As you are probably aware, the holiday season leads to a swarm of snowbirds in Florida. The festive time of year often means more drivers on the roadways, as well as more shoppers in grocery and retail stores. These occurrences lead to a sharp rise in motorcycle accidents. Starting in November, shoppers are often in a rush to take advantage of the great deals and can find themselves distracted. With thoughts of preparing family meals and purchasing the perfect gifts, distracted drivers cause accidents often with holiday related diversions on their mind.
The holiday season is a time to enjoy surrounding yourself with loved ones and all too frequently, this means the festive consumption of libations. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, “the time period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day include some of the most dangerous days for drunk driving deaths”.
Consider some of the following statistics related to holiday driving next time you’re planning a trip on the Florida roadways:
- New Years 2010 saw 32 fatalities in Florida, and Christmas of that same year saw 24 fatalities.
- The fatality rate for motorcycle riders five and a half times more than the rate for those in a passenger car.
- December 2010 ranked the third highest for overall total of motorcycle accidents per month with 20,170 accidents, A Safer Florida: Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle: Traffic Crash Report 2010.
- Florida had the highest amount of motorcycle fatalities, 530, in 2007.
There are many things you can do to protect yourself from one of the many accidents that occur over the holiday season:
- Wear a helmet. A helmet that meets the federal safety standards is 37% effective in protecting against fatal injuries.
- Hold off on the alcohol.
- Drive defensively. Florida is a tourist magnet. The number of snowbirds is on the rise every year, and this means a crowded road of drivers unfamiliar with Florida roads.. Take extra precautions.
- Maintain your bike. Use preventative maintenance measures such as changing your oil and transmission fluid, replacing worn brake pads, checking tire pressure, etc. If you know of a maintenance issue with your motorcycle. a lengthy holiday trip is not the best idea. If you cannot have proper maintenance performed to ensure it is in safe working condition, you should cancel long driving trips.
If you do not ride a motorcycle but care to keep the road safe for motorcyclists, consider these tips to ensure the safety of others on the road:
- Give the motorcyclist the width of the entire lane.
- Use proper signaling and watch for signaling of the motorcyclist.
- Remember: a motorcyclist needs time to adjust their positioning in the event of a pothole or railroad crossing. Prepare in advance for the course of action the motorcyclist may take.
- Allow more distance when driving behind a motorcycle
A collision on a motorcycle, or with one, can be fatal. During the holidays, the roads are full of new dangers. Not only more people are on the roads that usual, but these are more distracted drivers! Drive defensively and if you or a loved one are injured, call an aggressive attorney who specializes in motorcycle crashes. Call Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today. (727)451-6900.