Operating a motorcycle isn't the same as driving a car or truck. Motorcyclists aren't protected by the structural frames of motor vehicles. Nor are they protected by seatbelts and airbags. Even when wearing helmets and protective gear, motorcyclists sustain serious (and sometimes fatal) injuries in traffic collisions.
If you or a loved one is hurt in a motorcycle crash, an experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you pursue a legal claim.
Motorcycle safety tips
Whether you're a seasoned rider or a novice, it's always important to consider these safety tips that could help you prevent a crash:
- Inspect your motorcycle: Before taking your motorcycle out for a ride, it's always a good idea to get it thoroughly inspected. Even if your motorcycle worked fine before putting it away after the last time you rode it, anything could go wrong. You should always ensure that your headlights, taillights, turn signals, brakes, horn, handlebars, and mirrors are working properly.
- Have the right protective gear: When riding a motorcycle, it's important to wear gear that can protect you in case of a crash. This includes a helmet, a leather jacket, full pants, boots, gloves, and eye protection. While Florida law only requires riders under the age of 21 to wear helmets, it's still a good idea to wear one to prevent a serious head injury from occurring in a crash. According to the IIHS, motorcycle helmets can reduce the risk of death by 37 percent and the risk of a serious brain injury by 67 percent. If your protective gear is old and worn out, it may be a good time to upgrade to something new.
- Make yourself visible: It's OK to wear dark clothing while riding a motorcycle, but you should always include reflective apparel. This could include a vest, stripe, patch, or a reflective device added to your motorcycle.
- Be observant and ride defensively: Drivers are often unpredictable. You never know when you will encounter a distracted driver, drunk driver, somebody speeding, or an aggressive driver. It's important to be observant of your surroundings and keep a safe distance from cars and trucks. If you notice someone swerving or behaving erratically, it's best to keep your distance or pull over and let them pass. It's also important to watch out for road defects such as potholes, sand, slick surfaces, and debris left in the road.
- Take a safety course: Even if you're a seasoned rider, it doesn't hurt to brush up on your riding skills or learn new skills that can help keep you safe on the road.
What should I do if I’m injured in a motorcycle crash?
Drivers don’t often pay close enough attention to motorcyclists. Some drivers even treat motorcyclists as a nuisance. What’s worse, insurance companies tend to side with negligent drivers and take advantage of the bias that motorcyclists are reckless.
The Sarasota attorneys at Farrow & Pulice, P.A. know that most motorcyclists behave in a responsible and safe manner. Most motorcycle crashes are caused by drivers who fail to uphold their duty to be safe on the road. That’s why our legal team is dedicated to fighting for the rights of injured motorcyclists and their families. We know how to investigate motorcycle crashes and take on stubborn insurance companies.
To find out how, contact us online or call us at 866-408-1220. We serve clients in and around Laurel, Englewood, Nokomis, Venice, Sarasota, Osprey and Sarasota County. Our case evaluations are free and confidential.