And that risk is ever-present thanks to Florida's driving conditions. Because of our warm, sunny weather all year long, motorcyclists are constantly out enjoying our roads. That means it's vitally important for every motorist and motorcycle rider to take appropriate steps to stay safe.
Steps motorcyclists can take to stay safe on the road
- Wear protective gear. That means helmets, denim or leather clothing to protect against road rash, gloves, ear protection and other gear. Having proper protection can make the difference between minor and serious injuries.
- Keep your bike maintained. Check the brakes, steering, tires and all other components each time you get on the road. A properly maintained bike is easier to control and safer in the event of an accident.
- Ride defensively in urban areas. Watch out for cars entering lanes or changing lanes as well as car doors opening in your path. This is especially important because distracted driving is an epidemic on our roads.
- Don't split lanes. A motorcycle is a vehicle and should take up an entire lane, just like a passenger car. Don't take advantage of your bike's smaller physical width to ride on a line or share a lane with a larger vehicle - this can lead to serious accidents.
Steps motorists should take to safely share the road
- Look twice for bikes. Many motorcycle accidents are caused by motorists who turn left in front of an oncoming motorcycle. Whenever making a left turn at the intersection, take a second look specifically for oncoming bikes.
- Maintain safe following distance. Motorcycles are more sensitive to changing road conditions, such as potholes, and frequently need to change speed or change position in a lane. They also have a shorter braking distance than passenger cars. If you're driving behind a motorcycle, leave some extra following distance to compensate.
- Stay alert. Keep your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheel and your mind focused on operating your vehicle - not daydreaming, texting or interacting with passengers. That's important in general, but motorcycles are especially likely to be hit by distracted drivers because their vehicles are so much smaller than cars.
- Watch out in inclement weather. In Florida, we certainly have days that aren't ideal for driving. Motorcyclists who go out in the rain or fog are especially vulnerable. Stay alert and leave even more following distance to keep them safe.
Above all, Florida drivers need to be aware that motorcyclists are always going to be out there, enjoying the beautiful weather of the Sunshine State. They have every right to be on the road, and motorists need to do their part to keep them safe.
When motorists don't share the road, motorcycle riders turn to our attorneys
Both motorists and motorcycle riders need to share the road and stay safe. When an accident happens, though, it's usually the biker who gets seriously hurt - and usually the driver of a car or truck who is at fault. If you or a loved one was hurt due to a motorist's negligence, you need to contact our law firm right away. Our motorcycle accident lawyers will help you pursue fair compensation for your injuries and get back on the road.
Call today to schedule your free consultation. 904-358-8881.