Despite a motorcyclist’s discipline and consistent defensive riding habits,
motorcycle accidents can still happen. Even the best, most cautious rider cannot predict the
actions of other motorists or prevent driver distraction. Statistics show
that there are nearly 250,000 traffic accidents in Florida every year.
The leading cause of traffic accidents, including motorcycle accidents,
is inattentive driving. Inattentive driving includes all cases of distracted
driving, drowsy driving, and drunk driving. A motorcycle rider can choose
to ride defensively and employ a few other consistent practices to help
reduce his/odds of a traffic accident. However, some accidents may be
entirely unavoidable. In those cases, knowing what steps to take can help
to make the recovery and claims processes a little easier
Five Steps to Avoid a Motorcycle Accident
1. Ride Defensively: Looking twice is a huge part of riding a motorcycle defensively. A rider
should never assume that that the other driver sees him/her. Check your
mirrors, signal, and then look again over your shoulder before changing lanes.
2. Turn Steadily and Deliberately: Slow down just before entering a turn. If you enter the turn a little
too fast, gently drag the rear brake to control your speed and stabilize
the bike. Keep your feet up on the pegs at all times, with your knees
in against the gas tank.
3. Wear Vibrant Colors: Colors can serve purposes of both style and safety. Vibrant or fluorescent
yellows and greens are most easily detected by the human eye. Lime yellow
is the most scientifically “eye catching” color. Alternately,
orange has a wide variety of hues and saturation levels and ranks high
on the visual sensitivity scale.
4. Throttle Evenly: Operate the throttle evenly, at a consistent rate. Cruising in the proper
gear with light, even throttling creates less wear on the engine and powertrain
components while keeping extra power on reserve for quick acceleration
or engine braking.
5. Maintain a Safe Following Distance: Always maintain a safe following distance. Slow down or change lanes safely
if another vehicle cuts in front of you.
5 Steps to Take after an Unavoidable Motorcycle Accident
1. Dial 911: In any accident that throws a rider off the motorcycle and to the ground,
it is advisable to seek medical help. Even if you don’t believe
you are injured, soft tissue injuries, strains, and concussions can manifest
symptoms hours after an accident. Contact the police in all cases of motorcycle
2. Photograph the Scene: If possible, use your Smartphone to photograph the motorcycle in the exact
spot in which it fell. Take pictures of the street/intersection, any damage
to vehicles, torn clothing, and visible injuries. Pictures of your injuries
will help support your claim for medical expenses.
3. Gather Contact Information: If you are physically capable, attempt to record or write down the names,
addresses, and phone numbers of all drivers, passengers, and witnesses.
Obtain other drivers’ insurance policy numbers and company names.
Write down or photograph license plate numbers of all vehicles involved.
4. Notify your Insurer: If you carry private health insurance or property coverage on your motorcycle,
notify your providers(s) of the accident and provide them with your side
of the story. You may tell your carrier if you intend to pursue a full
claim (for 100% of fault) against the other driver’s insurance coverage.
5. Speak to a Personal Injury Attorney: If another driver is at fault for your motorcycle accident, he/she might
be financially liable for any injuries you suffer. Speaking with a personal
injury attorney as soon as possible may be the best way to protecting
your rights and moving forward with a claim for damages. An experienced
motorcycle accident attorney can help to evaluate your case and guide
you through any necessary next steps.