Distracted driving is a serious problem in Florida and across the country, from motorists talking or texting on handheld cell phones to engaging with vehicle technology that is designed to make driving safer but actually provides more distractions for motorists behind the wheel. In large part, motorcyclists cannot engage in many of the same types of distracting behavior that car or truck drivers can, such as reaching into the back seat of a car or looking down at a smartphone that is sitting on the passenger seat. Yet motorcyclists can still be involved in serious and fatal distracted driving accidents. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), there were more than 5,000 motorcyclist fatalities in 2019 and many more nonfatal injuries in collisions.
What do you need to know about distracted motorcycling and South Florida motorcycle accidents?
Motorcyclists Can Get Distracted, Too
There are many different forms of distractions that can affect drivers, including motorcyclists. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) makes clear that any activity that takes a person’s hands off the wheel, eyes off the road, or mind away from the task of driving and paying attention to the road constitutes a distraction that can lead to a distracted driving crash. Although motorcyclists may not be tempted by all the same distractions that exist inside a car or truck, they can still reach into a pocket to look at a text, take their eyes off the road for other reasons, or take their mind off the task of driving.
As the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) emphasizes, “distracted or inattentive driving has become a major concern to the motorcycling community,” and the AMA “acknowledges that motorcyclists—in addition to car drivers, truck drivers, and even bicyclists—share this responsibility” of avoiding distracted driving.
Distracted Car and Truck Drivers Can Cause Collisions with Motorcyclists
Motorcyclists in Florida are frequently injured in collisions with cars and trucks caused by a distracted car or truck driver. When another driver takes his or her eyes off the road for even a few seconds, that driver can collide with a motorcyclist and can cause irreparable harm.
Motorcyclists Can Still Recover Damages Even If They Are Partially to Blame for a Crash
Motorcyclists who are injured in collisions with car or truck drivers often wonder if they are still eligible to file a claim if their distraction may have played a role in causing the crash. Under Florida law, a distracted motorcyclist can recover damages even if that motorcyclist’s distraction was the partial cause of the collision. Since Florida has a pure comparative fault rule, as long as the motorcyclist is not fully at fault, the motorcyclist can file a claim against the at-fault driver and can seek damages. If the court ultimately determines that the motorcyclist is partially to blame for the crash, the motorcyclist’s damage award will be reduced by his or her portion of fault.
Contact a West Palm Beach Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Do you need help filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit? An experienced West Palm Beach motorcycle accident attorney at our firm can assist you with your claim. Contact Lesser Lesser Landy & Smith PLLC today to get started on your case.