With high gas prices, motorcycles seem like a very attractive alternative to traditional vehicles. Unfortunately, as traffic in general continues to increase, so do motorcycle accidents. Unlike a car that is encased in steel, motorcycles offer no protection in an accident. As a result, approximately 80-90,000 motorcyclists are injured and approximately 4,500-5,000 are killed in accidents each year.
What can a motorcyclist do to protect themself?
- Before ever getting on a busy road or highway make sure that you have adequate hours of driving and experience on a motorcycle. Many accidents are due to inexperience.
- Wear a DOT approved helmet! Statistics show that wearing a helmet will make you almost 40 percent less likely to suffer a fatal head injury. Ironically, despite these statistics many states including Florida do not require that motorcyclists wear helmets. As a result, motorcyclists cannot get PIP (personal injury protection) insurance in the State of Florida. So you better have a good health insurance plan!
- Wear protective and bright clothing. Wearing long sleeves and pants can go a long way in preventing serious road rash. In addition, bright clothing will aid other drivers in seeing you.
- Keep a safe distance from other vehicles.
- Never drink alcohol or take narcotics before you ride. You need to have complete control of all of your senses when riding a motorcycle.
- Ride defensively. Be on the constant lookout for threats from other vehicles. It does not matter if you are in the right and they are not; if you get into a collision with a car you are going to be the one who suffers potentially life threatening injuries or death!
- Avoid riding in bad weather conditions. The threat that bad weather conditions presents to drivers of cars is nothing compared to the threat it presents when you are riding a motorcycle.If you are in a motorcycle accident, get medical attention right away. Even if you think that you do not have serious injuries you should get checked out. Get stamp dated photographs of the accident scene, damage to your motorcycle, other involved vehicles and the injuries to you, as soon as possible.
Do not talk to anyone, other than medical providers, until you have spoken to a board certified civil trial lawyer who handles motorcycle accident cases as part of their practice. In addition, do not post comments or photos on social media such as Facebook and Twitter.