Sharing the Road: How to Drive Safely Around Motorcycles in Florida
Florida is known for being a dangerous state not only for motor vehicle drivers but for motorcyclists and other vulnerable road users. As the driver of a passenger vehicle, there are many things that you can do to help ensure the safety of motorcycle riders. Sharing the road is important and can prevent accidents from occurring. To learn what you can do to share the road with motorcyclists (and other vulnerable road users), keep reading.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
In the United States, there were 5,014 fatalities because of motorcycle accidents in 2019. On top of that, there were approximately 84,000 injuries in the same timeframe. Many people experience severe injuries such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, and road rash as a result of these accidents. Oftentimes, these injuries can result in permanent damage and disability.
In Florida specifically, there’s an average of 584 motorcycle accident fatalities per year between 2015 and 2020, a large increase in numbers from prior years.
How You Can Help Prevent Motorcycle Accidents
Now that you understand how devastating and fatal motorcycle accidents can be, it’s important to know what you can do to help prevent them. Because a motorcycle accident is most often caused by passenger vehicle drivers and human error, it’s important to pay attention while driving and follow these safety tips.
Be Aware of Your Blind Spots
When driving, you should always be aware of who’s in your blind spots. This is especially important if you’re planning on turning, changing lanes, or merging into another lane. While many new cars these days have blindspot sensors, they’re sometimes not able to track motorcyclists because of their size. To ensure that you don’t change lanes and strike a motorcycle, manually check your blind spots before you move into another lane. It may seem like common knowledge, but don’t forget to use your blinkers.
Be Cautious in Poor Weather
In Florida, we often experience harsh changes in weather that occur very quickly. It can go from a bright, hot day to down-pouring in a matter of seconds. To ensure your own safety, and the safety of others on the road, make sure you’re adapting to these changing weather conditions. Driving in treacherous rain can be very dangerous. So it’s important to slow your speed and keep your eye on the road. Engaging in distractions is always dangerous, but even more so during a storm.
Keep Your Distance
You should also make sure that you’re following motorcyclists at the correct distance. Tailgating a motorcycle can be extremely dangerous, as you won’t have enough time to stop if traffic conditions change. This can lead to a rear-end accident, which could be deadly for the motorcyclist.
Make Eye Contact at Intersections
Motorcycle accidents frequently occur at intersections. Whether they’re left-turn accidents, rear-end accidents, or t-bone accidents, they can likely be avoided just by paying a bit more attention. To ensure that you don’t cause an accident at an intersection, keep your eyes on the road.
Make eye contact with any motorcyclists you see and commit their location to memory. When you go to turn left on a yield or stop at the light, be careful and remember where the motorcycles at the intersection are located.
If you’re speeding through an intersection and not taking note of motorcycles, you’re much more likely to crash into one.
Avoid Road Rage
Road rage occurs when people get irritated about traffic conditions, slow drivers, being cut off, or other circumstances that were out of their control. It’s natural to get upset or be stressed about some of these occurrences. But you should always prevent them from interfering with your driving ability.
By engaging in road rage, you put everyone on the road (including yourself) at higher risk. Keep calm and collected at all times while operating a motor vehicle.
Turn Off Your High Beams
Using your high beams when there are other drivers around can make it hard for them to see. To avoid accidentally blinding anyone while they’re driving in your direction, turn off your high beams as soon as you see someone coming.
Contact Jones Law Group if You’re a Motorcyclist Injured in an Accident
As a motorcyclist, you can’t control how other drivers operate. You can’t make them better or safer drivers. While they can try their best to practice safe driving habits, accidents still occur. If you’re a motorcyclist who’s been involved in an accident, please contact our skilled team of attorneys here at Jones Law Group. Our team can help you get the compensation that you deserve for your damages. We’ll take the weight off of your shoulders so you can focus on resting and recovering from your injuries.