Over 500 motorcycle fatalities occurred in Florida in 2020, about 15% of all auto accident fatalities, even though motorcycles amount to just about 3% of registered vehicles. Motorcycles easily fit into other drivers’ blind spots and are more vulnerable to conditions like uneven roads and unfavorable weather. These factors put the motorcycle community in higher danger of accidents and crash-related injuries.
What can motorcyclists do to keep safe on the road? Oldham & Delcamp, LLC, motorcycle lawyers from the Pinellas Park, St. Pete, and Tampa Bay areas, provide five tips.
1. Make Yourself Visible and Wear Protective Gear
Drivers of larger vehicles can easily miss a motorcyclist, especially on a dark night. Make yourself more visible by choosing clothing and accessories in bright colors and reflective materials.
A helmet could save your life in a crash. Although motorcycle law in Florida doesn’t mandate helmets for motorcyclists 21 and older who have certain insurance coverage, wearing a helmet is a wise choice since it makes you 69% less likely to sustain a head injury and 42% less likely to die from one.
Your protective headgear can also increase your visibility on the road if you use reflective stickers for a helmet.
2. Keep Your Motorcycle in Good Repair
Timely motorcycle maintenance is essential to keeping safe on the road. Check the following parts of your motorcycle regularly, preferably before and after each ride:
- Controls: Pedals, handlebars, cables, throttle, and hoses
- Brakes, wheels, and tires
- Lights and other electrical parts like wires
- Mirrors: Make sure they aren’t dirty or cracked
- Suspension and frame
- Oil levels: Top off as necessary and check for leaks
If your motorcycle displays any sign of a problem you can’t easily fix yourself, get it serviced as soon as you can. Never ride a motorcycle that isn’t in proper working order.
3. Avoid Distractions
To maximize road safety, avoid any distractions, such as using a mobile phone or adjusting your music playlist while driving.
Likewise, avoid riding a motorcycle when tired. Road fatigue may increase your reaction times and put you at a higher risk of an accident. If you feel fatigued while riding, stop to have a drink or snack or wash your face and resume riding when you are alert again.
4. Leave Enough Space Between Yourself And Other Vehicles
You never know when the driver behind or ahead of you is going to stop abruptly, so you should always leave enough space between your motorcycle and other vehicles. Keep in mind that a read-end accident can often be fatal for motorcyclists.
Even if you are a careful and responsible rider, there’s no guarantee you’ll only encounter cautious, vigilant drivers on the road. Keep an eye on other vehicles and try to move away from speeding, distracted, or erratic drivers.
5. Observe Road and Weather Conditions
Gravel or sand on the road, potholes, or wheel ruts can all be dangerous for a motorcycle rider. Do your best to avoid bad roads and beware of spilled oil, fuel, and antifreeze that can make a road slippery.
Likewise, try to avoid riding in inclement weather conditions such as rain, snow, or strong winds.
What to Do If You Were Involved In A Motorcycle Accident
Unfortunately, road accidents may happen despite all safety precautions. If you were involved in a road accident, take the following steps if possible:
- Obtain urgent medical help or at least a full check-up, even if you believe you weren’t hurt.
- Take clear photo and video evidence of the accident scene.
- If another party was involved in the accident, get their name and contact information. Likewise, obtain and save the contact details of any witnesses.
- Pass all the details of the accident to your insurance company.
- Seek a case evaluation from a motorcycle lawyer
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
If you believe that your accident happened because of another party’s negligence, unlawful driving, or any type of illicit behavior, you may wish to consider filing a personal injury claim. A personal injuries lawyer can help you decide whether your case has a strong basis for a claim.
Per Florida’s statute of limitations, it is possible to file a claim within four years of the injury. However, filing as soon as possible may help gather evidence and present a more powerful case.
Oldham & Delcamp, LLC: Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Pinellas Park, St. Pete, and Tampa Bay, Florida
When you work with our law firm, you get a personal injury lawyer who is 100% committed to giving you client-focused, efficient legal representation. As former state prosecutors and insurance company attorneys, we use our vast experience in Florida personal injury law to achieve the best possible results for you.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other applicable licensing jurisdiction.