Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

Memorial Day Weekend is here and a favorite holiday of many Americans as it serves as a time to remember and celebrate the men and women who have proudly served our country and defended our freedom as well as provides most with some extra time off from work. The plus side to this holiday is that you may get to spend some much needed time with friends and family, but the downside is that Memorial Day Weekend is one of the most dangerous weekends to be on the roads in the United States due to a surge in motor vehicle crashes, including motorcycle accidents. 

The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that 415 people may lose their lives on U.S. roads for the 2021 Memorial Day Weekend holiday period from 6 p.m. Friday, May 28 to 11:59 p.m. Monday, May 31. While this number is only an estimate, the NSC has a 90% confidence interval for roadway deaths this holiday weekend ranging from 337-502. The impact of COVID-19 has increased the NSC’s estimates for the number of roadway deaths this year, according to their reports. 

What Makes Memorial Day Weekend So Dangerous?

  • Increased Drivers/Motorcyclists on the Roads: As America starts to bounce back from COVID-19 and reopen, 37 million people are expected to travel this Memorial Day Weekend, according to CNN reports. A AAA Memorial Day travel forecast for 2021 expects a 60% increase of travelers this year compared to last year heading out on the road traveling 50 or more miles from their homes. The confidence boost to get out this year coincides with about 50% of the American population having at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. Road travel is still slated to be much higher than air travel this year, and popular destinations include Orlando, Myrtle Beach, Denver, Las Vegas, South Carolina, and Nashville. 
  • Unfamiliar Territory for Motorists/Motorcyclists: Motorcyclists and auto drivers alike heading out on road trips might be travelling to new places, making this unfamiliar terrain. For many, unfamiliar places can result in overly cautious driving or more reckless driving, both of which are known to cause serious accidents.
  • Drivers Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs: Drunk or drugged drivers on the roadways are always a potential threat, but this drastically increases over a holiday weekend. According to NSC data for the latest year available (2018 Memorial Day period), 37% of fatalities involved drivers who were operating under the influence of alcohol. Extended holiday weekends often lead to celebrations with alcohol, so it is quite common for motorists to lose track of their sobriety and get behind the wheel of a car after a day/night of partying. 

motorcycle-1185717_1920-300x224How Can You Avoid a Memorial Day Weekend Motorcycle Accident? 

While you can do everything in your power to be safe and drive responsibly, everyone must do their part. The following safety tips can keep you and others sharing the roads safe this Memorial Day Weekend. 

  • Expect an Increase in Traffic: You can expect to see more drivers on the road this Memorial Day Weekend, so plan accordingly. It will likely take you longer to get to and from your destination, so give yourself plenty of time to get to where you are going so that you don’t have increased stress or anxiety from being rushed. 
  • Wear Proper Safety Gear: This is essential for motorcyclists safety. Don’t travel without your helmet and protective clothing, like jeans, durable boots, a reflective jacket, gloves and face/eye protection. 
  • Stay Off Roads at Night: Accidents can happen at any time throughout the Memorial Day weekend, but many crashes happen later at night/early morning hours when people are heading home after a night of partying. Staying off the roads at night can prevent you from being harmed in an accident with a drunk or drugged driver. 

What Should I Do If I am Involved in a Memorial Day Weekend Motorcycle Crash? Continue reading

A mother passed away Saturday after crashing the motorcycle she was riding while on a memorial ride for her son, who suffered the same fate just one month earlier. 

The 51-year-old woman was riding a 2012 Honda CBR along with about 80 other bikers when a horse jumped into the road and caused her to swerve and ultimately lose control of her bike and crash into a ditch. The accident reportedly occurred around 12:30 p.m. 

The woman was wearing a helmet and was transported to a hospital where she was pronounced dead. 

Reports did say that investigators believe excessive speed played a factor in the crash.

The woman’s son, 23, died April 5 in a motorcycle crash. The bikes she was riding at the time of her motorcycle crash was one of his. 

bikers-5644753_1920-300x177Thousands of Florida motorcyclists ride the roads of Florida, pretty much year round. While these riders have the joy of travelling the open roads whenever they’d like, they are at a higher risk of being involved in accidents that can result in serious and debilitating injuries. Motorcycle riders are not allotted the same protections as a driver of a car, like a large steel frame and airbags, so when riders are involved in a crash they can easily suffer from a wide range of injuries like broken bones, brain damage, internal bleeding, road rash, amputated limbs, neck and back injuries, shoulder and knee injuries, and even death. When these serious injuries occur from a motorcycle crash, our Florida Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are here to help.

It is true that some motorcycle accidents cannot be prevented, but there are far too many of these types of collisions that are caused by negligence. Motorcycles are less visible to other motorists and also less stable than four-wheeled vehicles. Riders are also more susceptible to the weather and other road conditions than drivers of cars. If another careless or reckless driver caused or contributed to your motorcycle crash in some way, then it can be quite beneficial to speak with our Florida motorcycle accident law firm. Our Florida Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton specialize in motorcycle crash claims.

How Many Motorcycle Accidents Result in Death? 

The most recent data that is available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that 5,014 motorcyclists were killed in motorcycle wrecks in 2019. This number is actually down from the 5,038 people killed in motorcycle crashes in 2018. 2019 data from the NHTSA also shows that motorcyclists were about 29 times more likely to die than passenger car occupants per vehicle miles traveled.

How Many Motorcycle Accidents Result in Injuries? 

Injuries suffered across the U.S. in motorcycle crashes are quite significant as well. In 2019, the NHTSA reported 84,000 injuries from motorcycle wrecks. This is an increase from the 82,000 reported injuries in 2018. 

What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes? 

Motorcycle accidents can be caused by many factors, but the most common can be chalked up to motorist negligence, such as failing to yield to a biker and failure to look out for a biker. Aggressive driving, speeding, driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, and distracted driving are the other common reasons why motorcycle accidents occur. 

How Can I Stay Safe On My Motorcycle? 

Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the motorcyclist AND other drivers sharing the road to keep everyone safe. Motorcyclists who focus on the road and take proper safety precautions can limit their risk for being harmed in an accident, and there are various safety tips that all riders should incorporate into their routine, including:  

  • Get proper training before handling a motorcycle. In Florida this means that you need a valid Class E operator’s driver license and you are required to complete a Basic RiderCourse (BRC) or Basic RiderCourse updated (BRCu) with an authorized Sponsor. Within a year of passing the course, you are required to obtain your endorsement. 
  • Many states have universal helmet laws, but Florida gives you the option of wearing one if you are over the age of 21 and carry $10,000 of Medical Payment Insurance. Regardless of the laws, our Florida Motorcycle Lawyers at Whittel & Melton encourage everyone to protect themselves and wear a helmet. 
  • Avoid riding in bad weather, as this can make it harder for you to see and be seen by other drivers. On that same note, wet pavement reduces the friction between tires and pavement, which can cause riders to lose control of their bikes much easier. 
  • Lane-splitting increases the chances of being involved in a serious accident, so it is advised to avoid doing this.  
  • Wear bright colored clothing to enhance your visibility to other drivers. 
  • Follow the speed limit. 
  • Never take your bike out when intoxicated. 
  • Do not text and try to operate your bike. 

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A 62-year-old New Port Richey man was struck and killed by a car that veered into his path last week on State Road 54 in Pasco County, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. 

The motorcycle rider was travelling east when the driver of the car failed to yield and drove into his path. 

The motorcyclist died from his injuries while being treated at the hospital. 

The 30-year-old driver of the car was not injured. 

Everytime motorcycle riders gear up and take to the open road, they assume a significantly higher risk of suffering a serious injury or death if they are involved in a crash. Our Pasco County Motorcycle Crash Lawyers at Whittel & Melton know the devastating impact motorcycle collisions can have on the lives of accident victims as well as their family members. If your loved one was taken from you in a motorcycle crash in Florida, we know the heartbreak you are suffering. While we cannot rewind time and bring your loved one back to you, we can help you understand your rights and handle every aspect of your wrongful death claim so that you can devote your time to grieving and healing. We will do everything we can to make sure you recover the maximum compensation you deserve. 

guy-3639100_1920-1-300x200What Are the Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents? 

Most motorcycle accidents are not actually the fault of the motorcyclist, but the fault of another driver. Many drivers fail to keep a proper lookout for motorcyclists and do not detect them at intersections, when they change lanes, or when they are merging. This can be especially problematic when the passenger vehicle turns left and the motorcyclist has the right-of-way. This type of accident accounts for numerous motorcycle crashes throughout the country. There are many other causes of motorcycle accidents as well, such as: 

  • Drunk drivers 
  • Distracted drivers
  • Problems with the roadways 
  • Defective motorcycle parts 

Who Can File a Motorcycle Accident Claim for Injury or Wrongful Death? 

Motorcyclists as well as any of their passengers can file claims to pursue financial compensation for any injuries suffered in a crash caused by the negligence of another driver. Due to the fact that motorcyclists offer passengers less protection than that of passenger vehicles, they are more likely to become injured when involved in a crash, even if they are wearing a helmet and following all safety measures. Motorcyclists commonly suffer broken bones, road rash that can result in scarring and disfigurement, neck and back injuries, and even traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) from motorcycle accidents. Injury victims can pursue monetary compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, as well as other damages. 

Family members who have lost loved ones in a motorcycle crash need compassion and skilled support when navigating the wrongful death claims process, which can feel overwhelming in the midst of your grief. Our Florida Motorcycle Crash Lawyers at Whittel & Melton provide legal help and support for all of this and more.

Do I Need an Attorney for My Motorcycle Accident Claim? 

The short answer here is yes. Our Pasco County Motorcycle Crash Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can make sure you understand the claims process and then walk you through the steps needed to be successful with your claim. We will conduct our own investigation into the crash as well as calculate the full extent of your damages to make sure you understand the full extent of your damages to ensure that you are fully compensated for the immediate and ongoing effects of your injury. We will collect all of the necessary evidence pertinent to your claim and speak to insurance companies involved on your behalf so that you are not taken advantage of during this difficult time. 

How Long Do I Have to File an Injury or Wrongful Death Claim After a Motorcycle Accident? 

In Florida, the statute of limitations for personal injury or wrongful death claims is four years. This means that a lawsuit must be filed within four years from the date the accident took place. For most cases, it is actually in your best interest to act quickly and file a lawsuit right away. Our Pasco County  Motorcycle Crash Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can perform our own investigation into the crash and preserve all critical evidence while it still exists as well as obtain any witness statements while they still remember the details. This is crucial when it comes to establishing who is at fault and ensuring that you recover the full and fair compensation you deserve.  Continue reading

wm-harley-1024x647 Whittel & Melton, award winning Florida motorcycle injury lawyer Jason Melton and the National Academy of Motorcycle Injury Lawyers (NAMIL) is bringing back their ​online giveaway​ for 2020, and you could be the lucky winner of a brand new 2020 FXDR 114 Harley Davidson Motorcycle valued at over $21,000.00. 

The Harley FXDR™ 114 is a bike that boasts some pretty bold features, some say it will blow away your senses. If you’re looking for a bike with agility, speed, and a massive amount of torque, this is the bike for you. And yes, it looks as good as it rides. 

Looking to upgrade your bike? Looking to become a new motorcycle rider? We welcome you to enter the giveaway HERE. The deadline for entry is Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 11:59:59 PM ET. We have limited this contest to only one entry per person.

Whittel & Melton Are Founding Members of NAMIL 

The National Academy of Motorcycle Injury Lawyers (NAMIL) was created by a personal injury attorney passionate about protecting the rights of motorcyclists everywhere. Our Florida Motorcycle Injury and Death Attorneys at Whittel & Melton helped found NAMIL and we proud to be able to help bikers throughout the state of Florida. We have considerable experience handling motorcycle injury and death claims and have been recognized as being able to handle complex motorcycle injury claims with compassion, professionalism, and excellence. As NAMIL members, we are always looking to expand our practice and are constantly studying and furthering the development of motorcycle law to better help serve our community of motorcyclists. 

We Are Here to Help with Motorcycle Crashes in Florida 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 4,985 motorcyclists killed in 2018, the latest year for motorcycle crash statistics. Our Florida Motorcycle Injury and Death Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are dedicated to protecting and upholding your rights as a motorcyclist. We are proud to serve the entire state of Florida and provide you with the expert legal services you need if you have been injured or lost someone close to you in a motorcycle crash. 

If you already own a motorcycle, then you know what it feels to experience the love for the open road. Getting on your motorcycle and cruising the streets and highways is a passion for many, and our team of injury lawyers understand that. Motorcycles have just as much a right to be on the road as any other car or vehicle. But the truth is, motorcycling can definitely be a dangerous activity. The latest data from the NHTSA also shows that motorcyclists are about 28 times more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle crash in comparison to passenger car occupants. Motorcycling, just like any activity, can be a hazard, but you can be safe on your motorcycle by having good balance, coordination, and always using your best judgment. 

Florida has the perfect weather for motorcyclists to ride pretty much year round. We want all motorcyclists to be safe out on the roads, so we recommend making sure you are road ready before you ever take your bike out. 

First things first, you should be properly licensed before operating a motorcycle. Driving a car and driving a motorcycle require different skill sets. To obtain a motorcycle license in Florida, you must have a valid driver’s license and complete a basic rider course. You can learn more about all the requirements by visiting the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) website. 

Once you are properly licensed, we recommend getting some good practice in before entering the highway full throttle. You want to get familiar with your bike and make sure you are comfortable with operating it before you enter into traffic. Weather conditions can change in the blink of an eye, so it is a good idea to learn how to handle various hazards like wet or slick roads, debris, and potholes before you venture out. 

Once you are ready to ride, you want to check your bike for any possible issues before taking it out. Tire pressure, headlights, fluid levels, hand and foot brakes, and signal indicators should be checked before taking any trips, long or short. Another good thing to check for is a potential gas or oil leak under your bike. 

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harley-davidson-1905281_640-150x150Three people have been killed in a motorcycle crash during Bike Week in Florida, authorities said.

The crash involved three Harley-Davidson motorcycles early Tuesday morning on International Speedway Boulevard in Daytona Beach, according to a police news release. 

A 46-year-old woman and a 47-year-old man from New York state were on one bike and killed, as well as a 65-year-old Missouri man on another bike. 

The rider of the third bike, a 55-year-old Missouri man, told police that he and the other Missouri man were traveling in one lane while the couple was traveling in another lane in the same direction. The couple crossed directly into the path of the older Missouri rider as he tried to change lanes, leading to a crash that knocked all three off their bikes, police said.

The younger Missouri man’s bike went down after being clipped by one of the other bikes, police said. He was treated at the scene for minor injuries and declined transport to a hospital.

The road was closed for several hours while investigators processed the scene.

Police said no charges were immediately pending.

Riding a motorcycle is about as American as you can get. However, collisions involving motorcycles can be especially risky because bikes are not equipped with the same safety features that most cars have. Motorcycles are much smaller and lighter than cars and because of this, motorcyclists are much more likely to suffer severe injuries in a crash.

If you or someone you love has been harmed in a motorcycle accident, it is absolutely necessary to seek out the legal counsel of an attorney who handles these types of cases regularly. If your accident was caused by the careless or reckless actions of another motorcyclist or the driver of a car, you may be entitled to compensation to help ease the financial burdens associated with the accident, including past and future hospital and medical bills, physical therapy costs, lost wages, past and future economic losses, mental anguish, and pain and suffering. Our Florida Motorcycle Accident Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton serves clients who have been injured in motorcycle accidents in cities such as Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Daytona Beach, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, New Port Richey, Spring Hill, Brooksville, Inverness, Ocala, and Gainesville.

Due to the fact that there is no buffer between a motorcyclist and the force of the concrete of the road, catastrophic injuries often occur when a crash happens, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, complex fractures, amputations, and even death. To recover financial damages for injuries in a motorcycle accident, you need to show the at-fault driver exercised negligence. Our Florida Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you demonstrate that the other driver or drivers involved acted recklessly when causing the crash, and because of this you suffered damages.

If a loved one died in a motorcycle accident in Florida, you may be able to recover damages through a wrongful death lawsuit. We may be able to help you recover financial compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses, and the mental anguish of losing a family member. Relatives who can recover damages in a wrongful death suit in Florida include a surviving spouse, a minor child, an adult child if there is no surviving spouse, a parent of a minor child, and a parent of an adult child when there are no other survivors specified under the statute.

There are many reasons motorcycle crashes occur, but some are more common than others. Here are the top ten reasons for motorcycle crashes:

  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Car doors opening
  • Inexperienced drivers
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • A sudden stop
  • Left turn accidents
  • Speeding
  • Lane splitting
  • Head-on collisions
  • Road hazards

As a motorcyclist, you know that there are preventative measures you can take to eliminate the possibility of a crash. You should wear a helmet, wear bright clothing, and invest in reflectors that shine brighter when illuminated by headlights. The state of Florida requires every motorcycle rider under the age of 21 to wear a helmet. However, riders over the age of 21 have the choice of whether or not to wear a helmet if they can prove they are covered by a $10,000 medical insurance policy to cover any injuries that may arise as a result of a crash. It is important to also note that you should not share lanes. Even though motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles, you must follow the laws and never ride in between lanes of traffic or share a lane with another vehicle.

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bike-week-1200213_640-150x150For motorcycle enthusiasts in the state of Florida and around the world, it’s time to start your bikes and rev those engines because Daytona Beach’s 79th annual Bike Week is coming to town.

The 10-day event will take place from March 6 to March 15 and will be packed with several concerts, shows and races.

With so many things to keep track of, here is a general list of everything you need to know before Bike Week gets revved up.

General Information

This monumental event has been drawing motorists since 1937. You can start your day off at the welcome center located at One Daytona, right across from the Daytona International Speedway. Daytona Regional Chamber ambassadors will be around to answer any questions you have and will hand out the official pocket guide.

If you’re feeling lucky, a $50 donation will enter you in the official motorcycle drawing for a chance to win a custom Harley Dyna Glide. Only 4,500 tickets will be printed and the drawing will be held at approximately 12 p.m. on March 14. 

Traffic and Safety

With so many people attending the big event, the Daytona Beach Police Department put out a traffic warning for visitors to highlight possible congestion areas, road closures and detours.

Expect the biggest crowds to be centered around the Daytona International Speedway, Main Street, Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard and North Beach Street, especially at night.

Side street traffic heading north and south between Auditorium Boulevard and Harvey Street may be restricted during events. Affected roadways include Oleander Avenue, Wild Olive Street, Grandview Avenue and Hollywood Avenue.

Atlantic Avenue/State Road A1A

  • Northbound: Turn left (west) on International Speedway Boulevard and then right (north) on Peninsula Drive. Please avoid trying to turn left (west) onto Main Street from Atlantic Avenue.
  • Southbound: Go to the right lane. Upon reaching Main Street, you may be able to turn right (west), depending on the amount of traffic. If not, continue south and turn right (west) on International Speedway Boulevard, then turn right (north) on Peninsula Drive

Peninsula Drive

  • Northbound: Remain on Peninsula Drive until you get to Main Street, then turn right (east).
  • Southbound: Turn left (east) on Oakridge Boulevard to Atlantic Avenue, then turn right (south) and head to Main Street.

North Beach Street

  • There will be motorcycle-only parking on selected areas of North Beach Street. These areas will be clearly marked by signage.
  • Expect heavy traffic around Indian Motorcycle Company.

Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard

  • Public parking areas may be restricted to assist with pedestrian safety and vehicle areas may be restricted to assist with pedestrian safety and vehicle movement during event.


March 6-15: Daytona’s 42nd Annual World’s Largest Swapmeet at the Daytona Beach Flea Market. Held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. 1425 Tomoka Farm Road, Daytona Beach.

March 6-13: Michael Austin’s Live Music Bike Week Party In The Pavilion a daily concert series inside the Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona Harley-Davidson. 1637 North U.S. Highway 1, Ormond Beach.

March 6: The Ultimate Tribute to Van Halen from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Space Coast Harley-Davidson. 1440 Sportsman Lane NE, Palm Bay.

March 7: Daytona Supercross at the Daytona International Speedway. 1801 West International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach.

March 8: Southern Fried Moto Show – Vintage Bikes 1999 and earlier from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona Harley-Davidson. 1637 North U.S. Highway 1, Ormond Beach.

March 9: 1st Annual Space Coast Harley-Davidson Bike Show from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Space Coast Harley-Davidson. 1440 Sportsman Lane NE, Palm Bay.

March 12: Leather and Lace MC Annual Motorcycle Rodeo from noon to 6 p.m. at Leather & Lace MC Clubhouse. 574 West Ariel Road, Edgewater.

March 12: Ruff Ride for the Animals from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Halifax Humane Society. 2364 LPGA Blvd, Daytona Beach.

March 13: World’s Largest V8 Parade from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Indian Motorcycle Daytona Beach. 290 North Beach Street, Daytona Beach.

March 14: Daytona 200/Daytona TT at the Daytona International Speedway. 1801 West International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach.

Our Florida Motorcycle Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton know that motorcyclists are the most vulnerable on the road. Motorcyclists are at an increased risk of injury because they lack the protection of seat-belts, airbags, and the steel frame of a car. For these reasons, we have compiled a list of safety tips for you to follow so that you can stay safe when riding around the streets of Daytona, or wherever your travels take you: 

  • Steer clear of “No-Zones.” Avoid being in a truck’s blind spot or No-Zone. Trucks have large No-Zones on both sides, the front and behind the truck. Truck drivers cannot see you when you ride in these blind spots, which only increases the chances of a crash. The front blind spot is especially dangerous if you need to stop quickly. 
  • Wear a helmet. The state of Florida requires every motorcycle rider under the age of 21 to wear a helmet. Riders over the age of 21 can ride a motorcycle without a helmet if they can prove they are covered by a $10,000 medical insurance policy to cover any injuries that may arise as a result of a crash. Helmets are the most important piece of equipment you can wear while riding a motorcycle. This will be your only source of protection in a serious crash.
  • Do not share lanes. While motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles, you must adhere to the laws of the road. Never ride in between lanes of traffic or share a lane with another vehicle.
  • Inspect your bike before you ride. Proper maintenance will help reduce your chance of a crash.
  • Wear protective clothing. In addition to your helmet, wearing protective clothing including gloves, boots and a jacket will reduce the risk of severe injury if you are involved in a crash.
  • Obey posted speed limits. Motorcycles accelerate the fastest, so watch your speed, particularly in bad weather or at night. 

At Whittel & Melton, our staff of attorneys share the love of motorcycles. We are part of the National Academy of Motorcycle Injury Lawyers and are sponsoring an online giveaway where you could win a Harley! You can enter by clicking here to win a 2020 FXDR 114 Motorcycle or the motorcycle of your choice, up to $20,000.

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Florida has been ranked as one of the nation’s worst states for safety laws and enforcement, according to a new report from a watchdog group.

Florida is one of 12 states that fall “dangerously behind” laws recommended by Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety.

Among the problems the group found in Florida: Inadequate primary rear seat belt laws, which mean law enforcement cannot stop a vehicle simply because a seatbelt is unbuckled. The state does have a primary front seat belt law.

Nationwide, 47% of the 22,697 people killed in passenger vehicle riders were not wearing seat belts.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 1,099 lives were saved in Florida in 2017 because of seat belt use. Had others been buckled in, though, it said 181 more lives could have been saved.


Florida also received low marks for not requiring motorcycle riders of all ages to wear helmets. It’s one of 31 states without that requirement. The state allows riders over 21 to go without a helmet as long as they have a certain amount of insurance coverage.

The state also scored low in child safety laws. Florida is one of 35 states that does not require infants and toddlers to sit in a rear-facing child restraint system at least through age 2.

The report also said Florida lacks a good law requiring children who have outgrown the height and weight limit of a forward-facing safety to sit in a booster seat until he or she is 8 years old and 57 inches tall. Thirty-four states have such laws.

State law does require children age 5 and under to be “secured properly in a crash-tested, federally approved child restraint device,” and children up to age 3 “must be in child restraint devices of a separate carrier or a vehicle manufacturer’s integrated child seat,” according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Children under 18 must wear seat belts.

Florida does somewhat better as children get older. In the decade between 2009 and 2018, the Advocates report found. There were 3,533 fatalities caused by motor vehicle crashes involving drivers aged 15 to 20. Nationally, the crash rate for teenage drivers is three times the rate of older people.

Florida did receive good ratings for some restrictions on young drivers, but falters in the report because of no nighttime restrictions for such drivers or restrictions on passengers.

The state gets mediocre marks for efforts to discourage distracted driving. While it bans text messaging while driving, the organization finds its efforts to restrict cell phone use as inadequate.

The report aims to promote the idea that as technology improves, so does the potential to prevent crashes that result in injuries and death.

Big challenges still remain for Florida. Catherine Chase, the organization’s president, cited “critical safety issues that must be addressed,” including standards to measure driver assistance technology and autonomous vehicles, further measures to combat drug-impaired driving, better safety for rear seat passengers and more protection for pedestrians and bicycle riders.

This study shows Florida’s “report card” for five different categories: occupant protection, child passenger safety, teen driving, impaired driving, and distracted driving. “Grades” of Green (Good); Yellow (Caution); and Red (Danger) provide an assessment of each state’s efforts. Florida received a “grade” of Red, which equates to “Danger.” It makes sense seeing that tens of thousands of people are killed on our nation’s roads every year. That breaks down to approximately 100 people killed every single day and nearly 7,500 more are injured in motor vehicle crashes. These traffic accidents carry a significant annual economic cost of $242 billion. This results in each person living in the U.S. essentially paying a “crash tax” of $784 every year. 

If you have been in any kind of car accident, then you know just how traumatic the experience can be. Knowing that living in Florida only stacks more odds against you gives you a greater reason to protect yourself. If you are involved in an auto accident, our Florida Auto Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are here to provide you with the right legal help.

If you have been in a car accident in Florida, we urge you to speak with one of our personal injury lawyers. We know how overwhelming life can be after a car accident, and we can help you take the next steps towards securing financial compensation for your damages.The last thing you need is the added stress of fighting with insurance companies while the medical bills keep piling in.

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An off-duty Ocala Police officer was killed late Thursday night after he was ejected from his Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

The 43-year-old man was traveling west on SW 95th Street Rd. when his white motorcycle suddenly veered left and traveled across the center median while spinning and then falling onto its side. The motorcycle continued to slide across the median and came to rest in the eastbound lanes, a Florida Highway Patrol report states.

The man was ejected from the motorcycle and also ended up in the eastbound lanes of SW 95th Street Rd. He was transported to Ocala Regional Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries, the FHP report says.

An ejection from the motorcycle is a common pathway to injury or fatality, because when the bike comes to a sudden stop, there is nothing affixing the rider to the bike. Also, the rider can forcibly strike any objects within the pathway of the ejection – as well as the ground.

Ocala, and the rest of the state of Florida, is beautiful pretty much year-round for motorcycle riders everywhere. With plenty of roads, attractive scenery, and gorgeous weather, Florida is a mecca for motorcyclists, as well as other tourists. But with more bikers on the roads, this also means more injuries. Motorcycle accidents tend to be more catastrophic than passenger car accidents because motorcycles lack the protection of a metal frame that cars have. 

When a person is ejected from a motorcycle, serious injuries and death can easily occur. Since motorcycles have no seatbelts, roof, or doors to contain riders and passengers, nearly any motorcycle accident can result in ejection injuries. Riders without helmets are much more likely to suffer fatal injuries during accidents that result in ejection than riders that wear helmets.

When drivers and passengers are ejected from a motorcycle, the impact usually injures the head and neck. Motorcyclists can also easily collide with stationary objects that are in the path of the collision, which can result in more serious ejection injuries. Back and spinal cord trauma can also occur from ejection injuries due to the fact that the spine often becomes compressed during the ejection impact. However, any part of the body can be injured during a motorcycle ejection crash. It really all depends upon the way that the rider falls.

Injuries that are commonly suffered during a motorcycle ejection include:

  • Broken bones
  • Lacerations 
  • Severe foot and leg injuries
  • Amputations
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Paralysis injuries
  • Concussions
  • Eye and facial injuries

A motorcycle collision can cause extreme violence to riders and passengers. More than 80 percent of traffic accidents involving motorcycles result in either injuries or death to the motorcyclist. As we mentioned before, motorcycles offer no protections to its driver or passengers. There is nothing to prevent the riders from being thrown off the motorcycle in the event of an accident. When ejected, the rider is quite likely to be injured again when hitting the ground or any other obstacle in the rider’s path of flight, including walls, trees, signs, other cars, etc. 

There are many different types of motorcycle crashes, and some are more common than others. Here are the top ten reasons for motorcycle crashes:

  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Car doors opening
  • Inexperienced drivers
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • A sudden stop
  • Left turn accidents
  • Speeding
  • Lane splitting
  • Head-on collisions
  • Road hazards

If you are a motorcyclist, there are preventative measures you can take to eliminate the possibility of a crash. You should wear a helmet, wear bright clothing, and invest in reflectors that shine brighter when illuminated by headlights. You should also limit the number of times you weave between lanes when traffic is stalled, as distracted drivers that are not paying attention can easily change lanes unexpectedly and strike you and your bike. 

Our Ocala Motorcycle Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton also recommend the following to prevent tragic accidents:

  • Ride with a group to improve visibility
  • Avoid lane-splitting
  • Avoid riding on unfamiliar surfaces, such as gravel, loose asphalt, potholes, oil slicks, and other debris
  • Always ride defensively 
  • Do not ride above your skill level. Take a safety course or refresher class to help improve your skill level.

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The National Academy of Motorcycle Injury Lawyers (NAMIL) is doing an online giveaway where one lucky winner will receive a brand new 2019 FXDR 114 Harley Davidson Motorcycle valued at over $21,000.00.

The FXDR 114 is fast, agile and boasts loads of torque for blasting off from stop lights and hitting entrance ramps. The bike features a Milwaukee-Eight 114 Engine, Bold 2-into-1 Exhaust, and a Softail Frame. The all-new aluminum swingarm and subframe reduces overall weight and maximizes acceleration, braking, and performance.

The promotion runs through September 30, 2019. The winner will be drawn at random on October 31st, 2019. Feeling lucky? Enter the giveaway by clicking here. The contest is limited to one entry per person.

Whittel & Melton are Founding Members of NAMIL

Our Florida Motorcycle Injury & Wrongful Death Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are founding members of NAMIL – National Association of Motorcycle Injury Lawyers. This means we are fully competent in Motorcycle Injury Law as evidenced by the fulfillment of standards and criteria as established by the NAMIL Board of Examiners and Board of Governors: we have substantial experience in handling complex matters relating to Motorcycle Injury claims, we have been recognized by our peers as a leading practitioner in the area of Motorcycle Injury Law, and we are actively involved in improving the practice and study of Motorcycle Law as well as protecting Motorcyclists rights.

Call Us Today if You Have Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident in Florida

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 5,286 motorcyclists killed in 2016, which is a 5.1-percent increase from the 5,029 motorcyclists killed in 2015. The state of Florida had 555 fatalities, the highest number of motorcycle deaths out of all other states.

Unfortunately, motorcyclists are more likely to be injured or die in a crash than those in a car or truck.

At Whittel & Melton, we provide the highest quality legal service to members of our community who have been wrongfully injured in motorcycle accidents. For over a decade we have helped injured motorcyclists and their families after a collision wreaks havoc on their lives.

Key Motorcycle Accident Statistics:

  • Motorcyclist fatalities occurred nearly 28 times more frequently than passenger car occupant fatalities in traffic crashes.
  • In 2016, 27% of motorcycle riders killed were riding without valid motorcycle licenses.
  • Motorcyclist involved in fatal crashes in 2016 were found to have the highest percentage of alcohol-impaired drivers than any other vehicle types  – 25% for motorcycles, 21% for passenger cars, 20% for light trucks, and 2% for large trucks.
  • Of those who died in motorcycle single-vehicle collisions in 2016, 37% were impaired by alcohol.
  • The NHTSA estimates that helmets saved 1,859 motorcyclists’ lives in 2016. Another 802 lives could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets.

The state of Florida enforces the following helmet laws:

  • Required to wear a helmet while operating a motorcycle in Florida UNLESS you have a motorcycle insurance policy for at least $20,000 in medical benefits to cover injuries sustained in a crash.
  • All riders under 21 years old must wear helmets, regardless of insurance policies.

While not every accident can be prevented, it is possible to reduce injury and fatality rates if motorcyclists wear helmets and avoid drinking and driving. Everyone on the roadway has to do their part and drivers are no exception. Drivers should be attentive behind the wheel and give motorcyclists plenty of space to ride safely.

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