Motorcycles are a fun way to get around town, but they have a reputation for not being safe. These concerns are not without merit. In Florida, motorcycles are involved in around 10,000 crashes each year, which lead to more than 500 deaths annually. Like any vehicle, motorcycles are safe when driven correctly, and people follow the rules of the road. Here are five safety tips you can use when driving around or riding on a motorcycle.
Look Twice For Motorcycles
One of the advantages of riding a motorcycle is that they get better gas mileage due to their small size. However, being smaller than ordinary cars makes motorcycles harder to see. One of the most common causes of fatal motorcycle accidents is vehicles turning in front of motorcycle riders. Drivers can mitigate the risk of turning in front of a motorcycle by looking twice before making a turn, especially a left turn. Do your initial check for cars, and before you begin your turn, look again with a specific focus on motorcycles. Taking the extra second to twice can save a life and prevent an expensive accident.
Wear a Helmet
In Florida, motorcycle riders under the age of 21 are required to wear a helmet. Riders over 21 years old can ride without a helmet if they have certain insurance coverage. The irony is that once you’re old enough to ride without a helmet, you should be wise enough to know better. Regardless of age or insurance plan, wearing a helmet is always a smart idea for motorcycle riders. Helmets are your best defense against a severe brain injury in the event of an accident. To get the best protection from your helmet, make sure it fits securely and is up to the highest safety standards.
Check Your Bike Before Every Ride
Riding a motorcycle a lower margin of error than a traditional car. When you only have two wheels, a blown tire can quickly end in catastrophe. Similarly, motorcycles and the drivers around them depend on all of the bike’s systems (e.g., brakes, turn signals, etc.) working correctly. Performing a quick check on a motorcycle before the trip can catch issues before they become a problem on the road. Before you head out for the day, be sure to check your tires (their pressure and depth), turn signals, brake systems, and fluid levels.
Give Motorcycle Riders Space to Maneuver
It’s vital for drivers to get motorcycle riders ample space for maneuvering on the road. Motorcycles are more sensitive to road conditions, and that could result in riders weaving between lanes to avoid obstacles. Potholes, oil spots, and road debris can easily cause a motorcycle to lose control, so it’s better for everyone if the rider avoids that obstacle. Additionally, some bikers like to change lane position to stay out the blind spots of other drivers. Giving motorcycles riders enough space to avoid potential problems makes the road safer for everyone.
Be Aware of the Weather
The weather in Florida can present conditions that aren’t conducive to riding a motorcycle. Most bikers can shrug off a small shower, but the heavy rain and thunderstorms that come during warm weather may be too much. Besides obscuring the rider’s vision, inclement weather can also make the roads more slippery as oil on the road rises to the surface. Bikers need to be aware of the predicted weather conditions for the day before, so they have a plan for what to do if the weather worsens.
It’s essential for car drivers and motorcycle riders to do what they can to avoid an accident. Motorcycle-related accidents can quickly become problematic affairs for parties on both sides. If you, or someone you know, need assistance with a case involving a motorcycle accident, the Law Firm of Steve Watrel, P.A. can help. Send us a message online to schedule a consultation.