The Sunshine State is no stranger to motorcycles. With constant sun, ocean breezes and miles of scenic highway, motorcycles offer Floridians a joyriding experience unlike anywhere else.
The biker lifestyle is not without its risks, however. Though motorcycles only make up 3% of all registered vehicles, they account for 14% of traffic fatalities. Some people may see bikers as daredevils who take too many risks with their unsafe vehicles, but this is inaccurate. Many motorcycle accidents occur after a car or truck driver violates the biker’s right-of-way. So, how can drivers help?
How to share the road safely
Most drivers will not have to make many adjustments to their driving style to help motorcyclists. The best way to keep bikers safe is to practice road awareness and stick to the basics of driving. Drivers can help by remembering the following:
- Triple-check blind spots: If a car’s blind spot can hide a whole truck, it can turn a motorcycle effectively invisible. Check blind spots regularly, especially if bikers are near. Drivers with passengers can ask them for help spotting smaller vehicles.
- Bikers need more room: Motorcycles move around on the road in unfamiliar ways. Drivers who give bikes more road to operate can respond to their movements safely.
- Do not use brights: Brights can blind any driver at the wrong angle but are particularly dangerous for motorcycles and their lack of a protective windshield.
- Signal turns: Bikers may need extra time to spot turn signals and respond accordingly. Forgetting a signal even when changing lanes may result in catastrophe.
- Turn left with extra care: Left turns are the most dangerous turns a car can make, leaving many areas of the road unwatched. Drivers can take more care with their left turns, especially through intersections, where 40% of all crashes occur.
- Do not drive while intoxicated: Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal in every state, yet people break this law every day. Bikers are 29 times more likely to suffer a fatal injury when involved in a car accident; if a drunk driver is on the road with them, this number increases significantly.
Brings questions to a lawyer
Those injured in a motor vehicle accident can reach out to a lawyer for help. An attorney will assess one’s case, recommend a course of action and help draft legal documents.