This should be no surprise to anyone who drives a car, pick-up truck, motorcycle or other vehicle on our highways and roads in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties. For many of us, seeing a car, truck or motorcycle accidents have become an all too common occurrence. According to the State of Florida, Department of Motor Vehicles, accidents in the Pensacola, Gulf Breeze, Milton and the surrounding communities that make up our part of the state are up significantly, year after year.
2015 Accidents in Pensacola
In 2015 the number of total car crashes reported in Escambia County alone were 6,733. Vehicle accidents involving injuries amounted to 3,279, and with total injured victims, including just over 6,000 occupants. Unfortunately, 46 crashes alone resulted in 49 traffic fatalities. Commercial vehicle crashes, trucks, vans and semi-trucks accounted for 350 accidents. Pedestrian and bicycle accidents combined for a total of 273 accidents with 15 of those resulting in fatalities.
Santa Rosa county reported 1,944 total crashes with 990 accidents resulting in injuries and 18 fatalities. There were 131 commercial vehicle crashes reported and 39 pedestrian and bicycle accidents with 3 fatalities reported.
Those statistics show an alarming 13% increase in accidents occurring year after year with almost 9,000 accidents reported and 85 deaths. What most of us thought, that when we get behind the wheel of a vehicle we are safe to drive the streets of our town in relative safety, is a thing of the past. But what is more alarming than the shear number of accidents is the number of accidents that are avoidable, due to driver distractions.
In almost every traffic accident an actual mistake is being made by one of the drivers involved. These mistakes are avoidable in most cases. Cell phone use that are not hands free, texting, internet surfing, internet directions and use of maps, playing video games, extremely loud music, distractions posed by occupants, excessive talking, lack of driving etiquette, limited driving experience and knowledge, use of turn signals and improper lane changing, speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, not stopping at stop signs, running red lights, a general lack of attention being given to the tasks at hand, not having a planned route and being unfamiliar with the route and destination, not yielding right of ways, failing to use rear and side mirrors effectively, traffic congestion ….the list goes on and on…When motorcycles are involved in an accident, this list of errors has has a more profound and deadly consequence because of the size and lack of protection of motorcycles compared to other vehicles.
The US Department of Transportation has determined that for every mile traveled the number of deaths on motorcycles was over 26 times the number in cars. Compound this with the number of states which allow motorcyclists to ride without helmets which has increased the number of deaths due to head trauma. It is estimated that helmets are about 37% effective in preventing motorcycle deaths and 67% effective in preventing brain injuries. Even with all these statistics a large percentage of cyclists ride with limited protection and without the use of helmets.
So what makes motorcycle driving so dangerous besides the bikes themselves and the large % of unprotected drivers? The answer is clear….Driving Distractions.
Artie Shimek has been a strong advocate for better laws to govern our driving behaviors. Artie believes in stricter penalties when these devices are proven to cause accidents and injuries. Artie has been representing injured victims and their families for over 32 years. Artie Shimek is an experienced personal injury lawyer specializing in all types of accidents; Car, truck, motorcycle, product liability, slip and falls, wrongful death….wherever there is an innocent victim of a negligent mistake made by others, Artie Shimek is there to protect your right to fair and just compensation for your injuries. Call the motorcycle accident lawyer Pensacola, FL residents have trusted for over 30 years, Artie Shimek at 850-434-7995 or visit us at shimeklaw.com.