Florida is known nationally among motorcycle enthusiasts as a biker friendly state. The freedom of riding without a helmet and the year round warm temperatures, are the main reasons for this reputation. In addition, dozens of motorcycle events from poker runs and swap meets to the extravaganza known as Daytona bike week, invite thousands of new riders to the roads and highways of Florida each year. This ridership does not come without a price. Motorcycle crashes have increased considerably over the past several years. 80 percent of Florida motorcycle crashes resulted in injury or death.
Programs like Share the Road have helped to increase awareness of motorcycles on the road but more is needed in driver education on the part of motorcycle riders. Changing the driving habits of the motorcycle rider can significantly reduce injuries and death. Some keys to operating a motorcycle safely are:
- Avoid alcohol consumption – 45 percent of all injuries and deaths resulting from motorcycle accidents showed that the operator had a blood alcohol level of .08 or greater
- Lights on – Always ride with the headlamp on to increase visibility.
- Wear bright colors – Wearing a bright colored vest or jacket greatly increases visibility.
- Maintain the lane – Riding between lanes on a highway to get past traffic is not only dangerous and a leading cause of crashes, it is illegal.
- No more than two abreast – With the increase in popularity of motorcycle clubs, large groups of motorcycles are often seen on Florida highways, riding three or more abreast, blocking two or more lanes of traffic as well as weaving in and out. These are unsafe and unlawful riding habits.
- Passing illegally – Passing on the right of a vehicle or on the shoulder of the road is not only unlawful it is a high risk maneuver placing the motorcycle in a motorists blind spot.
- Tailgating – Following too closely can result in serious injury or death from flying over the vehicle after sudden impact.
- Drive defensively – Assuming another driver is aware of you can be a costly mistake. Always assume that drivers do not see you.
A large percentage of motorcycle crashes could be avoided if the operators used safer driving practices. If a motorcycle rider is proven to be operating in an unsafe manner it could also have a negative impact on the settlement of any personal injury suit. No-fault insurance laws do not apply to motorcycle owners in Florida. Despite the fact that Florida does not require motorcycle insurance, it is highly recommended. A motorcyclist involved in a crash, who cannot produce proof of liability insurance coverage, is subject to the loss of their driving privileges as well as other ramifications. When a motorcyclist is injured in a crash he or she should also have medical expense coverage for any immediate medical bills to be paid. Typically this coverage is unrealistic being limited to $10,000.00 for the driver and a passenger. The only additional recourse is to sue for medical expenses, loss of wages and pain and suffering. Proving negligence in a motorcycle crash requires an experienced motor cycle accident attorney.
A skilled motorcycle accident attorney has the available resources to locate and depose witnesses, have the scene of the accident reconstructed and fight a long battle for the largest settlement possible. Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA is the law firm that has the resources available to front the high cost of investigating and litigating a motorcycle injury case so the injured party pays nothing until the case is settled.
If you or someone you care about was injured while riding on a motorcycle in Florida, contact the motorcycle accident attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today for a free case evaluation.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765