Earlier this month, Panama City Beach had a deadly motorcycle accident on Back Beach Road. The accident occurred at the intersection of Panama City Beach Parkway and Argonaut Street. According to a police report, a 2005 Mercury Monterey van was eastbound on Back Beach and entered into the break between medians at Argonaut Street. As the van drove into the westbound lanes, it pulled out in front of a Harley Davidson motorcycle, driven by a 53 year-old male from Opelika, Alabama.
So who’s mostly to blame when four-wheel and two-wheel vehicles collide? According to a study published a few years back in the Sun-Sentinel, the Florida Department of Transportation found motorists driving cars and trucks are mostly at fault, often failing to yield the right of way to the smaller vehicles such as motorcyclists. In analyzing 10 years of Florida motorcycle crashes, Chan young Lee, a senior researcher at the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research, found that 60 percent of the time motorists in other vehicles are at fault when they collide with motorcycles. In severe and fatal motorcycle crashes involving multiple vehicles, greater blame falls on four-wheeled drivers. And most motorcycle crashes involve other vehicles. Those crashes often involve other vehicles making a left turn, pulling in front of motorcycles that are going straight. The problem is people in cars and trucks fail to see motorcycles. That’s partly because they have smaller profiles. But it’s also a matter of awareness. In driver surveys, FDOT has asked people how often they see motorcycles. Those with motorcycle endorsements on their driver’s licenses report seeing motorcycles all the time, while those without endorsements who live in the same area report occasionally seeing motorcycles.
- According to the latest data available from the Federal Highway Administration, there were 8.4 million private and commercial motorcycles on U.S. roads in 2014, compared with 8.0 million in 2009.
- 2014 Crash Data: According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2014, 4,586 people died in motorcycle crashes, down 2.3 percent from 4,692 in 2013.
- In 2014, 39 percent of those motorcyclists killed were not wearing helmets, down from 41 percent in 2013.
- In 2014, 92,000 motorcyclists were injured, up 4.5 percent from 88,000 in 2013, almost as many as the 93,000 injured in 2012.
- Over the nine years from 2005 to 2014, fatalities among the 40-and-older age group increased by 14 percent, according to NHTSA, compared to less than 1 percent for all ages.
- The fatality rate per registered vehicle for motorcyclists in 2014 was six times the fatality rate for passenger car occupants, according to NHTSA
If you have been injured or a loved one has been injured as a result of an accident where a vehicle ran into a motorcycle, contact us at Brannon & Brannon for a free consultation at (850)659-2252 or through our website at brannoncanhelp.com