Florida is a popular state for motorcyclists year-round, but summertime sees an increase in motorcyclists on the roads and highways. Out of the thousands of people who come to Florida for summertime biking, some will never make it home. In 2016, 555 motorcyclists died in Florida. Learning a few proven motorcycle safety tips could mean the difference between a safe summer on the open road and one spent in the hospital. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, you should contact a Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident lawyer from David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. as soon as possible.
1. Prepare for Wet Weather
Florida has unique, often unpredictable weather patterns; a fact that all motorcyclists should learn and understand before riding. The “Sunshine State” is in fact rather rainy, wet, and slippery for motorcyclists, especially in the summertime. Florida sees an average of seven to eight inches of rainfall in the summer months. Riding in the rain comes with hazards such as oily, slippery roads and low visibility. Motorcyclists should always prepare to encounter a rainstorm when riding in Florida by wearing a helmet with a rain visor or riding a motorcycle with a windshield.
2.Inspect Your Motorcycle
All motorcycle owners have a duty to conduct safety and equipment inspections before hitting the road. Negligent maintenance and repairs can lead to equipment failures and accidents. Poorly maintained motorcycles may suffer issues such as tire blowouts or brake failures. Always keep your motorcycle in good operating condition, especially before embarking on a long trip. Trust licensed mechanics to work on your vehicle. Check its tire pressure, fluids, lights, and other equipment before riding.
3. Keep Your License Up to Date
It is against the law to operate a motorcycle in Florida without a valid motorcycle license. If your license has expired, renew before riding this summer. Note that Florida motorcyclists 16 and older must also pass a Basic Rider Course through the Florida Rider Training Program before they can get a license or get the motorcycle endorsement. Keep your skills sharp and stay within the law by making sure you’re operating with a valid motorcycle license.
4. Take a Motorcycle Safety Course
Beginners and veterans alike can benefit from taking a motorcycle safety course. Plus, you could qualify for discounts on your auto insurance if you take and pass an education or safety course. Sign up for an education course through your local Fort Lauderdale Department of Motor Vehicles or take one online. Brush up on traffic laws and motorcycling best practices, as well as proven safety tips and strategies. Refreshing your knowledge with a safety or education course can be the perfect way to start your summer.
5. Always Wear a Helmet
The law in Florida says it’s optional to wear a motorcycle helmet if you’re over the age of 21 and carry at least $10,000 in medical insurance coverage. However, wearing a helmet could save your life. Motorcycle helmets can reduce the risk of serious to fatal brain injuries by about 67%. Whether you legally have to or not, wear a federally-approved helmet to protect your head and brain in the event of a crash.
6. Don’t Speed or Ride Recklessly
Motorcyclists in single-vehicle accidents make up a significant percentage of those injured and killed every year. While factors such as dangerous roadways and equipment failures can contribute to these accidents, the main cause is operator negligence. Don’t be that operator. Ride your motorcycle with safety in mind, adhering to all speed limits and roadway rules. Never ride while intoxicated. The safer you are, the lower the risk of causing a motorcycle accident in Fort Lauderdale and anytime you are on the road.
7. Be Wary of Other Motorists
One of the main risks motorcyclists in Florida run is that of other drivers not seeing them. Motorcyclists can help prevent this issue by wearing bright clothes or using daytime running lights. Sometimes, however, drivers are too distracted or negligent to notice motorcyclists no matter what the rider does. Always be wary of vehicles waiting to pull out or make left-hand turns. Reduce your speed and make eye contact with the driver if you can. Never assume a driver sees you or is going to yield the right-of-way. Putting safety first is the best way to ride this summer.