Riding a motorcycle is a beloved American pastime. However, without the proper safety and protocols, riding a motorcycle can be a dangerous hobby that can result in serious injury or even death. As a leading firm in transportation safety, including motorcycle safety, Wittmer | Linehan knows this all too well.

A new study released shows that Florida leads the nation in motorcycle crash deaths. According to a study by AAA, 606 motorcyclists died in 2015, a figure that has climbed 30 percent since 2014. The same study showed that while motorcycles account for only 3 percent of registered vehicles, they are involved in 20 percent of vehicle fatalities in the state.

While some of the more common causes of motorcycle crashes are impaired driving and speeding, many motorcyclists deaths were attributed to not wearing a helmet. While it is legal in Florida to ride without a helmet, about 40 percent of motorcyclists killed in crashes between 2013 and 2015 were not wearing helmets, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Experts in other studies have found that when motorcycle crashes involve other vehicles, it is usually the non-motorcyclist who is at fault.

Here are some critical motorcycle safety tips for both motorcycle riders, and those who share the road with them:

Tips for Other Drivers

  • Motorcycles are much smaller than four-wheeled cars and trucks. Drivers should be careful to provide extra room between their vehicle and the motorcyclist.
  • Provide ample stopping space at traffic signs and signals when a motorcyclist is ahead.
  • Check your blind spots and make sure that your view of the motorcyclist is not obstructed.
  • Don’t text, make phone calls, or do any other activity that would cause your attention to be diverted from driving.

Tips for Motorcyclists

  • Remember to wear your gear. Helmets are imperative to motorcycle safety and can help prevent loss of life. According to the National Safety Council, 1,876 motorcyclists not wearing a helmet were killed in crashes in 2016.
  • Stay away from used helmets. Helmets safe for wearing are approved by the Department of Safety and include a DOT sticker.
  • Make sure that your bike fits you properly and is equipped with anti-lock brakes.
  • Stay up-to-date on motorcycle safety courses and know the rules of the road.
  • Never ride while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
  • Assume that you are not visible to other motorists; don’t weave through traffic or ride on shoulders.
  • Wear bright and reflective clothing, use goggles or a face shield, and have footwear that covers the ankles.
  • Use defensive driving techniques, especially at intersections where the risk of crashes increases.
  • Watch for and stay clear of dangerous debris on the roadway – like potholes, oil slicks, and railroad tracks.
  • Take extra care when riding with a passenger, as it requires more skill than riding alone.

If you or a loved one have suffered serious injury or death in a motorcycle accident due to another driver’s negligence or wrongdoing, you may be eligible to recover your losses and damages. The experienced and qualified attorneys at Wittmer | Linehan can help you to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit in order to seek compensation for your damages and losses