Six Common Florida Motorcycle Accident Hazards

Tips For First Time Motorcycle Riders

Be aware of motorcycle accident hazards: It's a great feeling to have; the wind in your hair as you cruise down the open road with not a care in the world. Riding a motorcycle can be fun and adventurous but it can also be dangerous. Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are extremely common.

But unlike car accidents, there is no real protection for motorcycle riders. That's why you have to be extra careful if you decide to make this your mode of transportation. Everything from the type of bike to the overall weather forecast needs to be taken into consideration. But also, have a motorcycle accident attorney in mind, should you need one. Here are a few tips for first-time motorcycle riders to get you ready for your two-wheeled experience.

Buy a bike you can handle | motorcycle accident hazards

Today's bikes are more powerful than they were 10, 15, 20 years ago. If you are a new rider, or if you haven't been on a bike in a while, make sure you choose a bike you can handle. Many motorcycle accidents occur because the rider cannot manage the vehicle.When shopping for a motorcycle, pick one that first of all, fits you physically.

Both feet should be able to touch the ground, flat-footed, not on your toes, when at a complete stop. Handlebars and other controls should be easily accessible and within reach. Make sure you can comfortably get on and off the bike on the center stand. If it feels too heavy, it probably is. Also, determine what you will be using the bike for; is it mostly highway driving, or leisurely rides? Pick an engine and size accordingly. And choose a bike with anti-lock brakes. It could come into play when you most need it, especially if your motorcycle accident attorney needs to represent you in court.

Wear a helmet

Yes, you must wear a helmet! It may not look "cool" but in the event of a crash, you are less likely to suffer severe brain injury with a helmet than without one. It is worth the cool points to ensure your safety. If you get into an accident and need a motorcycle accident attorney, you want to make sure you were well protected physically in order to help your case.

Wear protective clothing

There is a difference between riding along the narrow streets of Nice, France, and zipping down the highway in South Florida. Wearing jeans, a T-shirt and flip-flops won't cut it in the latter. You want to make sure you are geared up properly in the event there is a mishap. You don't want a simple motorcycle ride turning into a motorcycle accident because your flip-flop got caught in the kickstand. A leather jacket, boots, gloves and over the boot pants are ideal for the avid biker.

Be prepared

Before you go for a ride, make sure your bike is in tip-top condition. Make sure the tires are in good shape, and all equipment is working, including lights, turn signals and brakes. If you can, avoid riding in bad weather. No reason to heighten the risk of a motorcycle accident. And always drive defensively. Cars try to be mindful of motorcycle riders, but it is ultimately up to you to protect yourself.

Impaired and Distracted Drivers

Impaired and distracted drivers are the biggest hazard for motorcycle riders. Both categories of these drivers cause dangers for those on motorcycles. These drivers do not have the focus or the brain power to make split-second decisions, react in time, or monitor speeds of other motorcycles so that accidents can be avoided.

Animals

Animals of all shapes and sizes can be incredible hazards for motorcycle riders. Whether they are skunks, squirrels, chipmunks, birds, crocodiles, deer, dogs or cats; motorcycle riders can be thrown from their bikes when an animal shoots out in front of you. Animals can easily cause a motorcycle rider to fall from their bike if unable to maneuver out of the way.

The Weather

The weather is a big problem for motorcycle riders. You should monitor the weather at all times before a motorcycle ride. You don't want to get stuck in the rain, the high wind, flooding, wildfires, fog or any other weather event that could throw a wrench in your plans. Riding a motorcycle in the rain is not entirely dangerous. It can be done, but it’s best to avoid it so that you aren't slipping when trying to come to a stop.

Debris in the Road

Debris in the road is another common hazard for motorcycle riders. Debris does not have to be as large as a branch or a piece of wood to cause a motorcycle accident. Something as small as a piece of gravel or a nail can lead to a motorcycle accident. Other debris includes items from vehicles, roadkill, potholes, construction material and much more.

Large Trucks

Large trucks, the 18-wheeler commercial ones, are very dangerous for motorcycles. These trucks have quite a few blind spots that can affect whether or not a motorcycle can be seen. Blind spots are located on either side of the truck and in the rear. A motorcycle might also be too small to see when it is directly in front of the truck.

Inexperienced Drivers

Inexperienced drivers can be just as dangerous for motorcyclists as impaired or distracted drivers. Inexperienced drivers might forget to look twice for a motorcycle before changing lanes.

If you get into a motorcycle accident:

Take pictures:

In today's Digital Age of smartphones, just about everybody has a camera. It is essential to document your injuries and damages as thoroughly as possible. Visual evidence is vital, whether it is submitting an insurance claim or contesting a police report.

Remove your motorcycle from the road:

If you are physically able, move your motorcycle to clear the road. Any debris on the roadway can be dangerous to you and to other motorists.

Exchange Phone Numbers and Insurance Information: Write down the names, addresses, phone numbers and license plate numbers of everyone involved, including witnesses.

Draw a Diagram: You do not have to be a talented artist to complete this step. Simply write down the street names and indicate which direction each vehicle was traveling. This will come in handy if you should have to prove your case in court.

Contact Your Insurance Company: Call your insurance company as soon as possible. Many insurance companies have deadlines on filing claims.

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