The Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, proclaims May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, according to Bikeweek.com.
Our governor is using the month of May to recognize the large number of motorcycle riders operating in Florida. He also understands the safety and awareness concerns surrounding the dangers of motor vehicles sharing our roadways with motorcycles. Safety advocates understand the need for safer roads in Florida and are pushing awareness as a way to decrease the risk of motorcycle accidents in Fort Myers and elsewhere in the state.
“As a matter of safety, it is necessary to develop appropriate driving habits to handle these vehicles on Florida roadway,” Scott said. “To prevent injuries and deaths on Florida’s roadways, motorcyclists and motorists must be vigilant in their efforts to share the road and ensure the safety of everyone.”
Our Fort Myers personal injury lawyers know Florida is the riding capital of the United States; our state is home to more than 1 million licensed riders. For four decades, we have represented riders and their families in the fight against inattentive drivers and their insurance companies.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers a safety tips to every motorists to help the better understand motorcyclists:
-When you see a motorcycle on the road, treat it not just as a motorcycle but as another vehicle that could be your friend, relative or neighbor.
-When you do see a motorcycle, remember that it will probably look farther away than it actually is. When you’re looking to turn and see a motorcycle, predict it is closer than it appears.
-Because of their small size, a motorcycle can get lost in a car’s blind spots. Take an extra moment to double check for motorcycles when you’re changing lanes or making a turn.
-Remember that a turn signal on a motorcycle is not self-canceling like those on passenger-vehicles. When you see a motorcyclist with their signal activated, make sure it is for real.
-While motorcycles can maneuver easily, don’t assume that they’re showing off or being reckless as they oftentimes zigzag in their lanes to avoid debris and wind from passing cars.
-As motorcyclists slow down by downshifting instead of using their brakes, it is important not to follow too closely. Downshifting does not activate a brake light. For this reason, you should allow more following distance, say three or four seconds.
-The stopping distance for a motorcycle is just about the same as it is for cars. Wet pavement makes stopping a lot more difficult for bikes. Yet, another reason to not follow too closely.
-Bikes oftentimes appear to be traveling faster than they actually are. Don’t assume all motorcyclists are speed demons.
Out of all motor vehicles, motorcycles are the most vulnerable on our roadways. As they do not have seat belts, a rider can be easily be thrown from the motorcycle in a crash, which can result in serious injury — or death.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were nearly 5,300 motorcyclists killed, and an additional 96,000 injured, in 2008. Florida witnessed more than 520 of those fatalities that year.
Gov. Rick Scott and other Florida officials urge you to use the month of May to recognize the growing number of motorcycle riders in Florida, according to the Pensacola News Journal, especially as warmer weather and daylight savings encourage bikers to hit the open road.
A complete list of nationwide motorcycle events can be found on the BikeWeek website.
Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, has spent four decades fighting for the rights of motorcycle riders throughout South Florida, including Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, Port Charlotte and Sebring. Call for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. 1-800-283-2900.