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Motorcycle Accidents in Excess Rain

Recently in the bay area, there has been historic rainfall and destructive as well as distractive weather. To put things in perspective, the tropical depression that passed last week was recorded at 3.9 inches of rain, setting the new standard from the former 2.6 inches in the 1970s. With all of this bad weather, there were numerous accidents due to excess water, distracted drivers, visibility, poor road condition and many other limiting factors that risk stability, tractions and concentration. As if the heavy rain wasn’t enough, motorcyclists continued to ride with their fellow 4-wheel vehicles in the disastrous rain regardless of the possible outcomes of the travel. Most experienced riders will tell you to avoid riding in the rain but due to possible breaks in the weather or only form of transportation, there were still many motorcyclists on the road during the hazardous rain conditions.

Riding in excess rain can cause accidents due to a variety of factors. If it hasn’t rained in a while, the water may bring up the oil on the road that has built up over time causing the road to be slippery. On the contrary, if it has been consistently raining as in our case, the saturated ground can cover sink holes, pot holes and other road dangers that are visible when dry. If a motorcyclist must drive during rain, there should be several factors to consider before leaving the safety of shelter:

  • Never drive through moving or standing water
  • No breaking heavily, accelerating too heavily or leaning too much which causes skidding
  • Turn around if you cannot see the road
  • Treat non-functioning signs as a 4-way stop
  • Assume downed power lines are still live
  • Retreat from barricaded area
  • Be cautious at night due to limited visibility
  • Drive slowly due to hydroplaning/aquaplaning or water between tires and road which results in complete loss of traction.
  • Use more headlights when safe to do so*
  • Wear safety gear*

Motorcycle Safety Laws vary by State

The last two points are specific to Florida as the state has laws that may be different in other states. When using more headlights, do not (and I repeat DO NOT) use hazard lights when visibility in rain is low. These specific lights are only used for funeral processions if not by emergency vehicles or cars that are stopped due to an urgent situation. First responders look for flashers to see if someone needs help; not to see if someone is currently driving. Law officials say that hazard lights can actually reduce visibility making is hard for other drivers to see because they may think you are stopped, stalled or turning.

When wearing safety gear, helmets are optional due to Florida’s relaxed policy on motorcyclists. In the three years before Florida suspended the law, the state only averaged about 160 motorcycle deaths per year. Ten years after the repeal, motorcycle accidents have skyrocketed to an all-time high at 550 deaths in 2010 alone. Deaths in between the years of 2010 and 2012 totaled to about 382, 352 and 457 each consecutive year. That is a 7% increase between the years of 2011 and 2012. More specifically, the statistics in our four-county area are pretty shocking. Between Pinellas, Pasco, Hillsborough and Hernando counties, there were 1680 crashes in 2012 with 1564 motorcyclists injured and the other 78 unfortunately dead. Florida is dangerous when it comes to motorcyclists as a result of the combination of optional safety equipment, older individuals who ride and the bad weather conditions.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA Represents Injured Motorcyclists in the Tampa Bay Area

If you have a motorcycle or know of someone who drives their motorcycle in the rain, be aware of the risk when driving in such dangerous conditions. Sometimes riding in inclement weather is a necessity. If you have been involved in a motorcycle crash, call the attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA: (727) 451-6900. A consultation is always complimentary and all cases are handled on a contingency fee basis. This means the attorneys only earn a fee if your case is successful.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Becher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
(727) 451-6900