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Motorcycle accidents and who is to blame

With decent year-round weather, it should be no surprise that there are often plenty of motorcycles on Florida roadways. This is quite possibly why motorcycle accidents are a major concern in the state. However, there is an ongoing debate over who is more at fault for accidents: motorcyclists or motorists.

The Sun Sentinel reported that in 60 percent of motorcycle accidents, motorists are at fault, according to a recent study which looked at data over a period of 10 years. The most common reasons for this is that motorists fail to yield to motorcycles who have the right of way, fail to properly judge how far away a motorcycle is or don’t see the motorcycle. However, motorcyclists are not completely off the hook. Not slowing down when taking a curve is one of the leading reasons why single-vehicle crashes account for 34 percent of motorcycle accidents.

Reducing the number of accidents is the responsibility of everyone on the road. Motorists must be vigilant; they should always double check for motorcycles before turning or pulling out into traffic. It is also important motorists give motorcycles the same room as they would another vehicle.

Motorcyclists must also do their part. Laws making it mandatory to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle were repealed in 2000. According to the Tampa Bay Times, though, this has led to a higher number of motorcycle accident deaths in the state. The number rose from 160 average before the law was repealed, to 246 in 2001 and 550 in 2006. The increase has attracted national attention even though there is no current effort to reinstate the helmet law in Florida.