According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, or NHTSA, almost 5,000 motorcyclists were killed across the United States in 2012, with 492 of those deaths occurring in the State of Florida. Those deaths represent a seven percent increase from the previous year, illustrating a frightening trend with regard to motor vehicle fatalities in the U.S. While the number of fatal passenger vehicle collisions has steadily decreased over the last decade across the country, the number of fatal motorcycle accidents continues to increase. Given the fact that Florida has more than its share of bikers due to the year around favorable riding weather and miles of beautiful coastline to ride along, these statistics should be of concern to anyone who rides a motorcycle. Although you cannot prevent every possible cause of an accident, there are some things you can do to prevent a motorcycle accident, including the following:
- Education – Florida law requires motorcycle riders to have the proper endorsement on their license. To obtain the endorsement you must complete a safety course. Even if you have an endorsement and are a veteran rider, a refresher course for more experienced riders is always a good idea. You can sign up for basic and advanced courses through the Florida Rider Training Program website.
- Riding Gear – bikers don’t just wear leather gear to look “cool”, they wear it because it provides a considerable amount of protection in the event they lay the bike down. “Road rash” isn’t just uncomfortable, it can be dangerous if it is deep enough or becomes infected. Along with leather “chaps”, jacket, and gloves, a biker should also wear proper footwear and always use a helmet. Head injuries are one of the top reasons why motorcycle accidents turn fatal. For a biker, a helmet is the only thing between your head and the concrete roadway.
- Bike Maintenance – just as in a passenger vehicle, maintenance issues can cause a deadly accident. Always check tire pressure, for example, before taking off on a ride and conduct regular maintenance inspections on your bike.
- Riding Etiquette – if you ride in a group, used proper riding etiquette. It isn’t just polite, it makes the rider safer for everyone. Communicate, leave room for other bikes, and designate a leader before taking off to make the ride safer.
- Intoxication – this one is simple – Ride Sober!
- Be Aware – despite efforts to make other motorists aware of the presence of motorcycles, many motorists still claim they don’t see them until it is too late to prevent a crash. Never assume that another vehicle is aware of your presence. Always be aware and ready to react to a potential collision.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident in the State of Florida it is imperative that you consult with an experienced Florida motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. Contact the accident team at Powers Sellers & Finkelstein PLC by calling 727-531-2926 today to schedule your appointment.