May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Low angle view of a black vintage motorcycle in tropical Florida setting

With fantastic weather and plenty of beautiful scenery to enjoy, central Florida is a great place for motorcycling.

Motorcycles can be seen everywhere throughout Longwood and the greater Orlando area, but with traffic and tourism starting to return to pre-pandemic levels, it's important for drivers to remember that they need to share the road with motorcyclists.

May has been designated Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and both the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and AAA have joined forces to help spread the word.

We all need to do our part

Earlier this year, our community suffered a tragedy when a 30-year-old Orlando man was killed in a motorcycle crash near Union Park after a separate collision pushed two vehicles traveling in the opposite direction into his lane.

Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents like this are happening far too often in Florida and across our nation's roads.

According to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019 there were 5,014 motorcyclists who died in fatal traffic crashes.

Per vehicle miles traveled, motorcycle riders are over 25 times more likely than the occupants of a passenger vehicle to die in a motor vehicle collision, continuing the troubling trend of motorcyclists being overrepresented in fatal traffic crashes.

This problem will only continue to grow if riders and drivers don't remain vigilant and fail to practice safe driving habits.

Try to remember that over the past year, people haven't been getting behind the wheel as much as they normally do.

With that in mind, it's important to remember that your driving skills might need some fine-tuning to knock the rust off — especially if you haven't driven in a while.

Safety tips for drivers

Approximately 75% of all motorcycle accidents involve other vehicles, and in many of those crashes, the other driver is to blame.

In most cases, a motorcyclist has just 2 seconds to react to avoid a collision.

To prevent causing a motorcycle crash, drivers should:

  • Slow down — If you're speeding, you might not be able to stop soon enough to avoid a crash with a motorcycle rider at a red light, intersection, or when changing lanes.
  • Keep your distance — It's common for motorcyclists to downshift or roll off the throttle when they need to slow down, but doing so means the motorcycle's brake lights won't be activated to give a visual warning to others. As such, motorists should keep a following distance of about 3-4 seconds when driving behind a motorcyclist.
  • Stay focused — If you're chatting with a passenger, talking on the phone, or texting while driving, it's easy to miss a motorcycle because they're much smaller than other passenger vehicles.
  • Activate your signals early and often — You should be using your turn signals regardless, but a lot of people simply don't bother when they're making a turn. Using your turn signals lets everyone else on the road know what you're doing and gives them an opportunity to adjust accordingly (e.g., slow down, go around you, pull out into the road, etc.).
  • Watch out for blind spots — Always double and triple check your mirrors and blind spots before you change lanes, as a motorcyclist could be obstructed by your vehicle's doors and/or roof pillars. Sometimes motorcycles can blend in with bushes, fences, bridges, and other background objects. It's also tough to judge the speed of an oncoming motorcycle, so use extra caution when you're waiting to make a turn or go through a stop.

Motorcycle riders can also do their part by always wearing a helmet, wearing protective gear, enrolling in a defensive driving course, being mindful of the weather and road conditions, and conducting regular maintenance on their motorcycles.

"Safety is important every day we ride, and Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is a great time to emphasize our safety messages to drivers and riders alike," said Erik Pritchard, president and CEO of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. "As we look forward to peak riding season, we welcome the opportunity to kick off a summer of safety in May. And remember, for those looking to get into riding, your best first ride is with a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course, on the street or on the dirt."

Attorney Scott Miller fights for injured riders in Florida

No matter how safe you are while riding your motorcycle, it only takes one negligent driver to cause a crash that changes your life forever.

A motorcycle accident has the potential to cause severe and debilitating injuries that leave you in pain and with stacks of medical bills.

If your injuries are bad enough, you may also not be able to work to support yourself or your loved ones while you recover.

At the Law Offices of Scott M. Miller, PLLC, motorcycle accident lawyer Scott Miller helps injured riders pursue the compensation they deserve and hold those accountable responsible for their actions.

Known as a knowledgeable and aggressive trial lawyer, Attorney Miller will leave no stone unturned in pursuit of justice and will fight for every dollar you're entitled to.

If you were injured or someone you love died in a motorcycle crash caused by someone else, contact us today for a free consultation.

Serving clients throughout Seminole County and the greater Orlando area, our office is located in Longwood, FL.