Best ideas to prevent motorcycle crashes on Florida roads
Spring is here and many riders in Florida are taking out their motorcycles and hitting the open road. Riding a motorcycle takes a considerable amount of skill in order to prevent a serious crash. That's because motorcyclists are much more likely to be injured or killed in a crash than someone who drives a car or truck.
According to the National Safety Council, approximately 5,172 motorcyclists and motorcycle passengers were killed in crashes in 2017. That number has more than doubled since 1997.
What's more shocking, motorcycles only account for three percent of all registered vehicles. They also account for less than one percent of all vehicle miles traveled nationwide. Roughly 14 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2017 involved motorcyclists, however.
Safety tips to consider
Motorcyclists are more vulnerable than drivers because they are harder to see. Drivers who are inattentive or who behave recklessly often fail to yield the right-of-way to motorcyclists.
In order to stay safe, motorcyclists should consider the following:
- Wear a helmet: According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, motorcycle helmets are roughly 37 percent effective at preventing fatalities and 67 percent effective at preventing serious traumatic brain injuries. Only motorcyclists under the age of 21 are required to wear helmets in Florida. If you're over 21, it's still a good idea for you (and your passenger) to wear a helmet, however.
- Wear protective clothing: It's a good idea to wear full pants, a leather jacket, gloves, boots, and arm guards to prevent a serious injury caused by road rash. It may not be comfortable on a hot day, but it can save your life.
- Be visible: Motorcyclists are hard to see, especially at night. Be sure that your headlights and taillights are working properly. You should also add reflective devices to your motorcycle and protective clothing.
- Ride defensively: You never know what other drivers may do. That's why it's important to pay close attention to the actions of other drivers and keep a safe distance away from them. It's best to avoid drivers who appear to be distracted or behaving recklessly.
- Watch out for road hazards: Certain road hazards can be dangerous to motorcyclists. Be sure to watch out for road debris, large cracks, potholes and sand.
- Make sure your motorcycle is inspected: It's always a good idea to get your motorcycle inspected before taking it out for the spring and summer. Be sure your motorcycle is free of defects involving the tires, brakes, handlebars, horn, lights, mirrors, exhaust, clutch and throttle.
- Brush up on your riding skills: Even if you already know how to ride a motorcycle, it's never too late to learn new skills that can help you stay safe on the road.
What can I do if I was injured in a motorcycle accident?
If you were injured in a motorcycle crash because of someone else's negligent or reckless behavior, you have the right to pursue a motorcycle accident claim. Getting compensated for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages isn't easy, however. The at-fault driver's insurance company will attempt to reduce your chances of being fully compensated.
That's why you need an experienced West Palm Beach motorcycle accident attorney on your side who knows how to deal with the insurance companies and advocate for a fair settlement. Contact David J. Glatthorn, P.A. to schedule your free case review. You can also call us at 800-990-9394.