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Fatal Florida Motorcycle Accidents: Substance Impaired Drivers Pose a Serious Danger to Riders

Drivers impaired by an intoxicating substance like drugs or alcohol pose a serious accident risk to everyone else on the road. However, motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to being injured or killed in a collision caused by a drunk driver. The lack of any barrier between a rider’s body and the hard surface of the roadway as well as the lack of other types of safety equipment like airbags or seatbelts creates a much higher risk of suffering life-altering injuries. Our Miami motorcycle accident lawyers know that motorcycles also offer less stability when attempting to avoid a collision with a drunk driver who suddenly executes a left turn in front of a rider without checking to determine that it is safe to turn.

While operating any form of motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicating substance increases the likelihood of a crash, motorcyclists are especially likely to suffer severe injury or death in an impaired driving-related accident. Studies reveal that 40-45 percent of all motorcyclists who suffer fatal injuries have been drinking according to the Motorcycle Handbook published by the Florida Department of Safety and Motor Vehicles. Riders should never operate a motor vehicle after drinking even if the rider is not over the .08 BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) legal limit. Two-thirds of motorcyclists who suffer fatal injury with alcohol in their system have a BAC level below the legal limit. Whether the drunk driver is the motorcyclist or the driver of a passenger car, motorcyclists die in ninety percent of crashes that involve abuse of substances.

Motorists are prone not to notice motorcyclists under even the best circumstances, but this risk is increased by the impact of alcohol and other intoxicating substances. Motorcycles are smaller and often present in positions that drivers of cars, trucks and SUVs do not expect them to be present. Alcohol and drugs can adversely impact driving ability by impairing the following:

• Visual acuity • Estimating distance and speed • Decision-making and judgment • Coordination • Reflexes • Response time when braking
Collisions involving intoxicating substances claim the lives of 2,100 motorcyclists annually and cause injury to another 50,000 riders. Given the handling dynamics of a motorcycle, riders should allow a wide berth when approaching drivers that appear to be substance impaired. If a driver of a passenger car is weaving, drifting into an adjacent lane, driving without lights at night or otherwise driving erratically, motorcyclists should stay far enough away, so they are not forced to make a dangerous and sudden evasive maneuver because of a mistake by a substance impaired driver.

Holding Drunk Drivers Accountable for Injuries to Motorcyclists

In each and every case our office handles, we make it our practice to go over each and every complaint our clients have from the top of their head to the bottom of their feet. We do this because patients often fail to tell their physician about all of their complaints, thinking that what they are feeling is not related to the injuries suffered in their case. We are not doctors, but we explain to our clients that they need to let the doctor know because he/she may feel that there is a relationship. For example, victims complaining of lower back pain may not tell their doctor that they are having tingling or numbness in their leg. If the doctor is informed of the symptom, the doctor can examine the patient and determine the cause of the complaint.

Our Miami motorcycle accident lawyers have handled an array of Florida motorcycle accidents that result in death and serious injury. We have recovered from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars for these claims. If you or a loved one is injured in a motorcycle crash, we invite you to contact the South Florida law office of Greenberg Stone and Urbano today. For over 120 collective years, we have aggressively represented the victims of motor vehicle accidents across South Florida. Our commitment to excellence in providing legal services has earned us an “AV” rating from Martindale Hubbell, and it is why we have been asked to join Primerus, an international society of leading law firms. Moreover, the Miami Herald voted us as one of the top-rated South Florida law firms, and, we have earned the title of “Superlawyers,” designating us as being among the best lawyers in America. We want to put this dedication to work for you, so call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule an initial consultation either in our main office, your home or hospital, or at one of the offices were we see client’s by appointment.

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