For the second time, Honda is recalling motorcycles due to a problem that may cause their brakes to malfunction. According to an article from The Associated Press, the Honda GL-1800, model years 2001-2010, was the subject of an initial motorcycle recall in 2011 because of the defective brakes. The company has continued to receive complaints since that time. The recent recall involves the same model years, with the addition of 2012 models, and covers 126,000 motorcycles.
There is a problem with the secondary brake master cylinder in the motorcycles, the article reported. It can cause the rear brake to drag and potentially lead to a crash or a fire. As of late July, Honda had received 533 complaints about the issue. Though there had been no reports of injuries or fatalities caused by the problem, eight of the complaints reported small fires. Honda has filed documents with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in which it states that no root cause for the problem has been found and that an investigation into the issue is ongoing.
Owners of Honda GL-1800 motorcycles within the recalled model years should receive a letter from the company detailing how to look for the problem, the article stated. A second letter will be sent when replacement parts or repairs are available, and in the meantime, owners are encouraged to take their motorcycles to the dealer for inspection if they find that the problem does exist with their bike.
Although Honda has not yet determined what the root cause of the defective brake is on the GL-1800 models, you can trust that if you’ve been injured in an accident, the attorneys from DDB Law will find out what caused your accident. Whether it’s a defective part or a negligent driver, we will find the answers needed to fight for the compensation you deserve. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, contact us.
Although Florida doesn’t require its residents to provide proof of financial responsibility when registering a motorcycle, the state does have several helmet laws in place to ensure that riders are protected – both bodily and financially – in case of an accident. After a certain age, however, Florida helmet laws include a medical insurance exemption.
Under Florida law, a person is allowed to ride a motorcycle without a helmet if two conditions are satisfied:
- You must be over 21 years of age
- You must carry (and have proof of) $10,000 in medical insurance that will cover the injuries that might occur in the event of a motorcycle crash.
Absent of carrying medical insurance, Florida motorcycle riders are required to wear a helmet from the list of approved models by the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles. Every motorcyclist – regardless of age or insurance coverage – must wear protective eye gear or have a wind shield on their motorcycle. Glasses and sunglasses are acceptable forms of “protective eye gear” under this law.
After a previous motorcycle helmet law was overturned by a Florida court for being overly vague, the current law was passed in 2000. It serves as a compromise between those (mainly motorcycle riders) who believed that the helmet requirement was a government overreach and those who held that motorcycle accidents tend to cause a disproportionate amount of head injuries. These types of injuries can lead to long term brain damage that would constitute a burden on the state that would have to pay for the care of people suffering from them. The requirement to carry insurance to avoid wearing a helmet was meant to address this problem.
If you are over 21 and decide to forgo wearing a helmet, don’t leave home without your proof of insurance. Florida law enforcement is free to stop any motorcyclist without a helmet that could be underage. Another important consideration? If you are in an accident and decide to file a personal injury suit, your decision to not wear a helmet could negatively affect your case, as the defendant might argue that the injuries sustained in the accident were the result of your own negligence. For more information, please visit our page on helmet laws. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident and were not wearing a helmet, enlist the help of an experienced attorney to ensure you recover the damages you deserve.
About 20 percent, or 491, out of Florida’s 2,424 traffic fatalities belonged to motorcyclists. This is as of 2012, the latest complete year of statistics, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Board. The lack of structural protection offered by a passenger car or truck is the primary factor contributing to increased risk of injury or death. If you enjoy driving a bike, follow these simple tips to stay safe:
- Wear a helmet. The NHTSB estimates that 135 lives were saved because of helmet use. Since the repeal of Florida’s helmet law in 2000, the number of fatalities per 10,000 registered motorcycles has jumped by 21 percent. There’s also additional protective clothing to consider. Wearing gloves, long pants and a jacket can help protect against scrapes and bruises if you hit the road. Investing in body armor can also guard against broken bones and internal injuries.
- Don’t drive after drinking. It’s an obvious rule that too many drivers (of all vehicles) choose to ignore. The NHTSB estimates that having any alcohol in the body increases the chances of a crash by five-fold. In 2011 in Florida, 32 percent of the motorcycle fatalities showed Blood Alcohol Concentrations of 0.08 or greater.
- Be extra careful during the weekends. In 2011, 37 percent of the fatal crashes occurred on the weekend. 28% of those deaths occurred in March, April and May.
- Take a safety course. Even if you’re a seasoned driver, a refresher course on defensive driving never hurts. If you’re new to the open road, a good motorcycle training course is imperative for building a solid foundation of best driving practices.
- Be aware of your visibility. Use your indicators, wear visible clothing and always be conscious of your position relative to other drivers on the road.
You may follow all these guidelines regularly and still be involved in a motorcycle accident because you share the road with other drivers who can behave unpredictably. If that happens, contact an attorney experienced in handling motorcycle accident injuries immediately.