Living in the Treasure Coast and Space Coast gives us the opportunity to enjoy riding motorcycles year round. Unfortunately, with the amount of riders in our area, there are a lot of riders that are injured or killed every year in motorcycle accidents. This article is to provide tips for being safe on the road that I have learned from riding and experience as a lawyer.
Always ride with your safety equipment. Utilize a DOT approved helmet, eye protection, high vis jacket, gloves and boots. I know it is very hot and a lot of riders do not like to wear these items but a slow speed crash can cause a severe injury without proper equipment.
While riding a motorcycle be extra vigilant. There are a lot of distractions on modern bikes. Make sure you have your seat adjusted, music, Bluetooth for your phone, etc. set up before you get on the street. Scan ahead and constantly look for other cars and always expect the unexpected. Expect every car coming from a side street to pull out in front of you. Expect cars to run red lights. Expect not to be seen. When crossing a side street or intersection slow down and be prepared to bring your bike to a stop. Avoid riding in blind spots of cars and keep a safe distance from the car ahead of you. Stagger when riding with another biker so if they go down, you do not. On the highway, I keep away from groups of cars as cars make unexpected lane changes.
A critical element is speed. Obey speed limits and all traffic laws. Do not pass other vehicles in an unsafe manner. If you want to go fast, then go rent time on a track. There are simply too many variables on the street.
Often, in our practice we see riders that have been rear ended while stopped. When stopped, keep your brake lights on. When stopped keep your bike in gear and keep enough space between you and the other vehicles so you get out of the way if someone approaches you and does not stop. To avoid being hit by vehicles running red lights, I simply count to three before taking off once the light turns green.
Get out on your bike and practice. Go to a parking lot where there is not any traffic and keep comfortable with the maneuvers necessary to ride on the street. There is always something you can learn. This list is no way exhaustive as there are many different skills to ride a bike on the street.
If you have the unfortunate experience to be involved in an accident while on your motorcycle, you will need an aggressive experienced lawyer. We have handled many motorcycle accidents and have recovered millions of dollars for our clients. At Graves Thomas, we have big firm financial capabilities to take your case to trial if necessary. Wouldn’t you rather have an attorney that rides?