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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says approximately 80% of reported motorcycle accidents result in either injury or death. This is why safety is so important. Fortunately, there are some things you can do here to help yourself.

Wear the Right Gear

When you’re riding your motorcycle, you should have long pants and sleeves on. It’s best if these are made of leather or another protective material. Additionally, you should also wear gloves, eye protection, and boots that cover your ankles. If you plan to be riding your motorcycle when it’s cold outside, you can either invest in heavier gear that’s been specifically designed for these temperatures or add additional layers of clothing to the ones you typically wear.

You also shouldn’t ever overlook the importance of wearing a helmet that’s approved by the Department of Transportation and covers your entire face. Light-colored helmets are best because they’re more visible. However, the helmet isn’t only for others benefit, but for yours as well. If you’re wearing a helmet when you get into a motorcycle accident, your much less likely to suffer from a traumatic brain injury. If you do get into an accident, make sure you replace your helmet right away. Otherwise it should be replaced once every 5 years.

Make Sure You’re Seen

You want to make sure the other vehicles you’re sharing the road with can clearly see you. This is why you should wear bright colors and have reflective elements on both your clothing as well as on your bike. Always have the headlight on your motorcycle turned on. Do your best to ride in the part of the lane where you’re most visible to other motorists but if you think they still can’t see you, use your horn.

Operate Your Motorcycle with Safety in Mind

New motorcyclists aren’t the only ones who should take a safety course offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF). Experienced riders should also take an occasional refresher course. Not only will such courses get you a discount with your insurance, but they’ll also teach you the importance of:

  • Being alert, especially around anyone who may be texting while driving
  • Watching for intersections, sand, potholes, railroad tracks, road hazards, and other motorcyclists
  • Not drinking or speeding – common causes of over 40% of motorcycle accidents
  • Avoiding bad weather or, at the very least, knowing how to safely operate your motorcycle in rain and wind

While you may think that you’ve learned these things before and since you already know them you’re prepared for anything that you may encounter while riding your motorcycle, you can never grow too secure in your knowledge. Doing so may lead you to become nonchalant in your driving, which could then easily result in a motorcycle accident.

A Head’s Up

In most motorcycle accidents the motorcyclist themselves typically aren’t at fault. When someone else’s negligence behind the wheel leads to your injuries, remember you have the same rights as other drivers. Sometimes this means that you’ll need to have an attorney exert these rights for you. Attorney Rojas used to ride a motorcycle and understands the extra exposure cyclists face. If this happens to you, make sure you get Attorney Juana Maria Rojas at the Rojas Law Group on your side.

Picture Credit: Sadiq Nafee

There are over 250,000 scooter trips happening in Tampa, FL this year which is why safety is now a concern. As such, while the City Council is praising the city’s scooter program, it’s also asking for more information about safety and injuries. This isn’t because they’re out of touch with reality because City Council member John Dingfelder admits that while he enjoys going fast on his scooter, hitting a bump and almost falling off recently has him scared. However, transportation director Jean Duncan says that the city doesn’t always know about a scooter accident and its accompanying injuries unless it’s horrific.

Data Surrounding Scooters in Tampa, FL

Statistics are a bit concerning and include:

  • A Consumer Reports investigation found that over 1,500 people have been injured in a scooter accident since 2017.
  • The Centers for Disease Control said that during a three-month period 271 people received injuries from riding their scooters.
  • Dr. David Wein, director of emergency medicine at Tampa General Hospital says they’ve seen “a fair amount” of people who have received sprains, bruises, and concussions in scooter accidents.

Understanding the Data

Unfortunately, even with these statistics it’s difficult to come up with an exact number of injuries. This is mainly because the word “scooter” includes everything from medical scooters to mopeds. There’s also no way to know for sure whether the scooter is to blame when an accident does occur since medical journals publish the headlines that local governments and scooter companies tend to monitor and if there isn’t a hospital or law enforcement report attached to the record then nothing more is known than the accident has simply occurred.

There isn’t a centralized, comprehensive data source that contains this information. As such, some professionals are in discussion regarding creating a more comprehensive tracking method. This information would be gathered from hospital emergency rooms, police departments, and scooter companies.

The Center for Urban Transportation Research in Tampa is also working to create formalized reports. They’re looking at how many of these vehicles are legal. In addition, they’re evaluating the frequency, severity, and causes of scooter collisions as well as their economic and environmental impact.

Why Research is now Being Conducted

The city is also receiving complaints regarding scooter safety concerns (e.g. racing between pedestrians, too many people on the scooter, riding on sidewalks). According to city bicycle and pedestrian engineer Calvin Thornton Tampa isn’t getting this information from the four major vendors (Bird, Spin, Jump, Lime) even though they can do so. Thornton says it simply isn’t necessary and that the only information the city needs from them is in regard to scooter usage, ridership, and performance. This is because he doesn’t believe that people would use these apps to report their own injuries because then they’d be liable for any damages.

When you get in a scooter accident, you should at least make sure that you have an experienced law firm on your side. This is why you should have the number for the Rojas Law Group. If you’re injured while riding your scooter, make sure you give them a call right away.

Picture Credit: Max Eberlein

Parents think safety first when raising their children. Unfortunately, when they put their children on the school bus each day in Tampa safety isn’t always first. In fact, Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ (FDHSMV) statistics show that the number of school bus accidents is rising. Between 2012 – 2015 there’s been a 16% increase in the number of accidents statewide. In 2015 alone 2,698 school bus accidents were reported in Florida.

Why School bus Accidents are Increasing

Many say that the increased number of accidents is caused by there being more students enrolled in public schools taking the bus today. These areas in Florida have a higher overall population as well. However, these aren’t the only reasons why these accidents are happening. According to the FDHSMV there are also more bus routes that need covered, which has caused an influx of new, inexperienced drivers.

Not all of Tampa’s school bus accidents are the bus drivers’ fault though. There are also many instances in which they’re caused by a car accident in which an impatient motorist attempts to pass the bus or fails to stop behind them. This is why school bus drivers are required to report any vehicle that illegally passes their stop sign but according to the yearly survey conducted by the Florida Department of Education thousands of motorists continue to do so. This is should be alarming to every parent who puts their child on a school bus each morning.

How Florida is Trying to Stop These car Accidents

Florida is trying to make school buses safer. As such they’ve approved the following safety requirements for every school bus in the state:

  • Making fire-retardant seating mandatory
  • Implementing heavy-duty brake systems
  • Adding additional emergency exits so students can quickly and easily evacuate a bus if it gets into an accident
  • Ensuring the integrity of the bus’s fuel system
  • Placing dual stop signal arms and front bumper student crossing arms on all buses

Florida is also leading the nation in calling for safety belts to be installed on all buses. They’re not only making this a rally cry but they’re also installing two-point seat belts on all buses. While California is also working on a similar measure, they’re also making sure each student knows how to properly use these seatbelts – something that Florida doesn’t currently do. Nevertheless, this measure is seemingly working and while Florida does have more accidents, they do have less injuries from said accidents.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, car accidents are unavoidable. If your child is hurt in a school bus accident you should know that you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and physical injuries. There are some insurance companies that are known to either underpay or deny a claim. If you feel that you need help with a bus or car accident case, make sure you contact the Rojas Law Group today. They will help you get what you and your child deserve.

Picture Credit: Wokandapix