Motorcyclists too, should keep safety awareness top of mind by having their bike serviced, riding responsibly, taking a basic or advanced rider safety course, and wearing appropriate safety gear. While most adult riders are not required to wear a helmet under Florida law, our motorcycle injury lawyers in Fort Myers recently wrote about legal changes that could limit or even eliminate a rider’s ability to collect damages when serious head injuries result in a collision with an at-fault driver if the rider was not wearing a helmet.
However, we know most riders keep safety at the forefront and want nothing more than to enjoy South Florida’s summer riding season and to make it home safely to their families. The reality is that the vast majority of motorcycle collisions involving other motor vehicles are the fault of the vehicle’s driver.
Motorist Safety Around Motorcycles
For more than 50 years, Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, has built a reputation for promoting safety and advocating for the rights of injured riders and their families. Our motorcycle injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral fight for the rights of numerous accident victims each year and see a number of very common causes for these collisions, which frequently result in very serious or fatal injuries to motorcycle riders.
- Failure to yield: Turning left in front of an oncoming rider is the number one cause of vehicle-involved motorcycle accidents. Motorcycles are small and are often approaching faster than they appear at first glance. They also take longer to stop than a motor vehicle and often have no defense when a motorist turns left and crosses their path. Always look twice to gauge how quickly a rider is approaching. The best defense is always to wait the few extra seconds it takes to allow a rider to pass; it’s always worth avoiding the possibility of being found financially and legally responsible for causing a tragedy.
- Visibility: Look twice. We hear it often. But it is the single best tip for motorists when it comes to avoiding collisions with motorcycle riders. Motorcycles are small. They can be easily hidden at a glance. Traffic, parked cars, road signs and many other obstructions can prevent a motorist from seeing an oncoming rider with just a quick glance.
- Rear-end collisions: A surprising number of collisions occur when a motor vehicle rear-ends a motorcycle rider. Motorcycles often slow by downshifting, so brake lights are not a reliable indicator. They also take several moments to get started at an intersection. Additionally, turn signals are often not self-cancelling, which means they can be left on and are also not a reliable indicator of a rider’s intentions.
- Lane Sharing: Never crowd or attempt to share a lane with a motorcycle rider. This is a primary reason many riders choose to ride in groups. Motorcycles enjoy all of the rights of a passenger vehicle, including the right to their own lane of travel.
By redoubling our efforts to watch out for riders, we can all do our part to send them home safely to their families this summer, and avoid being blamed for a tragedy.
If you or a loved one is injured, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.