Friday, July 14, 2017

Safe Motorcycle Riding is Not Enough to Protect You From Negligent Drivers

Motorcycle riders face higher risks of injury – and greater severity of their injuries – than do drivers of passenger vehicles involved in the same accident. This is because motorcycles offer less protection to a rider that an enclosed vehicle does. Motorcyclists must be vigilant in using safety equipment and practicing safe driving habits. But neither of these can prevent accidents from happening.
To ensure that you are fairly compensated for any injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident, it is important that you have experienced legal representation while negotiating and litigating your personal injury claim. Trust the experienced attorneys at the Dolman Law Group to protect your legal right to be compensated for your injuries. Our lawyers have decades of experience in protecting the rights of accident victims across southern Florida. Our personalized service and vigorous defense of your right to recovery will ensure a just outcome for personal injury claims from all kinds of motorcycle accidents.
Motorcycle Safety Tips
Though safe motorcycle driving habits will not prevent all accidents, they can reduce the chance of having an accident, and mitigate the severity of your injuries in the event an accident occurs. Follow our safety tips to make your ride as harmless as possible.
  • Always wear a helmet! Make sure that your helmet is properly fitted to your head and meets Department of Transportation safety standards. Research consistently shows that helmets save lives and that states with mandatory helmet laws have fewer motorcycle fatalities than states without such laws. Wear a helmet even when riding through states that do not legally require you to do so.
  • Wear other appropriate safety gear. Long sleeves and leather pants can protect you from road rash in the event you are thrown from your bike. Gloves should be properly fit so there is no chance that they will interfere with your hand controls.  
  • Make sure that you have the proper training and experience prior to taking a motorcycle onto a public roadway. Motorcyclists should engage in continuing education to ensure their riding skills remain sharp.
  • Stay visible. Motorcycles are smaller than passenger vehicles, and this makes them more difficult to see – especially at night or in inclement weather. Use reflective clothing and proper signaling to help other drivers see you. 
  • Don’t get distracted by technology. If your motorcycle trip is bringing you to an unfamiliar area, be sure to review your route ahead of time, so you aren’t distracted by navigation systems on the road. Motorcycle drivers must use greater physical control of their vehicle than drivers of cars or trucks. This makes smartphones, navigation systems and other electronic devices particularly dangerous to motorcycle drivers.  
  • Slow down! The best way to avoid a collision is to allow enough time to react to obstructions, traffic, and other road conditions. 
  • Allow plenty of space between your motorcycle and other cars in the roadway. This is particularly important when another driver seems to be swerving or engaging in other unsafe driving behaviors. Make sure you have adequate stopping distance in the event that another vehicle on the roadway loses control.
  • Perform regular inspections of your motorcycle and safety equipment. Anything that is not in good working condition should be repaired or replaced immediately.
  • Lane splitting is illegal in Florida. Not only does it increase the chances of having an accident, but a motorcyclist who is involved in an accident while lane splitting will be presumed to be legally responsible (“liable”) for causing the accident. 
  • Never drive while intoxicated. Drugs, alcohol, and prescription medications can all affect your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. 
  • Never drive while tired. Take frequent rest breaks to ensure that you are alert and safe on the road.
  • Pay particular attention to the condition of the roadway. Motorcycles are more susceptible than passenger vehicles to roadway conditions such as potholes, uneven surfaces, slippery surfaces due to ice or water, etc. 
  • Keep your eyes moving. By completing a rotating view of all mirrors and other views, you will both help yourself stay awake and notice any obstacles or hazards in the roadway as soon as possible.
  • Slow down and use extra caution when driving through construction zones. Debris in the roadway, workers on the side of the road, and other hazards make construction zones a prime spot for motorcycle accidents to occur.
  • Slow down and use extra caution during periods of low visibility. This can include rain, hail, snow, fog, mist, hurricane season, or simply when you are riding at night.
  • Braking and safely navigating curves in the road can be particularly difficult for motorcycle riders. Slow down and allow yourself both plenty of space and a viable escape route. Experienced riders should be careful not to become complacent when navigating turns.
  • Carry a first aid kit and a charged mobile phone in your cargo hold any time you ride. These may make the difference between life and death after an accident.
  • Be safe when riding in a group. Hold riders’ meetings before the trip to determine appropriate group sizes and riding abilities. Assign an experienced head and tail rider to each group, who can appropriately maintain a safe group speed without creating pressure for riders to keep up. Maintain awareness of your group and other drivers on the roadway. 
  • Watch out for animals on the side of the road. Wild animals, in particular, tend to act unpredictably, and this can make it difficult for a motorcycle rider to safely avoid a collision.

The Right Motorcycle Accident Attorney for Your Personal Injury Claim
The Dolman Law Group has decades of experience in protecting the legal rights of motorcycle accident victims in and around the Clearwater area. Call (727) 451-6900 to schedule your free consultation with a personal injury attorney today. Learn how our personalized service and professional representation can make a difference in your personal injury claim. We will ensure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries so that you can focus on your recovery.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765