May is Motorcycle Safety Month, and it has never been more relevant than now for Floridians.
Florida Highway Patrol reported 9,500 motorcycle crashes in 2017. About 611 people died in those accidents.
Safety is at the heart of reducing accidents and deaths. The fact is, motorcyclists are 27 more times likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash and more likely to be injured.
“Don’t text and drive. Don’t talk on the phone and drive. Ensure that you are paying attention to the road and that your mind is on the road, your eyes are on the road, and your hands are on the wheel,” said Capt. Tim Pikul, with Florida Highway Patrol, a report published by WWSB, ABC-7 in Sarasota.
Here’s a look at some of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents (not ranked):
• Inexperienced Motorcyclists: We recommend that motorcyclists take a course before hitting the road.
• Speeding: Who hasn’t been surprised by a motorcyclist zipping through traffic. The higher the speed, the greater the chance of impact and the severity of the injuries.
• Lane Changing: Passenger car drivers often don’t check for motorcyclists when switching lanes. Blindspots can be an added hazard when drivers fail to double check before changing lanes.
• Car Doors Opening: Motorcyclists have been known to have severe accidents when they hit a car door that suddenly opens, knocking them off their bikes.
• Drinking and Driving: Alcohol is believed to be the main reason for motorcycle accidents.
• Lane Splitting: When a motorcycle operator drives between two lanes of stopped or slower moving cars. In Florida, lane splitting is illegal.
• Road Conditions: Wet and slick roads, road construction, and poorly maintained roads can all cause motorcyclists to lose control and crash.
Is insurance necessary?
Florida is one of the few states that does not require much motorcycle insurance. Motorcyclists in Florida, for example, do not need to carry personal injury protection (PIP). Floridians, however, are required to meet a financial threshold in case of injuries.
What should you do if you’re planning on riding a motorcycle regularly on Florida roads? Follow these tips to stay on the road:
• Get insurance; Whether you’re injured, or someone else is, you need protection.
• Equip yourself with protective gear.
• Take a motorcycle safety class.
• Don’t drink and drive.
• Abide by the rules of the road.
If you do get into a motorcycle accident, you might be entitled to compensation. Winston Law is a leading motorcycle firm in South Florida. We understand the complexities of motorcycle accidents and can fight for your rights. Contact us for a free consultation.
Winston Law Firm
2924 Davie Rd., Suite 201
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314
954-475-9666 or 800-475-4206