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Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

Some groups of bikers think so. Over the month of April, a number of events have been organized by motorcycle groups, lobbying against red light cameras – and for tougher rules against drivers who cause fatal Florida car accidents. On April 11, for example, more than one hundred motorcycle enthusiasts met at Florida’s state capital for a peaceful demonstration to make lawmakers aware of their requests.

Many motorcycle riders, for example, want mandatory jail time for motorists who cause fatal Florida car accidents. According to some bike riders, some motorists are far too casual about safety, causing accidents that kill others. This is especially notable in cases of Florida pedestrian accidents, motorcycle accidents, and bicycle accidents, where the motorist is protected by their vehicle but the pedestrian, motorcyclist or bicyclist often suffers severe injuries or fatalities. Some bikers believe that mandatory sentencing would make motorists take their responsibilities behind the wheel more seriously.

Some motorists also want to see red light cameras eliminated. They believe that such cameras cause speeding motorists to brake suddenly, which can lead to an increase in motorcycle and car accidents in Florida. Some motorcyclists, however, who do support tougher car accident laws do not oppose red light cameras. They claim that red light runners are as dangerous to motorcycle riders – and other cars – as sudden stops caused by people trying to avoid a fine.

State Representative Jimmy Patronis has stated that he also has serious concerns about red light cameras after seeing studies suggesting that they can increase rear-end collisions. On the other hand, other studies do suggest that red light cameras use can reduce other accidents – such as t-bone accidents – caused by motorists running traffic lights. Many legislators are divided about the issue, although many note that red light cameras can help bring in revenues which can be put towards traffic safety.

Whether caused by red light runners or sudden stops at red lights, however, car accidents at traffic lights do more harm to motorcyclists than motorists. Motorcyclists colliding with a car are more likely to suffer severe injuries, such as spinal cord injuries, amputation, severe head injuries, and other severe and potentially life-threatening injuries. This is because motorcyclists are more likely to be thrown from their bikes than motorists are to be ejected from their vehicles. As well, the larger size of the passenger car and the smaller amount of protection available to motorcyclists contributes to fatalities.

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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is expected to make a push for federal legislation that would require all motorcyclists to wear a helmet. Accoording to the NTSB, there has been an increase in fatal motorcycle accidents since the later half of the 1990s, and in many cases these deaths could have been prevented with the use of helmets. In 2009 alone, motorcycle accidents killed 4,400 people across the country, according to the group.

While a federal motorcycle helmet law might help to prevent Florida fatalities – not to mention fatalities in other states – not everyone is happy about the suggested legislation. Many motorcycle groups and motorcycle enthusiasts claim that the decision to wear a helmet is a personal one and resist the influence of government on their riding habits.

Supporters of the proposed legislation note that a stricter federal helmet law would help save lives. Currently, in many Florida motorcycle accidents, fatalities are caused by Florida brain injuries. When a motorcyclist is in a crash, he or she is not protected by a car, the way that a passenger in a car is. Instead, the motorcyclist is often thrown from the motorcycle and upon landing the motorcyclist’s head often impacts with pavement or another surface, causing serious brain damage.

The NTSB says that personal preference makes little sense in the case of helmets, which could help save lives. According to the NTSB, motorcycles account for 13% of fatalities on highways, even though they represent only 3% of vehicles. Furthermore, in 2006 the NTSB joined in a motorcycle forum consisting on government agencies, riders, motorcycle companies, and researchers. The conclusion of that forum was to that mandatory helmet laws were necessary. Only North Carolina amended its laws to require all motorcyclists to wear helmets.

Groups such as the Texas Motorcycle Rights Association claim that there is no scientific, conclusive evidence that helmets save lives. Lobby groups such as the Texas Motorcycle Rights Association have written tens of thousands of letters to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, asking that helmet use not be made mandatory. According to the Texas Motorcycle Rights Association, education is needed more than helmets, as in 30% of motorcycle accidents, riders do not have motorcycle operator licenses, meaning that they may lack the training to operate a motorcycle safely.

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Two recent Florida motorcycle accidents have promoted Florida police departments and safety experts to remind motorcyclists about the dangers of the road. In light of the recent accidents, which have claimed two lives, experts are especially hoping to remind motorcyclists to wear helmets. Many fatal Florida brain injuries occur in motorcycle accidents, and helmets have been proven to help prevent such injuries. Wearing a helmet can literally mean the difference between life and death if you are in a Florida motorcycle accident. In both recent Florida motorcycle accident fatalities, the victims were not wearing helmets at the time of their collisions.

Motorcycles pose some special risks. In fact, the number of motorcycle accident fatalities are 37 times the number of car accident fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). According to NHTSA, the number of motorcycle accident fatalities is on the rise, as well. Safety instructors and other experts note that there are many things motorcycle enthusiasts can do to help stay safe:

1) Get proper training and licensing before getting on the road. In fact, additional training – such as defensive driving classes – can help improve your chances of surviving a collision by giving you the expertise and skills you need to stay safe. Extra training with a good instructor also ensures you don’t develop bad habits which can lead to an accident. Refresher courses and additional training over the lifetime of your motorcycle ensures you stay safer on the roads as well.

2) Wear a helmet as well as the correct safety gear each time you get on a motorcycle. In addition to a helmet which is up to standards outlined by the Department of Transportation, motorcyclists should wear riding jackets, glasses, gloves, and over-the-ankle footwear, according to safety instructors and safety experts. It is important to wear safety gear even on short trips, since many Florida motorcycle accidents occur close to home. While safety gear will not protect you in every accident, in many cases it can help prevent serious injury and may protect you from fatalities in a collision.

3) Never drink and ride or use drugs and drive. It’s important to stay sober. Florida drunk driving accidents involving motorcycles can be just as deadly as impaired driving accidents involving other vehicles.

4) Respect the limits of your riding skills. If you are just starting out with motorcycles, stick to well-paved roads and streets. Do not go onto more dangerous terrain until you have the skill and mastery to do so. Even then, staying on well-paved and less busy roads is often safer.

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While hopping on a motorcycle as a passenger can be exhilarating, passengers are much more problematic on a motorcycle than in a car. Passengers are often a bigger distraction for a motorcyclists because they must often sit right behind the motorcyclist. Passengers can also affect the balance of the motorcycle and this can sometimes lead to accidents. If you have a motorcycle, you can keep yourself and your passengers safer by following these tips:

1) Avoid passengers until you become very skilled on your motorcycle. Take a course for motorcyclists and practice driving your motorcycle in all sorts of conditions before you take on any passengers. To be safe, you need to be able to handle a motorcycle very well before you have any passengers.

2) Get a passenger’s helmet and insist all passengers wear it. Once you are ready to have passengers, you should purchase a motorcycle helmet and keep it on your bike at all times for passengers. Never allow a passenger on your motorcycle without a helmet. A helmet is the best defense you can offer your passengers against brain injuries.

Motorcycle accidents claim many lives each year and also cause serious personal injuries, including broken bones, head trauma, and spinal cord injuries. Because motorcycles are much smaller than other vehicles on the road, a collision between a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle or a truck tends to result in severe injuries for the motorcyclists. Motorcyclists also tend to be more injured because they are not protected on all sides by metal, plastic, and airbags. Luckily, there are many things that motorcyclists can do to help prevent accidents:

1) Always wear a helmet and protective gear. A motorcycle has no windshield or airbags. In a collision, most motorcyclists are thrown and when this occurs, brain injury is a common cause of fatalities. Helmets are your best way to reduce traumatic brain injuries, but to be effective they must be worn each time you climb on your motorcycle. Look for a helmet that offers a face guard or visor. This will protect your face in an accident and will keep your visibility good, so that you can avoid accidents. In addition to a helmet, long pants, boots, gloves, and a jacket can help prevent scrapes if you fall.

2) Get a proper license and training for a motorcycle. All states require motorcyclists to be licensed. In addition to licensing, consider taking extra on-bike training and additional training classes designed especially for motorcyclists. This will teach you how to ride a bike in various conditions and how to avoid some of the common dangers that face motorcyclists.

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