Motorcycle accidents are often some of the most catastrophic in terms of the risk of injury or death caused by these collisions. While it is important that the motorcyclists and their passengers take extra precautions when using these vehicles to travel in Florida, it is also the responsibility of other drivers on the road to keep an extra eye out for their fellow travelers' safety.
Every person on the road can help reduce the risk of injury and death for those operating two or three-wheeled vehicles. Taking an extra glance or waiting a few seconds can mean the difference between safety and catastrophe on the roads.
What motorcyclists can do
It's up to everyone on the road to help increase the level of safety for motorcyclists, and that includes the riders themselves. When riding on or driving a motorcycle, it is important to take precautions to ensure the highest possible safety levels using this mode of transportation.
Beyond the appropriate attire and protection gear, motorcyclists and riders can exercise added caution around other vehicles. Consider the advice of rider safety organizations such as Ride Smart Florida and the Florida Motorcycle Safety Coalition.
These entities and programs provide information for all riders about the proper safety protocols and added measures to help increase motorcycle safety in the state. Motorcyclists should remember to never drive impaired such as with any other vehicle, keep up with training, conduct maintenance on vehicles and take steps to make yourself visible to drivers on the roads.
What drivers can do
Cars and trucks are some of the most dangerous risks to a motorcyclist's safety. Motorcyclists account for approximately 14 percent of all traffic fatalities but comprise only 3 percent of the entire motor vehicle presence on the roads. These fellow travelers are at a higher risk of danger and their peers can take simple steps to help decrease this risk.
Anytime you are on the road, consider the possibility that there is something you don't see such as a smaller vehicle. A few tips include:
- Double check your surroundings before making moves across lanes of traffic.
- Always check blind spots and other lanes of traffic before changing lanes.
- Engage your car's turn signal before changing your position and let the signal run for a few seconds before actually moving. This includes making left turns across lanes of traffic and entering the flow of traffic.
- Give motorcycles a full lane. Never crowd the lane next to a smaller vehicle.
- Follow far enough behind to have time to stop if needed. Approximately four seconds at least is good practice when following a motorcycle.
Motorcycle accidents happen far too frequently on Florida's roads and they can be some of the most damaging accidents of all. Consider the safety of these travelers no matter what you drive. Your extra time and consideration can mean the difference between danger and safe travels.