Florida’s hundreds of days of warm, sunny weather make motorcycles a popular method of transportation. Whether you ride as a commuter or as a hobbyist, every rider faces many of the same extra challenges that other drivers they share the road with may not recognize. These added hazards often make up some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents, so it’s important to know about them in order to recognize and avoid falling victim to one. Here are just a few of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in the state of Florida.
Bikes may be much simpler than cars, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to be extremely careful and vigilant about your bike’s condition. A worn-out tire, broken turn signal, or engine with dirty oil all have the potential of causing an accident. An unmaintained engine can seize up and go dead while in the middle of the highway, causing a crash, while a burned-out turn signal could result in a motorist not recognizing your intention to change lanes and a painful side-swipe accident.
The best way to avoid this is to simply be diligent and keep up with your bike maintenance schedule. Change your oil when the manufacturer suggests, do frequent checks for all safety devices, and always inspect and repair anything that may not feel right before going out on a ride. You never know when something might go wrong.
Cars are generally larger vehicles, and that makes them easy to see when on the roads. Motorcycles are normally much smaller, and that means it can be difficult for motorists to see one, especially in low-visibility situations, such as blind spots or night-time driving. As a rider, always advised you keep any and all safety or visibility lights on at all times, and wear either a brightly-colored, reflective safety vest or high-visibility safety gear that can make you more visible to other motorists.
Motorcycles are small, extremely lightweight, and yet pack a ton of power, which means many riders like to just twist the throttle open and take off to experience the rush of speed. Unfortunately it’s these speeding riders who often get themselves into trouble, winding up in situations where they can’t stop or swerve quick enough to avoid a collision. While it might be fun to experience the thrill of high-speeds on a tiny, open-air vehicle, it’s also extremely dangerous, so stick to the posted speed limit, and no faster.
This is a common cause of accidents that goes both directions. Most riders don’t really have the ability to pick up and check their cell phone while riding, but other motorists, billboards, or many other distractions can all lead to a momentary lapse in judgement that results in a devastating crash.
Distracted driving is also a tremendous problem with other drivers, many of whom have added distractions because they’re behind the wheel of a car. Drivers on cell phones have been known to cause a high number of accidents every year, as well as those who partake in risky behavior such as eating or drinking, adjusting the stereo or GPS, and much more. Be on the lookout for potentially-distracted drivers and stay as far away from them as possible when passing to make sure they won’t accidentally swerve into you while you’re trying to get by.
For many people, riding is a social experience as well as a personal one, and many people will go on long rides to meet up at restaurants or bars. Unfortunately, far too many riders will get back on the bike after having too much to drink and that’s a recipe for disaster for themselves and anyone else around them. Drunk riders often have to place far too much focus into simply staying balanced, let alone actually riding and following the laws of the road.
If you know you’re going to be riding, don’t drink. It’s that simple. Riding while drunk is extremely difficult and causes far too many injuries each year. It’s also against the law, and could carry extremely heavy penalties if you’re caught doing so, even if you didn’t cause any injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle crash, speak to a Stuart motorcycle accident attorney today!Call Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC at 866-675-4427 for a case evaluation.