On many occasions we have offered articles regarding the dangers Florida motorcyclists face on our roadways, as well as safety tips to help make motorcyclists safer. In 2010, 33 motorcyclists died in Florida traffic accidents – that is 27% more than the previous year, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV).
In an effort to lower the number of motorcycle accidents, injuries and fatalities, the NHTSA or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has declared the month of May as National Motorcycle Awareness Month. The safety campaign is aimed at getting motorists and motorcyclists to “share the road” with each other.
The NHTSA reminds all motorists that motorcycles are vehicles with the same rights and privileges as any motor vehicle on the roadway. There are approximately 600,000 registered motorcyclists in Florida, and with the rising price of gas and tourists coming into town for vacation, the number of motorcycles on the road is sure to increase in the coming months.
Although Florida law does not require motorcycle riders over the age of 21 to wear a helmet, the NHTSA approximates that helmet usage is effective by 37 percent in terms of preventing fatal injuries to motorcyclists, and is 41 percent effective for passengers. The NHTSA showed that 67 percent of motorcyclists wear safety helmets as of 2009, and the FLHSMV revealed that roughly 63 percent of cyclists wear helmets in the state.
Florida motorcyclists should do their part to stay safe when traveling the highways. In addition to wearing helmets, the NHTSA urges motorcyclists to not drink and drive and to be visible when biking. In 2008, the FLHSMV launched its Motorcyclist Conspicuity Campaign encouraging motorcyclists to make themselves more visible, and to “ride proud, dress loud.” The FLHSMV found that cyclists who are conspicuous are less likely to have their right-of-way violated by other vehicles on the roadways.
Motorists are urged by FLHSMV to observe the following when sharing the road with motorcyclists:
- Don’t be fooled by a flashing turn signal on a motorcycle. Motorcycle signals are often not self-canceling and riders sometimes forget to turn them off;
- Check for motorcycles in mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections;
- Never try to share a lane – always allow a motorcyclist the full lane width;
- Do not tailgate. Allow more following distance when following a motorcycle, so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency;
- Road conditions that are minor annoyances to passenger vehicles pose to be major hazards to motorcyclists.
Our Treasure Coast motorcycle accident lawyers urge all motorcyclists to wear a helmet when on Florida roads and highways. We also encourage all motorists to become familiar with the valuable material offered by both the NHTSA and the FLHSMV.
Injured in a Florida Motorcycle Accident?
A Florida motorcycle accident caused by another driver can leave you with serious, life-altering injuries. You need a motorcycle accident lawyer to stand up for your legal rights. It’s reassuring to know you can trust the law firm of Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney. Our Florida motorcycle wreck lawyers have years of combined experience with vehicle accident claims, including those involving motorcycles.
If you’ve had a serious motorcycle accident and you need help, turn to the law firm of Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney. Call 888-733-5675 now to speak with a compassionate motorcycle accident attorney or fill out our online contact form.