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A Guide to Motorcycle Safety in Florida

With its nearly year-round warm weather, miles of gorgeous coastline, and abundance of popular tourist spots, Florida is a biker’s paradise. In fact, Florida is second only to California for the number of motorcycle registrations.

For many bike lovers, motorcycling is a popular way to relax, take in the sights and sounds of nature, and spend time with family and friends.

Biking is popular, but it is also undeniably more dangerous than driving a car. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the number of motorcycle fatalities was over 26 times the number for car deaths in 2013. Also in 2013, motorcycles were involved in 13 percent of all motor vehicle collisions.

Because Florida is home to so many motorcycles, it’s important for all drivers to be alert to the presence of bikes on the road. Moreover, motorcyclists should be aware of the risks of riding, as well as ways to reduce the chance of an accident.

Motorcycle Accident AttorneyMotorcycle Safety Tips

Responsible, conscientious motorcycle riding keeps everyone safer. Whether you rely on your motorcycle as your main vehicle, or you are a “weekend warrior” who rides for fun, consider the following to stay safe on your motorcycle:

  • Wear applicable safety gear, including a helmet
  • Keep your bike in top condition by performing routine maintenance
  • Always follow the speed limit
  • Make eye contact with other drivers
  • Don’t drink and bike
  • Stay out of other motorists’ blind spots
  • Give semi-trucks adequate clearance
  • Consider postponing your ride in inclement weather, such as heavy rain
  • Practice defensive – not aggressive – driving

Although biking is popular across all age groups, seniors represent a growing demographic for motorcycle ownership. As the Baby Boomer generation nears retirement, many are turning to motorcycles as a way to relax and enjoy the freedom of the open road.

If you’re an older rider, however, it’s important to note that seniors are three times more likely than younger riders to be involved in a serious motorcycle crash.

According to one report, the number of bikers over age 60 increased by 145 percent between 2000 and 2006. Correspondingly, the injury rate for motorcyclists in the same age demographic climbed by 247 percent.

There are many reason for the increase in fatal injuries to older riders, including a higher percentage of underlying diseases, such as arthritis. Older motorcyclists were also more prone to head and chest injuries, which tend to be more fatal than injuries occurring elsewhere on the body.

Motorcycle Must-haves

Young or old, a big part of staying safe on a motorcycle is having the right gear and following the correct safety checks before getting behind the wheel. Whether you’re taking a quick trip or driving across the country, here are several things to keep in mind:

  • Check for balanced cargo – An unbalanced ride isn’t just uncomfortable, it’s dangerous. Stow any luggage or other gear as close as possible to the bike’s center of gravity. Test your cargo’s balance before embarking on a long trip.

  • Wear a Helmet – It’s a fact that helmets reduce fatal motorcycle accidents. Florida has one of the nation’s most complicated motorcycle helmet laws. Motorcyclists and passengers over age 21 aren’t required to wear a helmet as long as they carry at least $10,000 in insurance coverage for injuries caused by a motorcycle collision. All riders are required to wear protective eyewear regardless of age. Helmet laws vary by state, so check local statutes if you plan to travel in other states.

  • Wear protective and reflective gear – The majority of motorcycle clothing and protective gear is constructed of leather and other durable materials – and for good reason. When the skin skids against concrete at high speeds, the injuries are usually horrific. Wearing reflective clothing also ensures other motorists have a better chance of seeing you.

  • Carry a repair kit – Roadside repair kits can help you fix a flat or take care of other relatively minor mechanical problems. If you must make a repair, try to pull off the road completely so you’re out of the way of other motorists who might not see you on the side of the road.

Call an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney Daytona Beach

For motorcycle enthusiasts, travel on two wheels is the only way to hit the road. Whatever your reason for riding, make sure you keep safety in mind any time you bike. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, make sure that you work with a motorcycle accident lawyer. Call us for free consultation at 386-274-2229.

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  2. Tips to Avoid a Motorcycle Accident
  3. What We’ve Heard About Off-Road Motorcycle Accidents
  4. [Infographic] What to Remember After a Motorcycle Accident in Florida

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