It’s no surprise that Florida residents and visitors enjoy spending time outdoors. But spring is also one of the most dangerous times of year for motorcycle riders. More than a million drivers in Florida currently have a motorcycle endorsement on their license. In an attempt to help keep our motorcyclists safe and to decrease the risks of a motorcycle accident in Fort Myers and elsewhere across the United States,Governor Rick Scott declared May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in Florida, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Our Fort Myers motorcycle accident lawyers urge motorcycle riders and all other motorists to be cautious behind the wheel this spring as more and more drivers will be hitting the road.
“Florida made significant strides as motorcycle crash fatalities dropped 35 percent in the past five years. While the news is encouraging, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles remains vigilant in our efforts to reduce injuries and fatalities on Florida’s roadways and promote a safe driving environment,” said DHSMV Executive Director Julie L. Jones. “Through partnerships with safety advocates and law enforcement agencies, we continue to put motorcycle safety on everyone’s radar because we are all responsible for motorcycle safety.”
As we recently discussed on our Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, motorcycle accidents occur quite often throughout the nation. As the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports, there were more than 5,200 motorcyclists killed, and another 96,000 injured in 2008. More than 500 of those motorcycle fatalities occurred in Florida alone.
“As a matter of safety, it is necessary to develop appropriate driving habits to handle these vehicles on Florida roadway,” Governor Rick 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.”
Even though statistics, from the Governors Highway Safety Association, show that in recent years motorcycle fatalities have decreased slightly, by 2 percent in 2010 and 16 percent in 2009, motorcycle riders are still the most vulnerable motorists on the road.
“Motorcyclists take to the highways in large numbers every spring, and it’s the responsibility of all road users to welcome us safely and attentively,” said American Motor Association President and CEO Rob Dingman. “This is why many states and local governments officially promote motorcycle awareness during the month of May. Unfortunately, many road users are not always mindful of those with whom they share the road, and an annual reminder is necessary for them to acknowledge the flow of motorcycles in traffic.”
Causes of a motorcycle accident can be attributed to a number of factors, as the NHTSA lists:
-Failure to use defensive driving techniques.
-Lack of recognition by other motorists on the roadways,
-Failure to recognize and understand the limitations of the motorcycle.
-Neglecting to follow speed limit.
-Poor road conditions.
-Passengers. Make sure that when you’re riding with a passenger that they’re knowledgeable about the functions and safety measures of a motorcycle. Also, be sure that your bike has a passenger seat and footrests.
-Poor weather conditions, especially slippery roads in Florida.
If you’d like to get involved with National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, BikeWeek offers you a complete list of events taking place to help raise awareness of the vulnerable drivers.
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.