Florida sees a higher rate of fatal motorcycle accidents than 44 other states in the U.S. And while preliminary data shows that there were fewer fatal accident in the state last year than there were in 2016, there are still over 500 people per year killed in motorcycle crashes.
This information, which comes from a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association, should serve as an unfortunate reminder of the risks motorcyclists face on Florida roads. It should also reinforce the importance of taking steps to prevent these accidents.
What can motorcyclists do?
If you ride motorcycle, there are a number of ways you can protect yourself. For instance, you can:
- Wear a helmet
- Wear bright clothing
- Make sure you regularly inspect and perform maintenance on your bike
- Drive defensively
- Do not lane-split
- Obey speed limits
- Do not drive if you are drowsy, impaired or distracted
While you cannot control the actions of others on the road around you, taking these precautions can help keep you safer, even if you do get into a crash.
What can motorists do?
Even if you drive a car and don't ride a motorcycle, motorcycle safety should be a priority. In collisions between cars and motorcycles, it is typically the rider that suffers the most damage, and it's often catastrophic. As such, taking the following precautions behind the wheel can help you avoid contact between you and a rider.
- Give motorcyclists plenty of space
- Avoid cutting them off by giving them more time to pass by than you think they might need
- Be aware of them by checking your mirrors regularly
- Use turn signals and check your blind spots before changing lanes
- Focus on driving; avoid distractions
- Check your mirrors before opening your door
- Don't forget to look for smaller vehicles when turning
These basic tips can help motorists and motorcyclists alike avoid devastating accidents. And with increased awareness of motorcycle safety, better education and continued efforts to minimize all types of dangerous driving, hopefully, we can further reduce fatal motorcycle accidents across Florida.