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Look Twice for Bikers: It's Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Motorcycle drives on Florida highway with cars

Too many riders are injured in Florida motorcycle accidents

Florida's interest in motorcycles is skyrocketing. Over the last two years, the number of motorcycles registered in the state has increased by more than 42,000 vehicles.There are now around 645,000 motorcycles registered in Florida. With so many bikes in the state, it is important for motorists to watch out for bikers and share the road with motorcycles.

Unfortunately, motorcyclists are over-represented in fatal crashes. Nationwide, about 14 percent of all highway fatalities in 2019 were motorcyclists. To help reduce motorcycle accident injuries and fatalities in the Orlando area, here are some tips to drive safely around motorcycles.

How drivers can keep motorcyclists safe

Because the negligent actions of motorists often lead to serious motorcycle accidents, there are things that drivers can and should do to avoid causing a crash, such as:

Yield to motorcycles

Always yield to a motorcyclist as you would any other driver, especially while turning at intersections. Crossroads are risky for motorcyclists. Drivers often have difficulty noticing motorcycles because the bikes are smaller than the average passenger vehicle. Slow down and make sure the view is clear before proceeding. Even a seemingly "light tap" or "bump" from a car can eject a biker and cause severe injury or death.

Avoid distractions

No one should drive distracted, but it is important to be extra alert when motorcycles are around. Keep both hands on the wheel and avoid in-vehicle distractions like entering directions into a GPS, changing music, or eating and drinking when motorcycles are around.

Give them time

Due to their small size, it can be difficult to judge a motorcycle's speed and distance. Therefore, err on the side of caution and give motorcycle riders plenty of time to maneuver.

Do not crowd motorcycles

Motorcycles are smaller than the average passenger vehicle, but bikes still need the full width of their lanes to be safe. Drivers should stay in their lanes. When passing a motorcycle, be sure to give a full lane to the motorcycle.

Check blind spots

Use your mirrors and turn your head to check your blind spots before merging, changing lanes, passing, or making a turn. Look twice for motorcycles.

Hang back

When driving behind a motorcycle put at least 4 seconds of space between your vehicle and the bike. This allows time for a motorcycle to safely make a sudden maneuver or stop in an emergency.

Never make an obstructed-view turn

To avoid hitting vulnerable motorcyclists, drivers should slow decision-making down at intersections. If you cannot clearly see if it's safe to proceed, you should wait to make a turn until your view is unobstructed.

Use your turn signals

Giving motorcycles plenty of notice when you intend to turn, pass, or merge gives the rider time to adjust. Surprises can startle a motorcycle rider into making a sudden and destabilizing maneuver.

A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you file a claim

At The Cerasa Law Firm LLC, we know how to fight back against the stereotypes insurance companies use to delay, dispute, and deny motorcycle accident claims. We also know how to investigate motorcycle wrecks and build winning cases in Central Florida.

Discover what an experienced Orlando motorcycle accident lawyer can do for you and contact us today for a free case consultation. Our office is located in Winter Park and we proudly serve clients in the Greater Orlando area.

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