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
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 accidents.
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.