Many people decide to ride motorcycles because they are better on gas and offer Floridians a way to enjoy the beautiful weather during their travels. Unfortunately, with the advantages comes one very big possible disadvantage – the motorcycle accident. Below are some of the more common reasons why riders crash and possible ways to avoid them.
Car Making a Left-Hand Turn
A highly dangerous situation for a motorcyclist can present itself when another vehicle makes a left-hand turn. These types of collisions account for almost half of the accidents between a car and a motorcycle. Usually the car that is turning will strike the motorcycle when attempting to cross an intersection.
These kinds of accidents often happen between a pair of cars too, but because the motorcycle’s smaller, it’s much less visible to the vehicle that is turning. It is also important to note, that a driver waiting to turn left is looking for cars, or rather a lack of cars, in order to perform their maneuver. Looking for the absence of cars does not necessarily mean they will recognize the presence of a motorcycle.
The best way for a motorcyclist to avoid these types of accidents is to maintain a constant state of alert. Assuming the worst about fellow motorists will keep the rider in a constant state of preparation for evasive maneuvering.
Poor Road Conditions
Gravel, dust, leaves, water and debris pose serious risks to riders. In Florida, the biggest threat to riders is rain and sand, which leaves the rider in a perilous situation where his ability to maneuver and brake is greatly reduced. Poor road conditions can increase the chance of brake lock up and loss of control, especially if a car in front stops short or unexpectedly enters the motorcyclist’s travel lane.
The best way to avoid these issues is to constantly take note of the road conditions and ride accordingly. If road conditions deteriorate, extra precaution and reduced speed is needed. Another important consideration is making sure to outfit your bike with the right tires for your local environment. A good tire can make a lot of difference in adverse conditions.
Motorcycles Lane Splitting
This happens when the motorcycle is driving between lanes of slow-moving or stopped cars, generally when there is a traffic jam. This is a very common reason that motorcycle accidents happen because of a few factors:
- How close the motorcycle and cars are to each other
- The reduced amount of space the motorcycle has to maneuver
- Most cars don’t think that any type of vehicle, such as motorcycles, is going to pass them in stopped or slowed traffic.
The best way to avoid accidents from lane splitting is to not engage in it. Lane splitting is illegal in Florida, so there is no reason to attempt it.
Alcohol Use and Speeding
Approximately half of the accidents involving only a single motorcycle happen because the motorcyclist was speeding or because they were drunk. This isn’t an unknown or surprising fact, since a lot of car accidents are caused the same way. The major difference is motorcycles don’t give riders a lot of protection; accidents involving alcohol or speeding often result in serious injury or death.
It is never advisable to speed, and the risks involved only increase with intoxication. Don’t drink and ride.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident or someone you know was killed on motorcycle, it’s best to get an attorney to help you. An attorney will look at all the facts of your case and let you know what the next steps should be.