With sunny skies and great weather throughout the year, Florida is a popular place to own a motorcycle. However, it is also one of the most dangerous. Florida ranks 4th for motorcycle fatalities nationally. With statistics like these, motorcycle safety is imperative on Florida roadways. Here are some common causes of motorcycle accidents in Florida and how to prevent them.
Over 40% of fatal motorcycle crashes in the US involved motorcyclists under the influence of drugs or alcohol—greater than fatal DUI crash percentages for cars and trucks. Impairment was the highest leading cause of all traffic fatalities in the US, regardless of the vehicle used. Driving while intoxicated is especially dangerous for motorcyclists, as these vehicles require balance, focus, and physical strength to operate.
Speeding causes motorcycle crashes for several reasons. Motorcyclists are harder to see, even when obeying all traffic laws. Speeding makes matters far worse. Speeding does not give you sufficient time to react to your surroundings if you are forced to stop due to traffic and avoid debris like fallen tree limbs or potholes.
Nearly 40% of all motorcycle crashes in the US were due to passenger cars turning left into motorcyclists’ paths. This is common because a motorcycle’s compact size makes it difficult to see. It is also challenging for car drivers to judge the speed and distance of a motorcycle driver, especially when traveling at excessive speeds.
It is illegal for motorcyclists in Florida to bypass traffic by traveling through lanes. Motorcyclists must adhere to all applicable traffic laws, including staying in control of their traffic lane. Lane splitting is dangerous because cars and trucks do not expect traffic to flow this way, which could cause an accident. However, two motorcyclists may legally travel side by side in one lane.
Florida’s afternoon storms in the summer cause slippery road conditions, leading to frequent accidents. Since motorcycles are less stable than other motor vehicles, they are more prone to accidents due to inclement weather.
Motorcyclists should be constantly aware of their location in relation to other cars. Staying in a car’s blind spot can cause accidents with severe injuries if a vehicle changes lanes or swerves unexpectedly.
There are several things motorcyclists can do to stay safe on Florida’s roadways. First, ensure to wear the proper attire. While helmets are only required for riders under 21, wearing one is highly recommended. In addition, motorcyclists are required to wear eye protection while riding a motorcycle. All motorcycles must have safety features like turn signals, stop lamps, rear reflectors, and a headlamp that stays on during operation. Understanding and obeying all traffic laws is the best way to avoid accidents. Do not speed, split lanes, or weave through traffic. You should also never drive any motor vehicle if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Our experienced personal injury attorneys in Ocala, Florida, can help you collect damages if you were injured in a motorcycle accident. We also serve residents in Marion County, the Villages, and Gainesville. Contact us today at 352-269-1814 to discuss your case.