Motorcycle riders are considered “vulnerable” road users in Florida, so it is reassuring that the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has dedicated an event that aims to reduce the risk of motorcycle accidents. May 2022 is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and there are multiple campaigns focusing on how motorcyclists can protect themselves:
- Always ride sober, as around one-third of all rider fatalities in motorcycle crashes had a BAC in excess of the legal limit.
- Increase your riding safety with the proper equipment, motorcycle safety technologies, and maintenance tasks.
- Safely share the road with other users by following all traffic laws, driving defensively, and never allowing distractions.
However, another important initiative stressed by USDOT is how motorists can reduce the risk of motorcycle accidents. Awareness extends to all road users, yet many drivers are not familiar with standard rider behaviors and common maneuvers. Some tips for those operating automobiles may be useful for preventing serious Miami motorcycle accidents.
- Do a Double-Take: Due to the smaller size and slim profile, motorcycles are not as visible as the other vehicles traveling around them. Plus, this two-wheeled vehicle can easily be hiding in your blind spot. Motorists should take an extra opportunity to look around before changing lanes or turning, even after checking once.
- Reassess Distance: It is helpful to predict that a motorcycle rider is closer than it looks, again because of the visibility issue. A smaller vehicle tends to appear as if it is farther away, so there can be challenges in evaluating speed. The point is to know when the motorcycle will arrive near the place where you are making a maneuver, so err on the side of caution and assume the rider is closer.
- Allow a Buffer: You may need to increase your distance between a motorcycle as compared to a passenger vehicle because of how riders approach a stop or slowing speed. Motorcyclists may gradually ease off the throttle or downshift, neither of which activate the brake lights.
- Be Prepared for Lane Shifting: Another maneuver that is unique to motorcyclists is traveling from side-to-side within a traffic lane. A rider may operate the vehicle toward the center of the road to be more visible, positioning him or her at the left section of the lane. Motorcyclists are also vulnerable to road debris, so they may veer around an object – while remaining in their respective lanes.
- “See” the Rider: Besides physical visibility, picture the motorcycle rider as more than just a body under a helmet. This is a human being, not someone on the road to annoy you or show off.
Our Miami Motorcycle Accidents Lawyers Will Fight for You
While you hope that motorists take these tips into consideration long after Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month ends, motorcycle crashes are still a common threat. To learn more about your rights as a victim, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA at (305) 371-6000 or via our website. We can schedule a free consultation at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL.