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The freedom and exhilaration of riding a motorcycle comes at the cost of not having the protection of a regular automobile. Also, because motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles, they are often harder for drivers to spot when driving in traffic. However, motorcyclists can help prevent accidents by following the few simple guidelines presented below by our Orlando practice. A motorcycle crash or other accident, as our attorney has seen, can have long-lasting consequences for the victim and his or her loved ones. Although prevention is extremely important to us, if a motorcycle accident does occur, we can often help the victims obtain the compensation they deserve.
Although it is easy to become complacent when riding, it is important to be constantly aware of other vehicles. Before changing lanes riders should make sure to check blind spots and notice the speed of traffic around them. The small effort of a full head turn and glance ahead could prevent a motorcycle crash.
Perhaps the most important factor in preventing a motorcycle accident, being comfortable on the bike and knowing how it will react in certain situations can potentially save the rider’s life. Every motorcycle owner should practice braking hard, from at least 35 miles per hour down to zero, figuring out which combination of front and rear brakes and clutch adjustment is most effective. Riders should also practice cornering at speed, noticing at what point the pegs, exhaust pipes, or floorboard hit the road when leaning into a turn. The suspension of the motorcycle can often be adjusted to give the maximum amount of cornering ability. Finally, riding on unstable surfaces like sand or gravel is different than cruising on the road, and riders will want to find out how the bike handles in these situations as well.
Weather, the condition of the road, and the condition of the motorcycle can all play a part in an accident. Wet or icy roads can cause vehicles’ tires to slip, resulting in many more accidents. Even though most riders can control their motorcycles in adverse weather conditions, other vehicles on the road have a greater chance of being in an accident. This means sudden stops in traffic, having to swerve around blocked lanes, and overall less-predictable riding. Also, though the road may not be wet, it might have a thin layer of dirt or sand over it, or may be poorly maintained. Potholes, rocks, and other obstacles can cause a rider to lose control of the motorcycle and get into a crash. Similarly, soft tires or mechanical problems can cause a loss of control. Our Orlando office has seen many motorcycle crash and auto accident victims, and our attorney strongly recommends that drivers and riders alike take a moment to notice any potentially dangerous conditions each time they are on the road.
Though it may seem obvious, the extra weight of a passenger causes motorcycles to handle differently. The bike cannot lean over as much and reacts to bumps in the road differently, and the driver must adjust accordingly. Additionally, the driver and passenger must work out a system of mounting and dismounting the bike, and for communication while riding. The passenger must also make sure to keep his or her weight neutral and balanced so as not to upset the balance of the motorcycle.
Although helmets are not mandatory in all states, statistics have shown that they can save lives. The choice is up to each individual rider, though. In addition, pants, a heavy jacket, and gloves are fairly standard gear for most motorcycle owners. In the event of an accident, these items can protect the rider’s skin from the all-too-common ‘road rash.’
Not only is drinking alcohol and riding a motorcycle dangerous, it is also illegal. A motorcyclist can be convicted of a DUI as easily as any other motorist, and accident statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that DUI accidents are, on average, much more deadly than other crashes.
To learn more motorcycle safety tips, please contact our Orlando office. A motorcycle crash or accident can be traumatic, and our attorney can help if you’ve been involved in an accident or want to learn more about how to prevent one. Specializing in motorcycle accident, personal injury, premises liability, and trucking accident cases, Frank Eidson has nearly 20 years of experience practicing law in Florida. Please contact our practice today to find out more.