The gorgeous Florida weather means that regardless of the time of year, Florida residents can enjoy the scenic roadways on their motorcycles or bicycles. This May, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is focusing on Motorcycle and Bicycle Safety. With their Share the Road programming, they’ll be providing tips for motorcyclists, cyclists, and motorists that can help make our Florida roads safer for everybody.
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents continue to be a problem in Florida. Currently, the state leads the nation in motorcycle accident fatalities. Since 2014, motorcycle accident fatalities have increased by 30%, with 606 fatalities reported in 2015, according to a report released by AAA. In contrast, national statistics show a decline in motorcycle accident fatalities.
Avoiding Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes
Statistics indicate that almost half of motorcycle fatalities involve intoxication. Not only is it against the law to operate a vehicle in Florida with a BAC above 0.08, it endangers your life and the lives of others. If you’re heading to an event and plan on drinking, have a designated driver or a plan to get home safely.
Another common cause of motorcycle accidents is speeding. Following posted speed limits and adhering to other traffic signs and laws can help reduce one’s risk of accident. If you get surprised by rain, remember to adjust your speed and take the weather conditions into account.
In addition to steering clear of alcohol when riding and following posted speed limits, there is one clear prevention method that can reduce the impact of an accident: wearing a helmet. While Florida law does not require riders or passengers over 18 to wear a helmet, doing so reduces the risk of traumatic brain injury. This can have a major impact on one’s ability to survive a crash. While 83% of motorcyclists say they always wear a helmet, only 47% of Floridians operating a motorcycle have been spotted with a helmet while riding, according to AAA. Wearing appropriate clothing can also help reduce the risk of serious injury.
Most motorcycle accidents are caused by other drivers not seeing a motorcycle in time, whether at an intersection or just in the other lane. Driving defensively and being aware of one’s surrounding is necessary for safely operating a motorcycle. Taking a safety course can help you learn motorcycle-specific safety tips for navigating Florida’s roadways and help prepare you for different riding situations.
Sharing the Road: What Motorists Need to Consider
Motorcycles, though they take up less space in a lane, have the same rights as other vehicles. Never pass a motorcycle in the same lane. Ensure that other drivers and motorcycles have adequate room to maneuver. Drive defensively, with your eyes on the road, and avoid distractions.
Many motorcycle accidents occur at intersections when a car or other vehicle is making a left-hand turn and fails to see a motorcycle in oncoming traffic. Paying special attention at intersections can reduce this risk and save lives.
Consulting with a Tampa Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycles were practically made for Tampa weather. Riding through the bay area is a distinct thrill—and it doesn’t have to be a dangerous one. By keeping in mind these precautions, you can reduce your risk of experiencing a motorcycle accident and increase your enjoyment.
If you’ve already experienced a motorcycle accident and are having difficulty dealing with insurers, consider consulting a Tampa motorcycle accident lawyer. With expert knowledge of insurance companies and the rights of motorists, a Tampa motorcycle accident lawyer can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.