Motorcycles are on the road all year long in Florida. That can build complacency among drivers, who simply stop paying attention to them. Know that even a low-speed collision with a rider has every chance of resulting in very serious or fatal injuries. Motorists must avoid the heartache of being involved in a tragedy, as well as the very serious liability, by respecting their rights and always giving riders the right of way. The few extra seconds it takes to avoid a tragedy is well worth it.
Motorcycle Safety Tips for Drivers
As veteran motorcycle injury lawyers, we have been representing riders and their families in personal injury and wrongful death claims in Southwest Florida for more than half a century. Here is our best advice for you, the driver:
Yield: Always, always yield to a rider. Let them pass. Let them turn in front of you. Give them time to get going after a light turns green. Essentially, avoid any potential conflict or contact.
Beware turning riders: Motorcycles take longer to stop and generally slow by downshifting, not applying the brake. Turn signals are not self-cancelling and may not activate, so should not be relied upon. Let a rider complete a turn by slowing down well before they make their move.
Look twice: Riders are difficult to see. They can be easily missed or hidden in a blind spot. Whether turning, or changing lanes, always look twice for riders.
Be careful at intersections: These are a leading spot for accidents. Look for cross traffic. Riders sometimes cannot stop in time to avoid a yellow light. Make sure the roadway is clear and don’t jump the light. Understand a motorcycle takes a moment to start from a dead stop, as a rider gets his balance. Don’t tailgate. A surprising number of accidents occur when a vehicle rear-ends a rider.
Don’t try to judge speed: Because of their small size, motorcycles are often traveling faster than it seems. Don’t try to turn in front of an oncoming rider, which is the leading cause of collisions. And slow well before you come upon a rider.
By doing your part this summer, you can avoid being involved in a tragedy. Every motorist has an obligation to do whatever they can to make sure these riders make it home safely to their families.
If you or a loved one is injured, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.