Motorcycling is a popular activity in Florida, especially since you can ride year-round in gorgeous weather. However, if you are new to riding, there are a few important details you should know about motorcycle safety. You are not protected by a steel shell as you would be in a car, so the potential for catastrophic injuries in a motorcycle accident is considerable. Therefore, before you head out on the road, review some tips on how to stay safe while enjoying your ride.
- Don’t Get More Motorcycle Than You Can Handle: As a new rider, you should focus on a bike that fits you physically. When seated, your feet should both rest flat on the ground without having to tiptoe. Your elbows should be slightly bent when reaching for the handlebars and dashboard controls. Weight is also a consideration, so make sure you can easily get on and off the seat without an uncomfortable level of exertion.
- Invest in Proper Safety Gear: Helmets may be an controversial topic for some motorcyclists who relish the sensation and freedom of going without, and Florida law does not require wear one if you are 21 years or older. Still, you should understand the risks. Riders who do not wear proper head protection are 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatal head injury in a motorcycle accident. Plus, they are three times more likely to suffer serious head injuries as compared to those who do don a helmet.
- Avoid Riding in Bad Weather: Florida motorcyclists rarely have to worry about snow and sleet, but wet, slick conditions can still pose a threat. The reason is that slippery surfaces reduce your visibility and margin of error, in turn reducing the amount of time required to avoid an accident. Avoid sudden maneuvers, go easy on the brakes, and try not to hit the throttle too hard.
- Conduct an Inspection Before Every Ride: Before you head out on a ride, do a quick check of your vehicle to ensure your lights, turn indicators, and other equipment are functioning properly. Hop on and test the brakes and steering, and review the tires for wear and pressure. Insufficient tire pressure can make your motorcycle difficult to steer and handle, since the vehicle will not lean into turns.
- Ride Defensively: You have probably seen the stickers as you drive or ride through Ocala, FL: “Look Twice for Motorcycles.” Unfortunately, many drivers of passenger vehicles do not heed this advice. Even worse, there are still too many drivers that text or use their phones when driving, despite laws prohibiting these risky behaviors. This means you must exercise a higher level of caution when on a motorcycle than you would when operating a car. Keep an eye out for vehicles changing lanes or pulling out in front of you, and maintain a proper distance from cars ahead.
Talk to a Motorcycle Accidents Lawyer in Ocala, FL
Even when you heed these safety tips and follow the rules of the road, motorcycle collisions can happen through no fault of your own. If you are injured, the consequences can have devastating effects on your life. At Piccin & Glynn, Attorneys at Law, our motorcycle accidents lawyers have extensive experience pursuing your right to compensation from the responsible driver. Please contact our Ocala, FL office at 352-558-8480 today to schedule a free consultation regarding your claim.