Frequently Asked Questions - What are the Main Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Florida?
Motorcycle accidents are one of the most common types of accidents on the road today. Motorcycles are extremely small compared to a regular vehicle and sometimes that makes them hard to see, especially during heavy traffic or inclement weather. Motorcycles are fast and are easy to weave in and out of traffic making it hard for other drivers to gauge how fast they are going or how far away they really are. It is always very important to get in as much practice as possible before deciding to ride your motorcycle in traffic as inexperienced drivers can be a hazard on the road. Some States require a certain amount of hours of motorcycle riding practice before you can obtain your motorcycle license.
While some motorcycle accidents are caused by operator error, the majority of motorcycle accidents are caused by distracted drivers. Anyone driving a vehicle, no matter what, needs to always make sure they pay attention to their surroundings. You should always make sure your side and rear view mirrors are positioned correctly for you to see anyone to the side of or behind you so that when you are merging or slowing down for traffic, you can easily see any other vehicles or objects that may be in your way. When merging in traffic, always check your blind spot before moving your vehicle because motorcycles are so small and fast and can easily sneak up on you without you realizing they are next to you or behind you. When you are coming to a stop, always make sure to stay at least two car lengths away from a motorcycle stopped in front of you. If you are rear ended and pushed into the motorcycle in front of you, the motorcycle driver has nothing to protect them from the impact and will likely be thrown to the ground or pushed into the vehicle in front of them causing an array of injuries and sometimes it can be fatal. Distracted drivers are the most dangerous hazard on the road. Driving is a privilege, not a right, and people tend to forget that and take driving for granted. If you are driving a vehicle, you should never text and drive and you should always keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. Remaining attentive should always be your number one priority while you are behind the wheel of a vehicle. If you do have to make a phone call while driving, it is best to pull over or use the voice function if your vehicle is equipped with one because taking your eyes off the road even for a few seconds can lead to a serious traffic accident.
Drunk drives are a huge hazard on the road and it is never ok to drive while intoxicated. Common sense dictates that when you have been drinking, you should never get behind the wheel of a vehicle. When driving while intoxicated, your judgement is severely diminished and you can lose control of your motor functions and you are unable to react as quickly as you would if you are sober. Chances are that if you are intoxicated and you attempt to ride a motorcycle, you probably won’t even be able to keep the motorcycle stead long enough to get on it. However, if you are able to, the chance of you driving in a straight line is extremely thin and you will likely crash or fall of the motorcycle within a few minutes.
Speeding is another extremely dangerous cause of motorcycle accidents. Not only speeding by the motorcycle rider, but from other vehicles on the roadway too. Motorcycles are small and often hard to see, especially in your blind spots, and if you’re already speeding, this can be a deadly combination. Speeding not only delays your ability to slow your vehicle in time to avoid a crash but an accident caused by a speeding vehicle is likely to be more catastrophic the faster you are traveling. Abiding by the posted speed limits means you are much less likely to cause and accident on the roadway.
Bad weather can cause all kinds of inconveniences, especially on the road. All Florida residents know that summer time means thunderstorms and torrential rain. Bad weather mixed with more motorcycle riders on the road can cause trouble if you aren’t paying proper attention. Roads can become slippery in the rain and can cause skidding, brakes to lock up and an array of other dangerous situations. Motorcycle riders should always take precautions in inclement weather and are advised to find other means of transportation during a storm. If riding your motorcycle is the only means of transportation you have, always make sure to pay extra attention to your surroundings and travel slower than normal. Other vehicle drivers must always make sure to pay close attention regardless, but during the rainy season, it is especially important to make sure you always double check for motorcycles and stay a few car lengths away as if you have to brake suddenly, you have extra time to slow your vehicle in case the roads are too slippery.
Running stop lights can be extremely dangerous under any circumstances. If you run a stop light, there is a huge chance of being struck by another vehicle entering the intersection. A lot of drivers think that they can run a red light and make it through the intersection before the other light turns green. This is never a smart thing to do because lights can turn very quickly and vehicles coming through the intersection.
Driving at night can be hard for some people as there is not much light to see your surroundings. Motorcycle riders should always make sure to check that their lights are working properly so that other drivers can see them coming. If your lights are not working properly, it will be impossible for other drivers to see you which can certainly turn deadly under the circumstances. Whenever possible, motorcycle riders should also opt to wear reflective clothing so they are easier to identify on the road.