Motorcycle accidents are a common occurrence during Bike Week, a popular motorcycle event that takes place annually in Florida. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019, there were 5,014 motorcycle-related deaths in the nation. For this reason, it is vital to be aware of the risks and take precautions to prevent accidents. This blog post will discuss some tips to help you stay safe while riding your motorcycle during Bike Week!
Before you mount up, take the time to perform a safety check on your bike. A proper motorcycle safety check can help alert you to potential problems that may lead to an accident. Take a few moments to:
1. Check your tire pressure and integrity.
2. Check your lights, headlights, taillights, turn signals, and brake lights.
3. Inspect your oil pressure and brake fluid.
4. Check your horn and mirrors.
Once your motorcycle has been inspected for safety and reliability, it’s time to go over your riding gear. Proper riding gear gives the rider and any passengers the advantage of grip, comfort, and protection against the road, debris, and the elements. Proper gear should include:
1. A long-sleeved shirt or motorcycle jacket, combined with long pants or chaps. Durable materials such as leather or heavy denim are best for protection against road debris.
2. Closed-toed shoes, preferably leather boots, are ideal footwear. NEVER wear sandals, flip-flops, or go barefoot while riding or driving a motorcycle.
3. A DOT-approved motorcycle helmet with a federal standard rating of FMVSS 218. (While Florida does have a motorcycle helmet exemption law, specific guidelines must be followed).
4. Eye protection. If you are wearing a helmet with a face shield, the face shield must be in the down position to protect the eyes from debris. Otherwise, goggles or other eyewear must be used. Eyes should not be bare.
5. Leather or synthetic non-slip gloves.
6. An up to date first aid kit and roadside kit.
After all the pre-ride prep is done, it is time to hit the road and be on your way for Bike Week. Here are some tips to help avoid an accident while on the road:
1. When lane splitting, always move carefully and be aware of your surroundings. Remember, you are sharing the road with other vehicles!
2. Be aware of blind spots. Trucks have large blind spots.
3. Stay as visible as possible. Motorcycles are some of the smallest motorized vehicles on the highway. You should never assume that other vehicles will know you are there. Use your turn signals, brake properly, and stay on the ‘driver side’ of large trucks and vehicles.
4. Be aware of weather changes. Seek shelter (if possible) during heavy downpours, hailstorms, thunderstorms, or other dangerous weather conditions.
5. If riding with a group, start with a meeting to determine the head and anchor rider position as well as the route, group procession, and a meeting place in case anyone gets separated during the ride. Go over hand signals with your group before getting on the road.
6. Maintain safe speeds while traveling. Going too fast or too slow can endanger you, your passengers, and other motorists.
7. Do not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you think you may not be able to drive safely, plan for a friend or family member to give you a ride to your destination. Rideshare options like Uber or Lyft are good alternatives when you cannot find anyone to give you a ride.
We hope you stay safe and have fun while riding your motorcycle during Bike Week! If you or a loved one sustained a motorcycle accident injury in Florida, contact The Briggs Law Firm at (352) 671-4600 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced North Central Florida motorcycle accident attorneys.