Law enforcement and safety advocates nationwide spent the month of May reminding motorists to watch for motorcycles as part of Motorcycle Safety Month.
However, a Seminole County motorcycle accident lawyer knows motorcycle safety is a year-round effort in Florida. While California has more registered motorcycles than any other state, Florida has the highest number of fatal accidents in the nation - more than California or Texas.
In response to this growing problem, the Florida Department of Transportation recently issued motorcycle safety tips to the public.
“Safety is FDOT’s top priority and throughout the month [of May] the department is working to raise awareness and educate all road users on the importance of motorcycle safety,” FDOT Secretary Mike Dew said.
Avoiding Florida Motorcycle Accidents this Summer
Tips for Riders:
- Don't drink and ride.
- Wear bright clothing and take other steps to make yourself visible.
- Ride within the law and respect your personal riding limits and limitations.
- Get a proper motorcycle endorsement and take safety certification programs as part of your regular riding activities.
- Have your motorcycle serviced, make frequent inspections, and make sure your bike is well-maintained and ready to ride.
Tips for Motorists:
- Give motorcycles plenty of room. Never share a lane.
- Check mirrors and blind spots before turning or changing lanes.
- Don't crowd a motorcycle and don't tailgate - allow riders plenty of room to stop.
- Don't drive distracted.
- Don't drink and drive.
Fighting for Motorcycle Rights in Florida
The Orlando Sentinel recently reported that Florida led the nation for fatal motorcycle accidents last year. More than 600 riders were killed on Florida roads - an increase of 30 percent since 2014. Counties with the most motorcycle deaths included Orange, Miami-Dade, Brevard, Volusia and Lee.
There is no such thing as a minor motorcycle accident. Even slow-speed, low-impact crashes have the potential to result in serious or fatal injuries to riders. Motorists should permit riders to have the right of way. Failure to yield to riders is the leading cause of fatal motorcycle accidents involving other drivers. Giving riders the right of way is a great way to reduce your risk of causing a collision.
Injured riders should seek out an experienced injury attorney as soon as possible. Negligent motorists can be liable for property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and other losses associated with a collision. Your legal advocate will work to determine all responsible parties and associated insurance coverage. In some cases, a rider may pursue an underinsured/uninsured motorist claim through his own insurance company. We advise all riders to carry this coverage, as it will provide another line of defense in the event of an accident, and may act as the only means of recovery if an at-fault driver leaves the scene or is otherwise not identified.
By respecting the rights of riders, we can all stay safer this summer. The inconvenience of a few extra seconds of travel time is nothing compared to the cost of a serious or fatal motorcycle accident in Florida. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact the Law Offices of Scott M. Miller, P.A.