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Keeping motorcyclists safe on Florida’s roads

Fiol Law Group|Posted in Car Accidents on April 27, 2017

Florida’s balmy weather translates to a long growing season for fresh foods, abundant sunshine, warm temperatures and lots of time to hit the open road on a motorcycle. Since winter is stubbornly refusing to leave parts of the country this spring, Florida’s temperate climate may be particularly appealing to tourists this year, many of them enjoying the sunshine by riding on a motorcycle. Of course, many Florida residents are eager to take their bikes out on the road as well.

As more and more motorcyclists hit the road, though, there is a higher chance that accidents will occur. In fact, there are hundreds of fatal motorcycle accidents in Florida annually, and thousands more result in injuries. Somewhat surprisingly, most of the accidents don’t involve newbie motorcyclists who don’t yet understand the rules of the road: the majority of the bikers injured or killed in crashes are men between the ages of 45 and 54 with years of experience.

Florida has tried to curb the tide of accidents by requiring that all motorcycle riders pass the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s “Basic Rider Course” before being granted a motorcycle endorsement or license, but, unfortunately, not all motorcycle accidents can be prevented. There are measures that can be taken by both motorcyclists and motorists alike that will keep the roads as safe as possible, though.

Motorcyclist safety

The most important thing that a motorcycle rider can do before hitting the road is abstain from alcohol, drugs and other intoxicating substances. Data released by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) reveals that one-third of motorcycle crashes in the state involve alcohol.

The FDOT also reports that since the repeal of the state’s helmet law in 2000, fatal motorcycle crashes have increased 21 percent. Wearing a helmet and other protective gear may not prevent an accident, but it does greatly increase the chances of living through one and possibly escaping a traumatic brain injury.

An easy way for motorcyclists to protect themselves on Florida roads is to either wear some sort of reflective gear or to affix reflectors or reflective stickers/decals/tape to the bike itself. Making the motorcycle more visible is key to lowering the chances of being involved in an accident.

Motorists can do their part

Perhaps the best way for motorists to make the roadways safer for motorcyclists is to simply look for them. The most common car-versus-motorcycle accidents happen when drivers make left turns and fail to notice motorcyclists proceeding through intersections. Distracted driving by motor vehicle operators is another key factor, contributing to many of the state’s motorcycle accidents.

Have you or a loved one been injured in a Florida motorcycle accident? Do you have questions about medical expenses, lost wages or property damage? Speak with an experienced Florida personal injury attorney to learn more about your legal rights and options you may have to hold the responsible parties accountable for your injuries.

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