common. And although you may never have to use such information, you should definitely be aware of what to do right after an accident.

Assess injuries first. Are you okay? If so, check on the other parties involved in the accident and call for help if necessary. If you can move your motorcycle out of the path of traffic, do so, along with taking pictures of all the damage. This is where the smartphone comes in very handy. Take pictures of everything possible at the scene of the crash, including license plates of all vehicles involved, damage from all sides, the highway area, traffic signs and traffic lights, intersections, road signs, and anything that may be of help to your case later.

See more on motorcycle topics in recent blogs regarding what to do after a collision with a car, defensive driving, and more. 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.

Men Are More Likely to Be Involved in Motorcycle Accidents

The population of motorcyclists in the US continues to rise steadily, and according to a recent study, motorcycles registered doubled from 2002 to 2017, with the largest numbers licensed in both Florida and California. More women (and many who are younger than the typical demographic for men) are purchasing bikes these days too, enjoying all the same benefits that men do such as increased physical strength, a sense of camaraderie, and the excitement of being on the open road.

Men are still more likely to be in a motorcycle accident though, and especially if they are 50 years old or over. And while it may not be that surprising a statistic considering men are stereotypically considered to be a predominant force in motorcycling, a whopping 91 percent of fatalities in 2015 were men. Those over the age of 50 may not be as strong as their younger male motorcyclist counterparts, unfortunately, leading to more deaths—but realistically, anyone endeavoring to ride a motorcycle needs to possess considerable strength even for the easiest of rides. Major core strength is needed from the beginning, as well as substantial arm and leg strength.

Often, serious accidents from the older demographic also result due to motorcyclists over the age of 50 hoping to pick up where they left off many years ago in riding the highways on two wheels. Physical strength can vary in different ways after so many years, and many motorcyclists may not take that into account. Riders may have been away from their hobby (or preferred mode of transportation) for so long that they forget how much of a physical challenge can be involved, not to mention how much time it can take to adapt to a new bike and time out on the open road. And while fatalities are a reality, motorcycle crash injuries can lead to long-term repercussions, including spinal injuries, neck injuries, traumatic brain injuries, serious arm, leg, or facial fractures, and even amputations.

If you were in a motorcycle accident, you may not only find yourself having to get used to dealing with minor or major physical and emotional injuries, but you may not be able to go back to work either temporarily or even permanently. This can be devastating to your finances, and you may be owed substantial compensation if you were hurt due to the negligence of others.

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 Accidents More Common at Night, Especially on Weekends

Motorcyclists may be in the minority in traffic today, but this portion of the driving/riding population continues to grow, with data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration demonstrating that Florida is one of the most dangerous places to ride. While landscapes in other states may pose a threat due to curving roads lacking guardrails or snow, ice, and rocky conditions—even those with landslides or more—Florida’s typically flat streets, highways, and byways pose hazards generally created just by other motorists, and a lot of them!

It isn’t called the Sunshine State without good reason, meaning that Florida’s abundantly good weather all year round leads to more motorcyclists, runners, pedestrians, and bicyclists. There are a multitude of different areas where you can get out and drive, ride, walk, or run, but in most cases, there are still traffic dangers. Statistics show that careless drivers continue to pose a hazard on the roads, and Florida leads in motorcycle fatalities.

In the case of a negligent motorist causing harm to others on the road, individuals choosing any other mode of transportation are much more vulnerable due to the lack of protection when facing the weight of a car or truck weighing more than 4,000 pounds. And whether motorcyclists are in harm’s way due to a drunk, distracted, speeding, or otherwise reckless driver, data shows that more deaths and fatalities occur at night and on weekends. Visibility and illumination issues continue to cause challenges when it comes to accidents, with motorists not ‘seeing’ motorcyclists—but this threat applies to pedestrians and bicyclists too. On the weekends, it makes unfortunate sense that there are more accidents in general as less people are indoors at work all day.

Motorcyclists are urged to drive defensively and wear the appropriate protective gear, but also to stand out with bright colors. This doesn’t just mean avoiding darker clothing, either. Choose a bike that is brightly painted, and a helmet that follows suit so that you stand out in traffic. Reflective stickers can also be added to your helmet, motorcycle jacket, boots, and more. Additional lighting is always recommended too.

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.

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.