Motorcycle Accidents in Florida: The “Where”

motorcyle damageNo accident is wanted, and while accidents may become a learning experience, they are certainly not an experience that you would want to happen. But sometimes they do happen, and sometimes, they involve a motorcycle. It may even happen to your motorcycle. The best thing to be is prepared. Know the Florida landscape, and arm yourself with the information and statistics that surround the motorcycle community of the Sunshine State. Knowing what causes motorcycle accidents, what to do in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, and how you can become a safer motorcycle and vehicle driver can go a long way when on the road.

The Florida Landscape

The roads of Florida are not drastic, but they are certainly varied. While highways may have sharp turns and narrow curves, most Florida roads are long and straight. The state’s terrain does not grow higher than a few hundred feet above sea level, so there are few large hills in Florida. While straight roads may seem like an easier ride when compared to other types of roads, it can become an issue when the texture of the road itself interferes with your ride. Be on the lookout for debris on the road, such as shredded pieces of tires or glass. Know how your bike handles on various road types, such as dirt roads or different kinds of concrete.

If Florida’s weather were a person, it would be very moody. calm, collected, and sunny during the spring and autumn months, winter can become biting cold and summer washes away the season in downpours. In the summer, rain can last anywhere between mere minutes to days. While the weather may seem sunny when you begin the ride on your motorcycle, it can quickly grow dark, gray, and wet. From there, it can even return to its sunny weather. With unpredictable weather hovering over your head while on the road, it is best to be prepared for anything. Roads can become dangerously slippery when wet, which is never beneficial to a motorcyclist. When rains become heavy, or even if you do not feel safe on the road at any time, immediately pull over to the nearest shelter and wait it out. It is better to use your time in precaution than fear.

What You Should Know About Motorcycle Accidents

Statistics are always good to know when about to head out onto the open road. But you are an individual; a person with the ability to think, create, and take action. You are not a statistic. Knowing what the demographics are now can help you take appropriate cautionary measures when on the road.

Because most of the motorcycle riders are male, they make up the gender that mostly fall victim in accidents. The ages of most motorcycle fatalities range from twenty to twenty-four and fifty to fifty-four.

Safety gear is important! Road rash, facial scarring, fractures, dental damage, and spinal or head trauma may occur in an accident. Protect yourself at all times. Florida’s prime season for accidents runs from March to October, and all holidays.

Know where crashes are the most likely to occur and take the necessary precaution in your area. According to Florida’s 2010 Crash Statistic Report and The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, most fatalities occur in the following counties:

  • Broward County
  • Hillsborough County
  • Miami Dade County
  • Orange County
  • Palm Beach County
  • Pinellas County
  • Volusia County

Keep this information in mind next time you mount your motorcycle. If you live in the counties mentioned, take extra precaution and avoid busy areas. Always stay alert and make the safest decision.

Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

No motorcycle accident happens without a reason. Knowing what these reasons can be can help save a life. The reasons come in the categories of the rider’s perception, the rider’s bike, the driver’s perception, the driver’s vehicle, and outside factors.

While riding your motorcycle, keeping your perception awake and alert is the first step in a safe ride. If you are starting a new medication regimen, understand that some symptoms may include drowsiness, of which you have probably heard the phrase before “do not operate heavy machinery.” This is very true, especially when dealing with heavy machinery that moves on the road. Never drive while intoxicated.

Your bike is an extension of yourself. Keeping it healthy includes making sure it is regularly maintained. Check on a regular basis the engine, the brakes, and everything in between to ensure a safe ride. If you apply modifications to your bike, be aware that they might change the weight of the bike and the feel of the ride. Know what changes come with modifications and learn how to handle the change on the road.

The driver of a vehicle may not always be as aware as you are. They might not regularly check their blind spots, or they may just be careless drivers. If they are intoxicated or otherwise drowsy from medication, they may not be the safest drivers with whom to share the road. While this is out of the motorcycle rider’s control, it is safest for you, as the motorcycle rider, to practice defensive driving, as if everyone other than yourself is not driving safely.

The other vehicle and vehicles around you will not always be in the best shape. This is out of the control of their neighbors on the road, but it is true. Cars are not always regularly maintained and bad things can result. While on your bike, always be prepared for what may happen. Be prepared to change lanes if something does not appear safe, and always have the knowledge of your surroundings to accurately make a decision that may have to be a quick one.

Outside factors are always something to be prepared for. Do not try to drive in heavy rain or fog. Be prepared for the sporadic events of Florida weather, and be prepared to make necessary changes to accommodate appropriately.

What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident

After a motorcycle accident, the first thing you need to do is make sure everyone involved, including yourself, is okay and uninjured. Take the measures needed to ensure recovery. Even minor injuries need to be looked at, especially since a small injury could grow into something worse. Call the police and a personal injury attorney and speak with them before speaking to insurance companies. Take photos of the weather, the surroundings, the motorcycles or vehicles involved and their placement in regards to each other. Also take pictures of any injuries sustained. These photos will help you remember the incidents as well as become proof for insurance companies. Even pictures from a cell phone are handy enough to use. Exchange information with the other party as soon as you can.

Concluding Thoughts

In an ideal world, every road would be a safe road, and no accidents would occur. This is unfortunately not the case, but the first place to start is on your own bike. Driving safely with the right perception and safety gear can make a vast difference when on the road. Remember to note down all the details and keep a balanced perspective after an accident, and do not forget to contact an attorney. With freedom comes responsibility, especially when mounting a motorcycle.

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