Florida’s sunny weather, wide open roads, fantastic scenery and biker-friendly attractions draw motorcyclists from around the state and country. Unfortunately, in 2017 alone there were 500 motorcycle fatalities in Florida. This statistic serves a sad reminder to drivers to watch out for bikers – but also a good reminder for vulnerable bikers to remain vigilant and practice defensive driving. Tampa motorcycle accident attorney, and rider, John Castro would like to remind those that ride to practice these defensive driving tips ensuring a safer journey on the road.
Ride Smart Florida, an extension of the Florida Motorcycle Safety Coalition, recommends riders follow their S.M.A.R.T advice to reduce motorcycle injuries and fatalities when riding throughout Florida and beyond.
- Ride Sober: Alcohol and drugs can impair your ability to make quick decisions and lessen your ability to stay focused on the road. You run the risk of driving off the road, overturning your bike or falling from the motorcycle. Stay sober and enjoy the ride.
- Stay Visible: Motorcycles are less visible to motorists than other automobiles. Ride with your lights on at all times and avoid wearing all dark clothing. Stay out of other driver’s blind spots and always assume the other driver cannot see you.
- Wear the Right Gear: Even though the state of Florida does not require riders over the age of 21 to wear helmets, the fact is that helmets save lives. Long pants, protective jackets and sturdy footwear will go a long way to protect your body in the event of a crash.
- Drive Confidently, but not aggressively: hesitant and indecisive drivers are unsafe drivers. Look around, give yourself time to react and anticipate traffic changes.
- Train: To operate a motorcycle in the state of Florida, drivers must have a motorcycle endorsement on their Driver License or hold a ‘Motorcycle Only’ license. The Florida Highway Patrol along with other private organizations offer training programs including the Basic RiderCourse (BRC) necessary for obtaining an endorsement.
By driving S.M.A.R.T and defensively, Florida motorcycle riders can have a safe and fun ride. If you or someone you love is involved in a motorcycle accident, contact Tampa personal injury attorney John Castro for an attorney who rides and understands the challenges that bikers face, and who will represent your best interest.