Motorcycle accidents are, unfortunately, all-too common occurrences on Florida roads. Drivers or four-wheel vehicles can be to blame in a lot of instances, but riders are also responsible in a lot of instances. But if motorcyclists take the right precautions, they’ll have a much better chance of avoiding potential disaster.
The attorneys with Jones Law Group will be here for you if you’re involved in a motorcycle accident caused by the negligence of a motorist. We’ve been representing motorcycle riders for a long time, and we’ve helped them obtain a significant amount of money in compensation. You can rest easy knowing that we’ll be ready to provide you the skilled representation you need to have your best chance of winning your case.
We hope you never need to call on us, because we want you to be safe at all times when you’re on the road. Here are a few tips to help make sure that happens.
Wear the Right Gear
Wearing the right gear might make the difference between suffering a minor injury in an accident and suffering life-altering injuries – or even worse. Don’t get on a motorcycle unless you’re wearing boots that help protect your lower legs and feet, and a jacket strong enough to protect you from road rash. Jeans will also be a must, as well as a helmet with a visor that covers your entire face.
Florida weather can get incredibly hot and humid – we get it. But don’t ever sacrifice safety for comfort – ever. If you simply can’t bear getting on the road on a hot day, try riding early in the morning on closer to sunset, or just don’t ride at all.
Make Sure People Can See You
You’ve probably heard or read about motorcycle accidents that occurred because a motorist couldn’t see the rider approaching. Drivers often say they had no idea a bike was even there when a collision occurred. Fortunately, there are quite a few things you can do to minimize the risk of this ever happening to you.
One approach you should consider using is to assume that you’re basically invisible to motorists. They can have a very hard time seeing bikes, so make sure you keep your headlight on, no matter what time of the day or night it may be. Also, put reflective decals on not only your clothing, but also your motorcycle. Stay out of car and truck blind spots, and try to flash your brake light before you stop and while you’re slowing down.
Maybe the most important thing you can do will be to plan ahead. If you’re coming on a group of cars and trucks and you can’t get around them, think about your escape route should a vehicle suddenly enter your lane.
Wear a Helmet
True, Florida law doesn’t require motorcyclists to wear a helmet as long as they’re older than 18. But you should always wear one, whether you’re riding across the street or you’re just going to your local convenience store. It’s the most important piece of safety equipment you have, and could save you from a horrible injury should you be involved in an accident.
If you want to be as safe as possible when enjoying a ride, you need to be as alert as you possibly can. The first step toward doing that is to become familiar with Florida’s motorcycle laws.
When you’re on the road, constantly be scanning the road for any potential hazards. The farther in advance you see danger, the more time you’ll have to avoid it. Try to keep as much space between you and other vehicles as possible. If you’re tired, either stay home or get off the road and rest.
Beware of Intersections
Intersections are especially dangerous for motorcyclists. Again, drivers often have a hard time seeing bikes. They’ll often turn right in front of a rider without having any idea they’re doing something wrong. When you get to an intersection, slow down – even if you know you have the right of way. Have an escape path in mind should you have to take evasive action.
Don’t Speed or Ride While Intoxicated
This should go without saying, but a lot of motorcycle accidents occur because the rider was going too fast, or riding while impaired. Riders don’t have nearly as much protection from a collision as does someone surrounded by metal. When you’re on a bike, you’re exposed like no one else. The last thing you want to do is to increase the chances of an accident by speeding or riding while drunk or high.
Avoid Troublesome Weather
It’s true that Florida thunderstorms can seemingly pop up out of nowhere, especially during the spring and summer. But most of the time, you’re going to have a pretty good idea when inclement weather is a possibility. If that’s the case, just stay home or use your car or truck to get to wherever you need to go.
Bad weather and motorcycles simply don’t mix. Drivers have a hard enough time seeing motorcyclists on a perfect day. If you’re trying to get down a highway in a blinding rainstorm, the chances of other motorists being able to see you will be nearly zero. The result could be a catastrophic accident.
What to Do If You’ve Been in a Motorcycle Accident
Hopefully, these tips will keep you from ever being involved in a motorcycle accident. But if you are, the most important thing to do will be to get medical help as fast as you can. Call the police and get the contact information of any other motorists that were part of the collision. After you do all of that, contact your insurance company and tell them what happened.
You should also consider getting in touch with an attorney. There are a lot of biases out there against motorcycle riders. Even if you know you’re not to blame, these biases could jeopardize your case. But the attorneys with the Jones Law Group know how to deal with these biases and protect the rights of bikers. Learn more by using our online form or calling 727-571-1333.