TAMPA, FL- Tampabay.com reported that a motorcyclist was critically injured in a collision with an Audi A6. The accident occurred on Interstate 4, west of County Line Road at about 7:15 p.m. Cristobal Padilla was riding his motorcycle eastbound when he attempted to change lanes from the out lane to the middle. When changing lanes, he hit the side of the Audi, which was driven by 47-year-old Christopher Marx.
The impact caused Padilla to be thrown from his motorcycle. The biker landed on the median. Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) stated that Padilla was taken to Lakeland Regional Health and is reported to have suffered critical injuries. FHP did not state the cause of the accident but stated that alcohol was not involved in the collision.
Florida has the highest rate of motorcycle-related fatalities in the entire United States. While only 7% of Florida’s motorists ride motorcycles, fatal accidents involve motorcycles 19% of the time. Motorcycles are less visible than cars, making them more likely to be overlooked by the driver of a passenger vehicle. In addition, motorcycles do not provide the same protections for riders as cars do for occupants. As a result of their vulnerabilities, bikers face a risk of death that is 29 times the risk faced by motorists in cars.
One way for motorcyclists to reduce their risk of injury or death is by wearing helmets. Research indicates that helmets are approximately 37% effective in the prevention of deaths and reduce the risk of brain injuries by 67%.
While some states mandate that motorcyclists wear helmets, Florida’s laws do not require most bikers to wear a helmet. Whether or not you are legally obligated to wear a helmet, you should be aware of the risks, and also understand that not wearing a helmet can cause a reduction in compensation if you are injured in an accident that is the fault of another motorist.