May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the perfect time to educate drivers on how to share the road with motorcyclists.
Motorcyclists are required to follow the same rules of the road as any motor vehicle driver, but because riding poses so many safety risks, motor vehicle drivers need to take certain precautions. It’s important to remember that motorcyclists aren’t the only ones responsible for their safety.
In order to avoid or prevent motorcycle accidents, all drivers should be aware of the following:
- A motorcycle is easily hidden in a car’s blind spot. Due to their size, motorcycles are not as noticeable as motor vehicles. Take extra caution when changing lanes and double check your mirrors.
- A motorcycle may look farther away than it actually is, so be extra careful when turning at an intersection or into a driveway.
- Motorcyclists brake lights aren’t activated every time they slow down. When a motorcyclist slows down, they often downshift or roll off the throttle to engine brake, therefore not activating the brake light. Whenever you are behind a motorcycle, allow for extra distance. At intersections, assume that the motorcyclist will slow down without visual warning.
- Never attempt to share a lane with a motorcycle. Treat them as if they were the size of a motor vehicle and allow them their own space.
- Most motorcycles have self-canceling turn signals. It may appear the operator is going to make a turn, but use caution and wait to see if a turn is actually made.
- Motorcyclists will often adjust their position in a lane to seem more noticeable to other drivers, not to be reckless. Motorcyclists do this to minimize the effects of road debris, passing vehicles and wind.
- A motorcycle can maneuver easily, however, never assume a motorcyclist will dodge you or another object.
- It’s difficult for motorcycles to stop quickly on slippery or wet pavement. For this reason, keep a good distance when driving behind a motorcycle and never tailgate them.
Riding a motorcycle is an important form of transportation for commuting, touring and recreation. It is necessary to develop safe driving habits to accommodate the over one million riders on Florida’s roadways. Unfortunately, accidents happen. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident and have questions or would like more information, then please contact us.
Unfortunately, insurance companies are often reluctant to pay medical bills and other costs after you have sustained injuries in an accident. This is regardless of whether you were involved in a car accident, a truck accident or a motorcycle accident. Florida is second in the nation when it comes to motorcycle accidents and more than 200,000 automobile accidents occur in the state annually.
Holding Insurers Accountable
When you are injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident, your first instinct is to contact your insurance company. What you may not know is that even innocent conversation with your insurance agent can cause problems for you down the line. When an insurer asks “how are you feeling” and you say “fine” they can use that later to claim you were not as injured as you are claiming to be. This can be a real issue when you consider that many soft tissue injuries associated with accidents can exhibit delayed symptoms.
It is imperative that you do not sign any forms, make any formal statements or accept any type of payment from an insurance company before you consult with a personal injury attorney who can help protect your rights.
Insurance Companies: The Double Duty
When you take out an insurance policy with an insurer, you expect them to treat you fairly when you file a claim. However, while an insurer has an obligation to you, they also have another obligation to their shareholders. This means you and your insurer are at odds almost immediately. Their primary goal is to protect their bottom line and that can mean paying out as little as possible on a claim.
A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
At DDB Law, our goal is to always protect the rights of our clients. In nearly all cases, we can help you navigate the system and help make sure you are treated fairly by your insurance company. We can help you with recovering financially after an accident.
Avoid talking to anyone after an accident where you have been injured and avoid releasing your medical records to your insurance company without first consulting with a personal injury attorney.
In the United States there are over 8 million motorcycles on the road and in recent years riding has become more popular among men and women of all age. Unfortunately that also means an increase in motorcycle accidents. In 2012 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicated there were almost 5,000 fatal motorcycle accidents and over 90,000 total accidents occurred that year.
A closed vehicles will obviously provide more protection than motorcycles. Therefore injuries sustained due to a motorcycle accident tend to be mush more severe than those experienced during a car accident. Even if an accident does not result in fatality, the injuries can still be life altering.
One issue that motorcyclists often encounter is that they are difficult for many drivers of other vehicles to see. Motorcycles don’t take up much space and therefore are frequently overlooked when a driver glances at their mirrors. Even worse, distracted drivers who are trying to use their phone when driving may completely miss their opportunity to see the motorcycle, because their eyes are not on the road and they are less aware of their surrounding environment. To combat this many riders wear bright clothing and try to give vehicles plenty of space. However, there is a limit to how effective defensive driving techniques can be in avoiding an accident. Aware drivers are much more important than defensive riders.
What many drivers don’t understand is that the act of braking on a motorcycle is different from a car. Just like a car, the brakes are applied to both front and back tires. But if braking on a bike is performed too suddenly, then it can cause the bike to flip-over or lock-up the rear wheel causing the rider to lay the bike down, which is very dangerous. On the reverse, slow application of the brakes may mean the motorcycle doesn’t stop in time. This contrast in braking dynamics can be difficult for riders when they try to respond a sudden change in direction of another vehicle. Add in weather and road conditions that adversely affect tire traction and it may be impossible for a motorcyclist to respond safely to an unexpected maneuver.
If you or a loved one has been injured in motorcycle accident contact the attorneys at DDB Law. We have decades worth of experience in handling motorcycle accident cases and can provide you diligent representation.