Wearing safety equipment, especially a helmet, increases your chances of surviving a crash, but there are other steps you can take to prevent an accident in the first place.
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (PRWEB) October 30, 2009
Because of their low visibility and lack of protection from impact, motorcycle riders must be especially vigilant on Florida roads and highways in order to decrease their chances of becoming involved in an accident, says South Florida personal injury lawyer Adam Doner.
"South Florida offers motorcyclists some fantastic riding experiences, even into the fall and winter months, but every year hundreds of riders in Florida are killed in vehicle accidents," said Doner, a partner with Gordon & Doner, a well-respected personal injury law firm with offices in Palm Beach Gardens and other South Florida locations. "Wearing safety equipment, especially a helmet, increases your chances of surviving a crash, but there are other steps you can take to prevent an accident in the first place."
In 2004, Florida was home to 461,935 registered motorcycles, according to records maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. By 2007, the number of registered motorcycles in Florida had climbed well past half a million, to 624,932. According to NHTSA statistics on Florida traffic safety, the number of motorcycles fatalities also increased during this period, from 432 deaths in 2004 to 556 in 2008.
To avoid accidents and serious injuries, the firm of Gordon & Doner recommends these safety tips for South Florida motorcyclists:
- Helmets: Helmets are estimated to be 37-percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcyclists, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. "This means for every 100 motorcyclists killed in crashes while not wearing a helmet, 37 of them would have lived had all 100 worn helmets," Gordon said. "Pure and simple, helmets save lives."
- Maintenance: In addition to regular maintenance and having your bike inspected by a trained mechanic, a quick safety inspection before every ride can help uncover dangers such as low tire pressure or worn tires, brake malfunctions or faulty signal lights.
- Visibility: Wear brightly colored gear with reflective strips, even when riding during the day. Remember, many car and truck drivers will not see you unless you call attention to yourself.
- Vigilance: Many motorcycle accidents happen at intersections or when cars pull out from driveways or side roads. Be especially alert to other vehicles in those situations, Gordon said.
- Sobriety: Alcohol plays a role in too many motorcyclist fatalities. In 2007, 25 percent of the Florida motorcyclists killed in accidents were legally impaired. Don't ride after drinking, Gordon said.
- Formation: If you ride in a group with other motorcyclists, keep a safe distance between yourself and the bike in front of you, and pass other vehicles individually, said Gordon.
"Many riders will know these tips by heart, but each year more people in South Florida take up riding for the first time, and it's important that they heed these safety measures," Gordon said.
Gordon and Doner will soon launch a new Web site, CycleJustice.com, to aid South Florida motorcyclists injured in accidents.
About Gordon & Doner
Gordon & Doner is a prominent personal injury litigation firm serving South Florida. The firm has 11 attorneys who focus on all types of personal injury cases. The firm has successfully represented victims of motorcycle accidents, car accidents, truck accidents and medical malpractice.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by another motorist, you have important legal rights and may be entitled to financial compensation. For more information, visit Gordon & Doner's Web site at ForTheInjured.com or call the firm toll-free at 1-800-659-1159.