Picture it now… You just purchased a motorcycle and you’re cruising down the highway with the sun on your back, the wind in your face, and not a care in the world.
Did you know that motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die in a collision than someone riding in a passenger car? In 2017 alone, there were 5,172 fatalities due to motorcycle crashes, accounting for 14 percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths that year, which is more than double the amount of motorcycle deaths that occurred ten years prior.
It’s an attractive idea — one we’re sure many of you have fantasized about — but there is a lot more to motorcycle-riding than we see on the television and movie screens.
If you or a loved one is considering purchasing a motorcycle, it’s a good idea to thoroughly read through this blog full of advice from Wolf & Pravato, a personal injury law firm in Fort Lauderdale with a team of motorcycle accident attorneys.
There are many reasons as to why motorcycle accidents are so prevalent. For instance, motorcycles do not provide the same kind of enclosed protection as a car does. These motorcycles are also often performing at high capabilities, meaning riders are going much faster and using much more power than they typically would if they were driving a car.
In cases where another vehicle is involved in the crash, it’s more than likely that the accident was caused by the other vehicle violating the motorcyclist’s right of way. This begs us, as auto accident attorneys, to feel the need to stress how important it is for both motorcyclists and automobile drivers to pay attention and obey the traffic laws. By actively abiding all safe riding practices, you will not only help keep yourself out of harm’s way, but others as well.
For motorcyclists specifically, there are quite a few problems that are unique to their particular situation on the road. First and foremost, there is the issue of visual recognition. Motorcyclists are much smaller visual targets, and at times they can be obscured by other cars or objects on the road, the road itself, weather conditions, or other outside factors. Intersections can be especially dangerous, since blind spots are likely to occur. In fact, 70 percent of motorcycle vs. vehicle collisions happen at intersections.
Because of the lack of secure protection riders get while on a motorcycle, they are more susceptible to road hazards, much more than they would be if they were safely behind the metal enclosure of a car. Potholes, oil slicks, puddles, debris, ruts, uneven pavement, railroad tracks – all of these things may merely be minor irritations for a car — and are barely even noticeable if you’re driving a larger truck or SUV — but for a motorcycle, they can be extremely dangerous.
We’ve touched upon the fact that motorcyclists are normally operating at a pretty high speed, which adds to its risk factor. When driving at these high speeds, the front of the motorcycle can become very unstable and begin to shake or wobble, putting the rider in what could become a very dangerous situation. There are times when this shaking and wobbling is due to actual manufacturer issues, such as misalignment of the front of rear tires. If an accident occurs and this is determined as the cause, the motorcycle manufacturer may be held responsible for any injuries incurred.
Another major concerning factor about riding a motorcycle is the level of skill involved. This is not the same as learning how to drive a car, in any way. There is much more skill and coordination required in order to operate a motorcycle properly, and it may take years of riding before one can consider themselves well -easoned. Many accidents are caused by a rider’s sheer lack of experience on their motorcycle, whether it be because of their lack of basic riding skills or their failure to appreciate the inherent operating characteristics and limitations of the motorcycle itself.
It’s crucial that all motorcyclists practice extreme caution when they are out riding. Always follow these safety tips:
- Wear a helmet, every single time you get on the bike.
- Do not get ahead of yourself and purchase a motorcycle that is way too big and/or out of your comfort zone. Make sure the motorcycle fits you correctly. When you are seated, you should have no trouble being able to rest both feet flat on the ground — not tiptoeing allowed — and the handlebars should be easy for you to reach.
- Invest in safety features such as anti lock brakes, which have proven to save people’s lives time and time again. Motorcycles equipped with antilock brakes are 27 percent less likely to be involved in a fatal crash than bikes without them. That is one statistic to take very
- Don’t try to teach yourself how to ride. Take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation riding course in your area. These courses range from free to about $350.
- Always wear the proper gear while riding, as this will help to keep you protected from environmental forces such as wind chill, flying bugs and debris. Wear a leather or reinforced jacket, gloves, long pants and over-the-ankle footwear — even in the summer. Yes, we know the South Florida summers can be hot, but we’d bet you’d rather be a sweaty motorcycle rider rather than an injured one any day of the week.
- Stay alert while riding. Always keep an eye out for cars that may suddenly change lanes or make a turn, avoid people who you notice are texting and driving or doing anything else that takes their attention away from the road. Also, never tailgate another vehicle. You need to make sure you have plenty of time to react should the car in front of you do something unexpected.
- Don’t ride in bad weather. Rain will affect your visibility, and it also reduces your tires’ grip on the road. If you absolutely have to ride when it’s windy, move to the side of the lane that the wind is coming from so you avoid being pushed by it.
- Watch out for any and all road hazards, including even the most mundane things you might not think matter, such as wet leaves and small pebbles, and anything that may cause your bike to slide unexpectedly.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident in South Florida, contact our team of Fort Lauderdale attorneys to help take care of all the technical and legal processes that need to be handled in order to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. Your main focus should be on recovering from your injuries. Let us handle the rest.
You may be able to collect compensation for things like medical expenses, including your hospital stay, any past, present, and future loss of earnings as a result of the accident, your pain and suffering, and any additional care or help that you need at home. Our Florida personal injury law firm will always fight to win every case and to maximize every claim, and we want to be able to do this for you.
Contact our South Florida law firm today to schedule a consultation so that our expert team of personal injury lawyers may review your case and help bring you justice.